Miami, Florida is a burgeoning startup hub in the making. We have no shortage of coworking spaces and more are on their way - that's a good thing. Based on a recent Kauffman Foundation report on entrepreneurial activities for 2014, Miami ranks #2 in the United States. Jurnid is among those startups determined to make it here in Miami. My efforts at Jurnid is not only to help freelance writers and journalists make use of their skill set in the freelance "gig" economy, but also to build community and engage other startups around the idea of propelling their brands with high quality storytelling.
Jurnid aims to be a global brand that facilitates content creation is various languages, specializations, regional nuances, and cultural idiosyncrasies - basically, I want to help you communicate in a way that's relevant to your audience in any market, globally.
I hosted the latest installment of Jurnid Sessions - meetup for content strategy - at WeWork (they were our venue sponsor), one of Miami's newest coworking space. The topic of focus was "Content Strategy for Startups". Our featured guest was Dan Perry, Managing Director of Vice - US Hispanic and Pan Regional Latam. Dan brought a wealth of insights on creating compelling content audiences will want to consume and engage with. Vice has built a global brand with enviable levels of digital engagement among young people - the millennials - and is constantly innovating to stay relevant with its audience.
Here are some of the main takeaways from the group discussion
- Know your audience
- Be authentic. Stay true to your brand's image and position. Fakers are easily snubbed. Live the lifestyle you are promoting with your content, you will always have your ears to the streets.
- Let your brand's voice be bold, don't be afraid to speak out or else you will not move the needle. Being afraid to let your brand speak out about relevant social issues, can create a bland and "neutral" position that is perceived as non-engaging.
- True engagement should inspire direct and related responses to the content you distribute. Example: if the comments on your videos are about "what music track is that?" - unless it's music related content - then you have failed to truly engage your audience. Comments and interactions should be reflective of the content.
- Your writers and content creators should live the culture or have the journalistic skills to convey stories that will resonate with your audience, uniquely.
- Write in the first person. This inspires a more direct connection between brand and audience.
- Don't worry about the length of content - there's no "sweet spot". If it's a good story, people will stick around till the end of the video, read the entire post, listen to the podcast, etc. Focus on the quality of the content you are creating, first.
I also spoke briefly on the four areas related to any content strategy. Before you dive into any of these areas, you must know your audience and set a goal - sales, awareness, etc. - for each content strategy you create or else the process becomes useless.
Hire quality writers, editors, videographers, etc. Freelancers or in-house.
- Co-create with your audience. Give them a way of expressing their emotional connection with your brand. Example: curate uploaded videos, memes, etc. create a brand hub/community for this type of content.
- Publish only to the channels where your audience lives. Whether that's on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat... it's not about being everywhere, just reach for your audience and their hives. This could include guest blogging, paid distribution via SEM and ads on various platforms.
- Native advertising - such as sponsored or cobranded posts - is more organic and better accepted by an audience than let's say, banner ads. So write more blogs, post original images, and be authentic with substantive storytelling. Make the information useful for your audience.
- The end goal is to have your audience interact with your content and drive web traffic and engagement to your brand properties.
- There are a great variety of analytics tools to help you grasp the big picture on what your content is doing in the wild and how you can better optimize to reach your goals.
- Google Analytics (free) was the tool of choice for most of our attendees, but you can find other paid apps for monitoring your audience and brand interactions online.
- The ultimate reason for origination, distribution, and monitoring - is engagement. It's the holy grail of brand building and impact. It reflects the lifeblood of your community as a brand.
- Inspiring your audience to comment, share, like, download/upload, and ultimately follow your call to action is the biggest reward for all your efforts in the chain.
Whatever you do throughout the process of implementing a content strategy, optimization is a constant. New technology and mediums are always evolving, take time to adjust to the systems for maximum engagement with your audience - if it makes sense for your brand.
Overall it was a great evening of knowledge share, Q&A, and community building. I hope you can join us next time. Let me know if you would like me to host a Jurnid Sessions in your city or submit topics you would like us to explore.
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Miami Beach, FL