The mission of scaling an engaged audience is exciting and rewarding. At RebelMouse, we believe that achieving success isn't an accident, it's a decision. The key is to effectively blend the art and the science in the editorial process. Here are five best practices for growth that you can apply to your strategy.
1. Own Your Identity
Your story makes you unique and allows you to cut through the noise. If all of the branding were stripped from your content, your audience should still be able to tell that it's your company or organization that created it. That's the power of your voice. Be bold, be authentic, and be relatable. Convey how your story connects to the lives of the people you're trying to reach.
Fuel your passion into content that differentiates you and puts you in a position to do your best. You can't cover everything so focus on what will make you stand out. Be disciplined about what you cover and what you don't cover. The internet is a democratized space and the social web rewards quality. It's not enough to get someone to click on your story. You have to create an experience that people love enough to want to share it.
2. Integrate Content Creation + Distribution
A commitment to telling a story should come with a commitment to presentation and distribution that ensures it takes off. Marry your approach to content creation and promotion. This means taking into account where you intend to reach your target audience — the social media platform, an email, or another pathway — before bringing your story idea to life. Headlines designed to drive sharing, dynamic imagery, compelling status text, and subject lines are instrumental in driving maximum engagement.
Social media, email, messaging, and emerging platforms should drive your editorial strategy, as opposed to being an afterthought. Additionally, the device likely being used to consume your content and the context of that interaction should inform your approach to creation.
3. Unlock the Power of Data
Data provides powerful insight into how people connect and engage with your content. Incorporating analytics into an editorial workflow isn't about chasing clicks: It's about empowering your team to create the best possible user experience. The goal is to deliver the right data to the right person in the right format at the right time.
The life of a story begins when you hit "Publish." Being aware that a story is going viral in real time gives your team the opportunity to maximize performance by scheduling posts to social media, sending email + messaging blasts, and optimizing an overall approach to distribution that amplifies growth. At higher levels, analytics can uncover user behavior patterns on what works well in terms of story ideas, presentation, and promotional strategy. Data is a universal language of feedback that empowers you to build an audience around a meaningful editorial product.
4. Drive Performance with Technology
Leveraging an innovative publishing platform fuels efficiency, as well as growth in terms of scale and engagement. Tools that align with an editorial workflow save your team time. A system that connects to the larger internet ecosystem allows you to maximize your impact. This applies to content discovery, creation, promotion, and performance. Functionality that enables you to pull in and push out stories in a unified experience enables your success.
Technology that's adaptable is the secret sauce in the recipe for growth.
5. Embrace Evolvability
Treat developments in the way people consume content as an opportunity to get ahead of the curve. You can see the rise of a new social platform as either daunting, or a chance to reach and engage with your audience in a new exciting way. It's all about perspective. Create a culture that promotes experimentation and values new ways of doing things.
Embracing evolvability means not having to play catch-up, and instead puts you in a position to innovate. Plus, it makes the process more fun. And the experience of creating something you're proud of and deliberately connecting with your target audience is fun. That's the magic of the internet.