by David Kirkpatrick
A content marketing strategy is worthless if your prospects and customers do not find and engage with that content. Like a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it, an unread blog post, or tweet that gets lost in the ongoing stream of Twitter updates, is not improving your marketing efforts.
Mindjet, a collaborative work management software company best known for its mind-mapping software, created a content strategy that combined different content platforms. It repurposes every content piece to fit each different distribution source: company blog, Facebook and Twitter.
In this strategy, Mindjet utilized infographics as their major type of content.
"The kind of content which has turned out to be not only ‘snackable’ but also sharable is infographics on a wide variety of subjects," said Parker Trewin, director of global communications, Mindjet.
He added, "These infographics are perfect for us because they are very visual and serve as a visual complement to our product which is very visual in nature."
This case study looks at Mindjet’s overall content strategy, and details how the company creates and utilizes infographics across that strategy, increasing blog readership and Facebook engagement in the process.
Trewin stated that Mindjet’s business referrals come from more than just its content strategy.
He listed the top four referral sources:
- Company website
- Company blog
Mindjet’s four main content outlets for distribution are the blog, Facebook, StumbleUpon and Twitter.
Step #1. Create platform-appropriate and sharable content
"Our content strategy from the highest level is to make sure that it (the content) is engaging, to make sure that it is easily digestible or snackable, and to provide different forms for people to engage in different ways," explained Trewin.
He said the goal is to create content that is easily shared, along with making sure it is appropriate for the distribution point.
Making the content appropriate means ensuring it is presented in a manner best suited for each of its channels. For example, not using long-form text that might be found on the blog for a Facebook update, and not using 140 characters (a tweet) on the blog.
In another example, the team would present its infographic on Facebook to take advantage of the visual element of that platform, and then use it as part of a longer, more text-heavy blog post.
Mindjet uses StumbleUpon to create virality around the content piece, and engages Twitter to stimulate comments, broadcast the infographic and provide information about all of the content channels.
Creating and distributing the infographics
Trewin said the content strategy, particularly around the infographics, is reviewed on a quarterly basis and includes a number of elements:
- Find something interesting to the target audience that ties back to Mindjet’s business
- The idea must offer the opportunity for visual representation
- The idea must offer the ability to create a series of related content pieces
- The content series must have a sense of voice and design
With a plan in place, the marketing team produces an infographic
and rolls that out with three basic steps.
Day one introduces the content on the Facebook page, where the audience can comment and make suggestions about the infographic.
Day two is a blog post that elaborates on the infographics with additional text and commentary.
Day three includes an additional infographic
that includes suggestions from the Facebook commentary.
Make the infographic sharable
Facebook is an obvious, and relatively easy, platform to encourage sharing of the content. Both StumbleUpon and Twitter are two other distribution points that make sharing simple for Mindjet’s audience.
To facilitate infographic sharing on the blog, Mindjet provides a cut-and-paste embed code on the post so visitors can share the content on their own websites. Trewin said one way the marketing team makes that share searchable is by adding keywords to the embed code.
Step #2. Begin with the blog
Although posting to the blog is day two of an infographic campaign, the entire content marketing strategy involves more than just infographics and revolves around the company blog
Trewin stated the concept behind the company blog was to serve more as a news magazine to give its community informative and educational content. He added the company hired a brand journalist who is dedicated solely to producing blog content.
Along with the brand journalist, other internal contributors as well as external guest bloggers provide content.
Step #3. Optimize the Facebook newsfeed
Trewin said Mindjet uses Facebook
for its visual content and as an avenue to present information and spur a conversation about that content.
The goal is to present easy-to-digest and consistent content on Facebook, and optimize the process to encourage engagement.
"We are making sure that we are not only putting the right kind of content out, but we are putting the content out at the right time so that our fans will have the best opportunity to enjoy and share that content," said Trewin.
He said by optimizing its Facebook newsfeed, Mindjet drives more traffic to the blog.
Mindjet also uses Facebook to pose questions for its audience to help spur conversation and engagement.
Step #4. Include calls-to-action in the content
While creating interesting content and getting it to the audience through many distribution channels is vital to the overall strategy, a call-to-action (CTA) should be incorporated into the content to really maximize the impact of each content piece.
Trewin offered an example of one infographic that compared "thought leaders" versus "do leaders."
The main CTA for the content piece was a request to share the infographic.
On Facebook, Marketing added a higher-friction CTA. Facebook fans were asked to tag friends, influencers or personalities they thought fit into one of the two categories of the infographic.
Trewin said one benefit of this CTA is if a Facebook fan tagged one of their friends, that friend wouldreceive a notification he or she was tagged at the Mindjet Facebook page. He added people who responded to that CTA were demonstrating how valuable they found that particular content piece.
Back to the "thinkers versus doers" infographic, that Facebook content piece and its high-friction CTA resulted in:
- 317 shares
- 432 "likes"
- 113 comments
- 122 tags
- 23.9% engagement from Mindjet’s Facebook fans on the day the infographic was released
- 3,264 views
- 313.4% increase in average daily views over the previous 20 days
The content strategy has also impacted blog performance. Trewin said a strong blog post would receive between 700 and 1,000 views, but the first infographic garnered 13,127 unique page views.
Before the new content strategy went into practice, the blog typically received between 17,000 and 20,000 unique visitors, but this past April unique page views topped 84,000 -- an increase of 420%.
Trewin stated his main takeaway from the new content strategy was the importance of bringing art and science together. The art in creating engaging content, and the science in getting content to the audience when it is most likely to be seen and engaged with.
"It goes back to the art and the science coming together," he explained. "To know there is no substitute for creativity. There is no substitute for design. People appreciate that, and there is no substitute for understanding the science behind the channel that you are interacting with."
- Follow-up infographic
- Company blog
- Facebook page
-- Mindjet’s Facebook newsfeed optimization vendorJESS3
-- Mindjet’s infographic vendor
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