While creating and publishing content on your website is better than producing no content at all, simply writing blog posts randomly and when it is convenient to do so, is not a strategy that is going to bring many positive SEO results.
For your content to have all the positive impacts on your SEO, and the subsequent improvement in your search engine rankings, it needs to be done in a way, that very few other website owners would ever think of implementing.
That way is structured, has end goals, works for your audience, and not just the search engines, and it can be monitored to see if any changes to it have to be made. It consists of 4 components or pillars as we like to call them because they form the cornerstones for your content to be effective and bring results. Here are those 4 pillars…
We spend a lot of time working with our Kindling customers to help them build sustainable innovation programs. And no matter how creative or how forward-thinking the organizations we work with prove to be, time and time again we see that the single biggest predictor of success is management’s active commitment to the program.
Active commitment can be best demonstrated by actively making decisions around participants’ contributions. And we’ve found that by communicating these decisions is the best marketing for the program itself.
Show and Tell
We always emphasize that an internal marketing effort can make a huge difference for the program. On a basic level, this means selecting a name for the program, establishing a visual language, creating posters and other giveaways, and offering encouragement and rewards. The goal for this generalized marketing of the innovation program is to make sure that the participants, who are invariably super-busy, know that the program exists and what the goals and expectations are for participating. We think of this as the broadcasting of a mass message, or as general advertising for your program.
At Kindling we use the Kindling application to discuss and evaluate potential product features, to address engineering issues, to develop strategic goals,—we’ve even opened up a Category to our customers so that they can contribute their ideas to the development of the Kindling application. Nice. And we use Kindling to cultivate our brand and develop marketing ideas, including social media content.
Every organization can use Kindling to develop a workflow of ideas for social media which the entire company can participate in. This is how we did it.
Beginning earlier this year one of our key efforts in marketing has been to systematically generate meaningful content that could be useful to people concerned with innovation and tasked with running an innovation program, for which our software is elegantly useful. In this interest I wanted to simplify and make our Twitter content more coherent while providing clear channels for our people to contribute to. I identified 3 hashtags (for these channels) for us to use:
#kindlingapp, about the company and product, including writings about Kindling in relation to innovation best practices;
#kindlingtips, for tips on how to use Kindling, especially in relation to an innovation program, culled from Kindling Academy and our Best Practices guides;
Design Not Decoration
Design has been “misconstrued as decoration or as an embellishment.”
—Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator and Director of Research and Development, MoMA, in an interview.
It happens in many fields—whether in the production of a brochure, the renovation of an interior, or the building of an application feature—that “design” is often brought late to the table to prettify, decorate, or add “touch and feel” to something that was always already designed. Because the moment you begin to lay out the content, structure, and form of something, you are engaged in the act of design whether you know it or not and whether or not you are any good at it.
Bringing someone in later, after key decisions are made, someone with special competence in doing those things, to fix or make look good the outcome of those decisions, will almost always waste time, lead to deep frustration, and ultimately make it difficult to accomplish what you wanted to accomplish in the first place. Because design is about all those decisions, and making them at the right time—design is not “decorative sauce poured on top of content” (to paraphrase the photographer Stephen Shore).
We’re working towards some great new features that will ship later this year, but I wanted to review some of the new capabilities that we’ve added to Kindling in the last few months. These features were a collaborative effort between our Product & Development Teams and our customers. We hope you like them!
Support for Media on Posts
We continue to make additions to Kindling for decision-makers to make it easier for users of Kindling to share media of any type in the application. With this week’s release you can now attach any media to Posts and multiple files to a Post, just as you’ve been able to do for Ideas.
This allows you to share that PDF, add images or take a video of your CIO describing the cost savings from the latest implemented idea.
I spent most of last week at HubSpot’s Inbound conference in Boston. It was an inspiring series of speakers, presentations, and sessions with action items that I plan to implement at Kindling over the next few months. I left fired up about our marketing program and the ways to use HubSpot (and yes, I’ve already put the dates for next year’s Inbound conference in my calendar).
Do you remember the enthusiastic telemarketers who called around dinner time in the ‘90s announcing “This is a courtesy call from Company X?” When we were growing up, my brother and I used to call these interruptions “discourtesy calls” and as soon our family got callerID, we stopped answering them. The Do Not Call list limited this form of telemarketing in 2003, and Inbound highlighted that it’s not just telemarketing that’s over – we’re moving away from all unsolicited “interruption” marketing. Today’s consumers are accustomed to finding the information they want, when they want it, and Marketers need to use the data we can now collect about our customers to provide them with the right solution for their needs, formatted for the device of their choice.
You’ve probably noticed the rapid growth and proliferation of video content on the Web over the last few years. Here are some interesting supporting stats:
- Video content comprised 59% of all global internet traffic in 2012.
- The share of video is projected to rise to 86% by 2016.
- Netflix, accounts for 33% of all night-time Internet traffic in the US (wow!).
- As with most things online, mobile/tablet consumption of video is growing fast, and now accounts for 10% of all plays.
- The younger the person, the more likely they are to consume content in video form.
This last point is extremely significant. Granted, this is a very small sample size, but I’ve observed that my kids (around age 10) and their friends are interacting with significantly more video content than my (40ish) friends are. When they want to learn a new dance move, see what roller coasters are at Hersey Park or check out a Minecraft mod, they naturally turn to a video instead of looking for a blog post to scan. When they have friends over, they make funny Vine and Instagram videos. Email and writing online are as archaic to them as writing letters was to my generation. Texting? They turn to FaceTime.
Video consumption is growing, fast, internationally, on all devices, and among all age groups. This trend is real and lasting.
Innovation is social. That’s not only our company creed, it’s the sentiment echoed in every conversation with our customers. An idea may be innovative but it isn’t an innovation until there’s a forum for it be heard, discussed, vetted and implemented. Social Innovation Software provides that forum. It takes the collective brainpower of the people, YOUR people, and gives it a voice. It lends life and longevity to creativity. It turns the spark of possibility into a flourishing, sustainable reality. It is the crucial element that structures your innovation efforts and makes those endeavors a success.
We talk a lot on this blog about how our customers use Kindling but I wanted to zoom out a bit and focus on why our customers use it and why Social Innovation Software is essential to your business.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you need social innovation software:
Ideas (inspiration) can happen anywhere and anytime: You need a solution that captures true inspiration, whether it strikes in the office or on the go.
You’re frustrated with email: The volume of email in your inbox makes it hard to keep up. On the other hand, if you’re not cc’ed, you’re left out of the conversation. How many people that could have added value to the conversation were not part of it?
Google recently surveyed Australians about their mobile phone usage and have published the findings in ‘Our mobile planet: Australia – understanding the mobile consumer’ report.
It will come as little surprise that smartphone penetration rates in Australia are increasing – Australia is amongst six countries where smartphone penetration is now above 50% along with UK, Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Previous research found that 25% of users had used their mobile to research or purchase a product. The recent report shows that 28% have purchased using their mobile phone and a massive 94% use the mobile to research products.
Yet a key statistic in the report is that 79% of Australian businesses are not optimising their sites for mobile usage – that matches up with the research we’ve conducted into the mobile sites of the Australian online retail sector – How The Largest Australian Retailers Are Using Mobile Websites. The research we conducted found only 15% of Australian online retailers had a mobile optimised site.