In order to develop a successful content marketing strategy… we need content…. lots of it! One of the challenges business owners face is being able to know what their customers are reading and talking about right now. Historical data is good, but real time data is gold. Here are some simple ways to setup content funnels so you can have real time data about your industry at your fingertips twenty-four hours a day.
#1 Make a list of the top 100 influencers in your industry.
This is probably the hardest part. Coming up with exactly who your industry leaders are. This list might change and evolve over time. If you can’t find 100, start with 25. But start. Make a list of the sites your customers are hanging out on. Try to identify sites that are not direct competitors but rather have an influence over your customers but complement your business. For example if you sell luxury watches, a complementary site would talk about travel.
#2 Subscribe to their RSS feeds with Google Reader.
After you have the list of sites, or even as you are building it, subscribe to the RSS feeds using Google Reader. There are many ways to subscribe to RSS feeds: email being one. But you are going to want to subscribe using Google reader because later on I am going to show you how you can integrate Google Reader with some other tools so that you can update all of your social media channels with just one click! So for now, add them all to Google Reader. If you have never done this before it is very easy. Just click on the orange button with two lines on it that you find at the top of most blogs. It will open up into a new screen that will allow you to choose your desired method to subscribe to the feed. If for some reason that does not happen, you might get a page with a lot of data on it that has the word “rss” in the url. If that is the case, then just copy that url and head on over to Google Reader and there is a place to add it to subscribe to it manually.
#3 Setup Google Alerts with Keywords and Google Reader
The next step is to head on over to Google Alerts. In Google alerts you can subscribe to get notified anytime anyone on the internet publishes something new about your keywords or brand names. You will want to set up alerts for your name, your company name, your address, phone number, and other info that is unique to your company. That way you can also be notified if anyone ever publishes anything… good or bad… about your company on the internet… almost immediately. Then choose about 10-20 industry keywords and setup google alerts for those to also be delivered directly to your Google Reader account.
#4 Setup Twitter Lists with their Twitter Handles
The next step is somewhat tedious and not always easy… but well worth the effort. As you visit the blogs, hit the Twitter link at the to and visit their twitter accounts also. Follow them on Twitter and then add them to a custom list. You can create up to 20 lists with up to 100 people on each list. Lists are awesome because they enable you to be able to view all of the updates from a specific group of people without all of the other updates cluttering up your feed.
#5 Setup Hootsuite to view Twitter Lists in the Streams
The final step is to hop on over to your HootSuite account and setup the streams to view your twitter lists. This way you can easily view all of the updates from all of your social media networks in one central location. At the end of the day you have two places you have to log in to. Google Reader and Hootsuite. And those two places will have all of the updates for all of the top 100 influencers in your industry!
Bonus Tip: Like all of the fan pages of your influencers with your business page. You can then setup the home page feed of that Facebook page to show up in Hootsuite also!
Do you have any tips? How do you setup your content funnels?