By taking a look at some of his work, you may be surprised what Edgar Allan Poe can teach you about promoting content. The fast-moving, news-heavy world of social media demands a constant flow of content for anyone to make an impression. Unfortunately, this characteristic tends to produce disposable content and curation burnout, when companies post or re-post random stories and images in the hope that something will become viral on its own. In producing content, the most successful businesses mix the created with the curated. Content creation experts like Scripted.com can shape vague ideas into crystal clear prose that motivates a target audience while incorporating SEO and finessing evocative calls to action. Curation sites like Scoop.it can search and gather stories across the web and social media networks using keywords most relevant to influencers. In promoting these works, a business builds a reputation as a primary source of valuable information. In the long run, this provides a much stronger stream of revenues and prospects than a random viral spike in traffic. Strategy trumps chance. That means that businesses must become as meticulous in promoting content as they were in defining their target audiences in the first place. A useful device in understanding how to promote content effectively is to remember the work of Edgar Allan Poe, the 19th century American author. Poe's writing was largely ignored until he deployed the elements of POE - Paid, Owned and Earned media. Here's how he did it and what that means for content streams here in the 21st century.
Promoting content with POE
Paid - Poe wrote poetry and short stories for a decade, including some of his best works, without receiving any significant income or recognition. Only 50 copies of his first book were printed, and absolutely nobody read it. At last he took a job as an editor for a literary journal and began to include his own works alongside his book reviews and critiques. Paid media today means paid, in-stream promoted posts on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. It also means placing paid content on sites that appeal to your particular audience, such as on Pinterest, Reddit, Digg, Mashable or StumbleUpon. This is really the only way to expand your market and command the attention of new prospects in a world full of distractions. Audience content discovery services like Outbrain and Disqus are on the forefront of deploying the latest technology in re-targeting content for greater reach. Owned - After working for a few publications, Poe decided he needed the freedom of running his own literary journal, The Stylus. Promoting one's own content on one's own site is too often overlooked by a company in a rush to find the next great stories and images. Cross-posting is a better method to apply. This refers to taking snippets from blogs and creating sharable bits for the company's LinkedIn group or YouTube channel. Videos can then be broken into memorable Vine snippets. Statistics from an infographic make great individual posts. An Instagram photo can be the basis of a lively discussion in the comments section of a blog. Remember that the customer sees the company as one entity across media, so conversations can flow from YouTube to Facebook to the company website. Earne** d -** Toward the end of his life, Poe published The Raven, and his novel went viral--so to speak. He became a sensation, some said overnight, even though it was the result of nearly two decades of hard work. Poe gave lectures, called in favors and asked everyone he met to support his attempts to launch The Stylus. Earned media is what everyone is trying to achieve-organic SEO through likes, re-tweets, pins, +1s and sharing across the web. It also involves building a reputation through guest posting on industry publishers' sites. Virgin Mobile is a great example of a company succeeding at earned media with more than one million unique visitors every month and 50,000 influencers on social media that it calls "super-sharers." Virgin accomplishes it by creating events like a raffle in which users interact with a virtual entity named Linda in order to win prizes. Earned media may be the hardest to master, but it delivers the most profitable results. Once a company creates a fan base, that following becomes a self-sustaining force that drives all other promotional efforts.
The Raven and a writing desk
Producing content without a plan to promote would be like writing the masterpiece The Raven and hiding it away in a writing desk. Yet this is precisely what companies do when they post content and then neglect it. Poe certainly had his ups and downs, but he finally learned how to promote his writing in a meaningful way. Now his name and image are an unforgettable piece of Western culture. In fact, he even earned a starring role in a Hollywood movie (sort of). In the end, his dedication to his craft and the work that it takes for even a masterpiece to get noticed is a contemporary lesson for all of us. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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