The announcement that ‘clickbait’ has been included in the Oxford Online Dictionary didn’t make me spit-take.
F.Y.I. This is a spit-take (professionally modelled by our own Jonathan):
The definition of ‘clickbait’ as online content of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page, has negative overtones.
But I disagree. Clickbait should be quality content and quality content should be clickbait. This is the age of Google’s Panda 4.0, after all. Here at Southerly, we’ve long been using the memes and retro-style blog illustrations (all of which, by the way, you can see on our Pinterest page) created by our design studio as clickbait.
The lifecycle of online content has given us a growing number of words or phrases that were either unheard of even five years ago, or had a totally different meaning when used outside the hyperconnected world of digital media.
To allow you to make greater use of the infographic tracing the lifecycle of digital content below, here are seven entries from the Southerly Creative Content Marketing Dictionary:
The best content is brand new, original content. But what happens if your creative marketing mojo goes AWOL? It’s time to get together with your colleagues and other stakeholders and unlock the writer’s block.
Not to be used in conjunction with YOLO – another new entry in the Oxford online dictionary. There’s no reason for legacy content to only live once. If you operate a blog, you’re sitting on a goldmine of material that is waiting to be used again. Repurposing content is like borrowing from yourself. Carpe diem.
3 Legacy content
Old content that is waiting to be repurposed (see above).
4 Content amplification
The phrase might be a product of the online communications industry, but the concept is anything but new. In fact, it dates back to medieval times when records from the city of Chester show its town crier was the chief means of news communication with the local population. When used in connection with content marketing; however, it refers to the use of your social media channels to promote the publication of new, original and engaging material, sometimes catalysed by a paid promoted post for a little extra oomph. It’s up to you, whether to use #OyezOyez.
5 Content calendar
A roadmap for the months ahead to ensure you co-ordinate publication of your content with relevant events and business milestones.
6 Customer personas
A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data that is used to ensure your content engages its target audience. One of my favourite personas Southerly has created is Roy. At the bottom of the description listing his age, experience, socioeconomic status and outside interests is the line: “He is not a flashy dresser”.
7 Long-tail keywords
The often forgotten element of SEO strategy, these are more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re approaching the end of your sales funnel. Sure, you’re going to draw less traffic with a long-tail keyword than you would with a more common one, but the traffic you do draw will be more focused, more committed and more likely to convert.
The 8 stages in the lifecycle of online content
1 Brainstorm – What type of content will move your target audience further down the sales funnel? Consult your content calendar and don’t forget to cast your eye over legacy content that can be repurposed.
2 Commission – Who can create the blog, infographic, video or whitepaper on time and within budget? Whether that is someone from inside your organisation or an external content agency, the commissioning process must start with a detailed brief.
3 Create – This all-important part of the lifecycle can take many forms, but typically it will involve conducting primary research, setting up interviews, photoshoots or filming.
4 Review – This stage will typically involve editing the content. Don’t forget the SEO requirements, including the long-tail keywords and meta tags.
5 Sign-off – Are you happy with the content? Does it need to be approved by another department in your organisation?
6 Publish – Your original, engaging content should be clickbait. But this is not the end of your content’s lifecycle.
7 Amplify – #OyezOyez! Fewer people are going to see your content if you fail to use social media channels to promote its publication. Be sure to use trending hashtags and perhaps even promoted posts. Like a digital town crier.
8 Track and gather learnings – Use online analytics tools to reveal whether your content meets its objectives. Use these learnings when brainstorming your next piece of content.