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Content Marketing Tips: From Social Listening to Content Optimization to SEO

rosie siman

Content Marketing Tips

This week we sat with Rosie Siman, a Senior Strategist at 360i. As part of our inbound marketing SEO Insider Tips, Rosie shares her views on how content marketing can engage people online and evolve in the future.

rosie simanBy day, Rosie Siman (@rosiesiman) is a teacher at Miami Ad School and a Senior Strategist at 360i, an award-winning digital marketing agency named by Fast Company as one of the world’s most innovative companies. By night, she’s an internet junkie and cultural curator, authoring and editing The Tuesday Ten, a weekly newsletter covering the 10 things you should be paying attention to online.

Q1: In your presentation at Social Media Week 2013, you mentioned five key pillars of content marketing strategy with “optimization” as one of them. What role does optimization play in the big content marketing picture?

In traditional marketing, you release your campaign into the world and often times this is the end of it. But with digital, publishing a piece of content or pushing your campaign live is only the beginning.  We use data points to track how content is consumed, where it’s consumed, who’s consuming it and what they think about it. This allows us to make changes in the campaign or content strategy as we go. If people react particularly well to something, we might try to replicate the success, whereas if people didn’t have the intended reaction, we might shift budget or try creating supporting content that better speaks to their interests.


Q2: What are your top 5 tips for start-ups or small businesses to get started on their content marketing plan?

  1. Start with a clear, concise objective and a strategy that sets out how you’ll achieve that objective.
  2. Listen to your fans. Ground yourself in an understanding of how your band is perceived online, but also what your fans are interested in consuming.
  3. Find the sweet spot between what your fans are interested in and what you have credibility in talking about.
  4. Create or hone your social tone of voice. This will help make your content sticky and also give you better guidelines in terms of what to create or comment on.
  5. Set a process. Rules are meant to be broken, but you can only break ‘em if you set them to begin with.

For more on the topic of marketing through content, check out Content Marketing Tips & SEO Strategies with #iAcq Team at NYU we recently posted on our blog.

Q3: As a strategist for some of the biggest names in business including Oreo, NBC and Dentyne, what advice do you give your clients about content marketing and how this affects their bottom-line results?

Venn Diagram

One of the most common pieces of advice I give is around building in cultural relevance. Many brands have a product, a campaign or a message they’re trying to push and want to create a conversation or story around that. Which is definitely one place to start. But I encourage brands to think of their product/campaign/brand as one half of a Venn diagram. Your consumer and their interests make up the other half. The overlapping bit is the sweet spot. It’s not about creating content about your brand/product/campaign in a silo, but instead joining existing conversations. Building in social listening to gain a solid understanding of what your fans are interested in and how they engage online is incredibly important.

In terms of tying content marketing back to their bottom-line, I think the same is true of most marketing challenges: Start with your business objective. Then, develop a strategy of how you’ll reach that business objective. Creating content can be part of that strategy, but should have benchmarks and key performance indicators that ladder back up to the strategy/objective.

Content Optimization & SEO

Q4: How do you think content marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) will evolve or change in the future?

I think in many ways, content marketing came out of the big SEO trend we saw a few years ago. Shane Snow, founder of Contently said, “The difference, essentially, is content marketing aims to create content humans want to read, whereas SEO aims to create content that pleases search engines.” He goes onto say that the two aren’t, or don’t have to be, mutually exclusive. I think we’ll continue to see Content Marketing and SEO evolve to put consumers and their interests at the forefront instead of machines.

Q5: In your opinion, why do you think content marketing is so important to brands?

People share content because it allows them to feel more involved in the world and it gives others a sense of who they are and what they care about.  Because content creation and curation have become the dominant mode of communication online, it’s crucial that brands join in.

Check out our latest blog posts on SEO for Small Business and Social Search Engine.

amy kelly nyuAmy Kelly (@missamk) is currently a graduate student specializing in Digital Marketing at NYU. Prior to joining the Integrated Marketing program, she was a Marketing Manager for WPP’s global outdoor and experiential media agency, Kinetic. She is passionate about people, media and technology and loves yoga and surfing. Learn more about here and here.

5 replies
  1. Keisha Stephen-Gittens
    Keisha Stephen-Gittens says:

    Good read. Question 3 “hit the nail on the head”. Effectively engaging with consumers humanizes the brand. It’s not enough to talk about your product or service all day, everyday but it’s in finding that balance or “sweet spot” as Rosie suggests. DSW is a brand I admire, not just because I have a soft side for shoes, but they really do a great job in having conversations with and engaging their customers on all their social platforms.

  2. Ayaz Lakhani
    Ayaz Lakhani says:

    Coming from an analytics background, I am a strong proponent of content optimization. There is so much to be learned from readily available historical data about your brand in terms of the timing, images, copy and CTAs that consistently perform well with consumers.

    With Facebook’s New News Feed, brands should be preparing for a fundamental shift from simple “Like” acquisition to high-quality engagement. This is the time for companies to develop a scientific approach to Facebook engagement and optimize their content strategies accordingly.

    Whether you are a multi-million dollar company or a small business, I would encourage brands to begin to optimize their content strategies across their digital ecosystems. Even with limited budgets and resources, it is important to pay attention to marketing analytics and embrace content optimization to avoid falling into a state of irrelevance.

    Just remember, your analytics does not have to be perfect–it just has to be good enough for you to optimize your content strategy over time and improve performance.

  3. Matthew Capala
    Matthew Capala says:

    Great content marketing tips – to add one aspect about the SEO content strategy – the idea is to create content with a built-in audience through persona development, co-creation, prospecting and link building outreach – the quality of content is key but SEO allows for better content performance

  4. san jose plumber.
    san jose plumber. says:

    Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
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    • Amy Kelly
      Amy Kelly says:

      Thanks for following Elizabeth! We love to hear feedback on how the information has created value or is useful to people in their businesses. If you have more specific questions or general inquiries, do let us know. Thanks again the comment.


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