How to Get People to Show Up and Stick Around -- Guest post by Shafqat Islam, NewsCred

Flite's Guest Blogger series features the industry's top thought-leaders to share insights on display advertising, agile marketing, and innovation.

Shafqat Islam is the co-founder and CEO at NewsCred, a media company that connects publishers and brands with quality journalism.

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It’s really easy to invite people to a party. Getting people to show up and stick around long enough to stumble out for late night pizza, however, is another thing entirely.

In the branding world, the same holds true. The challenge isn’t just getting users to show up and follow your company; it's getting them to participate. And with millions of marketing dollars on the line, bridging that gap is more important than ever.

But how, exactly, is this done?

Define your editorial strategy:

A powerful content marketing campaign strikes a balance between brand objectives, audience needs and editorial voice. Decide upfront how you will measure success, whether it’s social sharing, inbound calls, or some other metric. The most successful brands, like Pepsi, employ distinct editorial styles. Pepsi, with a long history of supporting music, identified a vision of young, dynamic, visual content (http://www.pepsi.com/) that focuses on pop culture, music and entertainment news.

The result? Pepsi hosted a better digital party and got more people than ever to stay—according to Quantcast, their revamped site drew 87 percent more unique visitors in its first month after launch and pageviews have doubled. (http://newscred.com/case-studies). 

Execute with speed and scale:

Brands need to react quickly and efficiently across multiple platforms and for multiple audiences. In the newsrooms of yesteryear, the best publishers raced to get content out as news broke. Today, brands need to do this too. Consumers and audiences are smarter and more connected than ever, and brands need to move as fast as they do. Pepsi Pulse’s site is great example of this -- with real time news and information, combined with curated social feeds pulled live from Twitter, Pepsi has it’s finger on the pulse of what’s happening now.

As for scale, engagement can only be won if brands continue to publish content regularly and with enough volume, without diluting the message. The days of posting just once a week are over - audiences simply expect and crave more.

Get creative with distribution:

After identifying how you will create and/or provide the right kind of content, the next step is to amplify your voice with smart and creative distribution. To make sure it gets out in the world and makes an impression, content must be curated across multiple social platforms -- whether its ad units or the next Pinterest. Great content campaigns deliver content where consumers are, and encourage people to share and engage with content.

We're starting to gain real insight into reader behavior patterns -- what they trust, share, and revisit. Keep these stats in mind as you curate content, because some of the channels you might think to ignore could be your best friends. An AOL/Nielsen study found that 66 percent of consumers use email as their primary sharing channel. And chances are, if your content has found its way to one network, it will soon be on another. The same study found that 99 percent of people who share via social networks share content across multiple platforms. Get serious about content and let your audience do the hard work.