Content Marketing – Content Ideas from Your Internal Team with Google Hangouts

by Matthew O'Brien on May 7, 2013

Matt O’Brien: All right. We are live. Here we are with some of the Mint Social team having a Google Hangout.

Today’s topic, we’re going to talk about content ideas using your internal team. We all know that content can be challenging and sometimes we need a little creativity. We’re going to add some creativity here. I’m going to get my thinking cap on and maybe a mustache. These are some cool tools that Google has in the Google Effects of Hangouts. If you can take me seriously.

Now we’re going to talk about ideas that the team came up with. Steve, why don’t you roll it out? A lot of times when we’re in the middle of working, we come up with these ideas, brainstorms, but we don’t always capture them.

Sometimes there’s tools out there that we can put those ideas into a format that will help prompt us for later. What are some of those tools that you use? Apps, let us have it, Steve Heideman.

Steve Heideman:  Why, thank you Matthew O’Brien. In all seriousness, guys, these smartphones are all we need to capture any idea for content that we have. Just the other day, Matt, you did that awesome blog post while you were driving, safely of course. Driving down the road about content creation, being able to do it anywhere along the lines of this conversation.

You just popped your little smartphone camera up, recorded a pretty good video, uploaded it, and put some transcription to it. Then you had a couple of different pieces of content. You had a video. You had text content.

Just the smartphone works pretty well. The problem is, of course, it’s not always convenient to take video. An app that I found that works on any device ‑‑ on the Web, doesn’t matter if it’s an iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, whatever ‑‑ is Evernote.


Steve:  Fantastic application, and it’s free, which is great for people. All you got to do is either go to your iTunes store, your app store, your Android store, download the app, and you’re driving down the road. You can do voice notes, video notes, text notes. Then, once you’ve got those notes, they store in a central repository inside Evernote. There’s actually an Evernote Business now that just recently launched, for companies that are looking for a better way to collaborate with content or other repositories, so you can do that and create a collaborative effort. For the most part, Evernote is great, because you just grab the content out of your Evernote folder and email it to anybody you want. Maybe Matthew and I bounce ideas back and forth a lot, I can send a voice note or whatever, say, “What do you think about this?” We think that one is really the gold standard of idea and the real‑world capturing applications.

Matt:  All right. Thanks for that good insight, Mr. Steve.

Steve:  You’re welcome. Maybe a little long‑winded, but you know me.

Matt:  Jen, you are part of our content staging and strategy team, and you had some ideas. Typically, you get a lot of questions thrown at your from clients, not necessarily in full understanding of what types of content work best. Sometimes they don’t quite understand where all of this content goes. What types of questions or challenges do you see coming at you that really could pose content opportunities for us as a team and helping our clients out?

Jennifer Beringer:  Well, similar to what Steve was talking about, a lot of the clients are asking me, “Where does the content go?” Once we get it up into our dash, they want to know, “Where does it get published?” They also ask, “Is my blog content more important than my website content?” Those are a couple of the questions. Then, I think, most importantly, what I always tell them is, “That’s what we do. We need to worry about your content, and we’ll get it to Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, to the RSS feeds. We’ll get it out to the Web, but you need to do is send us the photos and give us a little bit of content, like where was this photo taken. You took a picture of a squirrel that was on someone’s roof.” We’d like to know more about that squirrel or pest and that sort of thing so we can generate the content for the client.

Matt:  Got ‘cha. So, that’s definitely one of the things is we do receive content. Sometimes it’s not always clear to us what this content is for. One of the things that I think we are relatively strong at is being able to get creative with content, by giving a little direction, background, a little story on why this photo or this video is important is good. That was a good idea. Now, Shannon, I know you’re hiding behind our website there. One of the things that you tend to do is get a lot of content that you look back and analyze, and you understand what things are working better than others. A lot of times we don’t quite understand and predict what types of content looks best, but, in your opinion, what forms of media that we receive from clients or develop for clients seems to have the most interest, engagement, or possibly rank best for giving traffic to the callbacks and landing papers.

Shannon Bradley:  Well, I think that the photos and the videos that we receive from our clients really have the best impact for them, and then coming up with short blog posts that explain the videos or the photos. Videos especially make great blog posts and create good content out of that. From there, we can take screen captures and put those up on Facebook with short little blurbs about what it is, within the 140 characters, and then keep getting those out and sending more people back to either their YouTube site or their actual blog.

Matt:  One of the things that I know that you do regularly is you analyze if we have a blog post, maybe there’s three different headlines that will go out, and then you look back at those and see which one works best. Then you set that up as actually a reoccurring campaign that goes out maybe. How often do you typically set those to go out, when you find that one message, one Tweet, maybe a Facebook update or status update really works well, and that’s the one that we should consider using in the future?

Shannon:  I usually set those to go out about between 35 to 42 days, and then over about a 2‑to‑3‑month period, just to keep recycling that and keeping that blog post or whatever the content was current.

Steve:  That’s a really good point, Shannon, if I could just jump in for a second, because with the overload of social media these days ‑‑ Twitter streams, Facebook timelines, et cetera ‑‑ a lot of times your target market may not see the post that first time. But it may be very germane to a problem or a question that they have about the service or product that you provide. Recycling those posts, taking and scheduling Tweets, two, three, four months down the road to get the same blog posts in case you missed it, is really important to increase readership and really widen the top of that funnel so that you get the biggest possible reach for your content.

Shannon:  Another thing I try to do with the various Tweets that we have is to put in different hashtags with each one. Of course, some will always be the same like the client’s name and that type of thing, but try to use different types of hashtags to capture whatever somebody might be searching for at that time.

Steve:  Exactly. Widen the conversation a little bit. It doesn’t always have to be in this tiny pigeonhole.

Shannon:  Right.

Matt:  Makes sense. Well, Jen, any other parting comments or thoughts? I think the next topic we’re going to cover the unknowns of Google Plus and the onion layers that happen as you get further and further into the Google Plus world.

Jen:  Well, I will have a lot to say at that Hangout. [laughs]

Matt:  All right. Well, cool. [crosstalk]

Matt:  Hey, hey! [laughter] [music] [laughter]

Matt:  Well, on that note, we will end it. [crosstalk]

Matt:  We’ll look forward to catching you on the next round of the Mint team and content ideas that are going to drive your business to the next level.

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