Years ago, I ghost wrote a blog post for an insurance agency commemorating National Trucker Appreciation Week. Pretty esoteric as far as national recognition weeks go, but it still offers a solid example for how to create great blog and social media content with little or no effort.
Find the Official Site/Page
Most recognition campaigns have a dedicated page on the sponsoring organization’s Web site. Depending on who’s behind the digital curtain, the quality can vary widely. Some sites will just post a press release, but more social media savvy organizations often include a treasure trove of campaign tools for online/offline participation. Depending n the organization, you’ll likely to find character count ready tweets, banners and graphics, pre-made memes and videos all for free use. At the very least, you’ll get enough material to write a solid blog post and/or devise a coordinated social media push around your chosen campaign.
Search for Topical Infographics
Infographics are all the rage these days, and for good reason. According to HubSpot (via infographic), they’re 30x more likely to be read than a text article. Why? Because they play to the short attention span of the average end-user by presenting important facts and data in one visually rich, engaging image. The strategy is simple: inform the reader quickly and encourage sharing via social networks.
For publishers (read:you), infographics offer an ease of use that’s hard to beat. All you have to do is do a Google Image search using and industry/term and the word infographic (e.g., manufacturing infographics). If that doesn’t yield anything of interest, check out the Statista Infographics library, which provides hundreds of infographics over a wide range of topics.
You can also create your own infographics from internal research, customer surveys and industry trends by using a wide variety of free and low-cost tools.
One great thing about commercially circulated infographics is that they generally carry the originating author’s logo, links to sourced material and contact information, so attribution is already built-in. Translation: no worries about copyright infringement.
So, once you’ve found a timely infographic, slap it into a blog post with a short introduction and, et viola, you’ve educated your readers without making them read too much.
[Your Topic Here] There’s a Video for That
Most people think of YouTube as the repository for cute baby videos, wacky news bloopers and pranks. It’s definitely all that, but hundreds of hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and many companies and organizations offer professionally produced videos that you can easily embed into your blog posts or use on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Seeing that video content outperforms nearly all other social media content, incorporating third-party videos into your content strategy is truly a no brainer.
For my trucking blog post, I wanted to close with a few recommendations for how to thank truckers for their hard work on the nation’s highways. Most of the suggestions I found on trucking blogs and sites were absolutely trite and silly: “Buy them a cup of coffee,” “Take a minute to personally thank them when they pull into your loading dock.” One site even offered links to a catalog of swag to buy for your favorite truckers. Well, I don’t have a favorite trucker (outside of Kris Kristofferson in Convoy), so I decided that the best way for my client’s audience to appreciate truckers is to drive safer. And wouldn’t you know it, I found an engaging instructional YouTube video entitled 10 Tips for Sharing the Road with Truck Drivers. You’re welcome Road Kings and Queens!
The Takeaway …
The Web is so deep with shareable content that virtually any business can create great content for their audiences. All it takes is a chef’s mindset; gather up your ingredients, mix them together and post.
So what are you going to whip up?