In this Issue:
When you think of marketing buzzwords like 'viral' or 'smart content' or 'hyperlocal advertising' - they're all just synonyms for sharing.
At it's very core, that's all that marketing really is - sharing and communicating your stuff.
These Tips and Tricks focus on ways you can take the first step and proactively share your LibGuides content to stakeholders, in new and interesting ways that include honing and refining your 'voice'.
We totally get it, your library has awesome resources, amazing tools, and phenomenal programming... and you want to share it all with your patrons. But sometimes, constantly telling customers what you have can come across like a sales pitch.
Rather than pitching products and services, tell stories. When you're telling someone what you have to offer them, aka. a pitch, you can lose that vital human connection.
Stories, well... they open people up. They become more receptive to hearing what you have to say. When you tell a story, it feels more genuine, and your patrons will see opportunities to connect with you.
Emotionally-connected patrons/customers become library advocates... resulting in a measurable increase in library usage.
Easy! One way to communicate your story is by creating a LibGuide! It's a content management platform you're comfortable using, which will make it much easier and faster to build the content. Plus, it makes it easier to weave in library resources, like books or a LibGuides A-Z database, into the story-telling.
Whether you're sharing a LibGuide via email, on social media via Twitter or Facebook, or adding a LibGuide to a list of citations - always make sure your LibGuides URLs are as descriptive as possible... not as short as possible.
There's a natural inclination when creating a guide's friendly URL to make it as short as possible. The shorter, the better...right? Actually, no. Users are far more inclined to click-through to a web resource if they can decode what that website contains via the URL.
While URLs are a minor ranking factor for search engines, keyword use in a URL is a ranking factor.
The LibGuide is titled, ESL, GED, and Citizen Resources.
What should its friendly URL be?
With all of this said, however...it's not that you can't add a short-ish friendly URL if it makes sense to do so! Don't artificially inflate a friendly URL if the most useful / descriptive version (see tips above!) just happens to also be on the shorter side. :)
It's an oldie, but goodie. The 3rd P in marketing's 4-Ps matrix stands for place. Or, in lay person's terms - location, location, location.
A great way to proactively promote your content is to put it where they can't miss it. And for Academic Libraries, that's inside your courseware tool.
Students typically spend several hours a week inside their courseware tool participating in discussion forums, downloading/uploading assignments, submitting questions to their professors, and more.
Get the library right in front of their eyeballs, literally, by creating a Library Page using the LibApps LTI tool.
Our exclusive LTI Automagic Tool allows you to customize the content that students see when they login to their courseware tool. So each different course will display unique and relevant content.
It's as easy as adding guide-level metadata keywords to your LibGuides. Oh, and you'll get killer usage stats to boot.
Do you know who's reading your LibGuides blog? Not an abstract demographic segment like "undergraduates" but actual named individuals. Why ask yourself this? Well, knowing exactly who is reading your blog can be helpful data to better tailor your blog posts, message, and delivery.
From inside your LibGuides Blog (either at the guide-level or the system-wide level) go to Blog Management > Subscribers > Export the List of Subscribers.
Voila! Now you can see exactly who is (and who isn't) subscribing to your blog.
Once you have a list of named subscribers, match that data against your ILS or Active Directory database of users to identify segments and clusters.
All teaching librarians know - the most successful teaching sessions are based around an assignment, or project, or task.
Contextual learning = long-term learning.
That same equation applies when you connect learning resources with topical, current events. Users are far more likely to engage with and deep-dive into material when the subject matter is topical and relevant to them.
So while you could create a 'Popular Music' LibGuide, a more well-received guide might focus on a current trending album and deconstruct it. For example, Jenny Ferretti's 2016 Beyonce Lemonade LibGuide or the COM Libraries' Kendrick Lamar LibGuide.
Creating these #TrendingNow LibGuides can have a short shelf life, so use tags to organize these trendy guides. Then when they're considered 'old news,' simply remove the tag. (Consider unpublishing these guides, if it makes sense to do so, to keep your guide list manageable.)
Showcase all your #TrendingNow guides in one place by creating a guide widget!
Login to LibGuides > go to Tools > Widgets > Guides > filtered on tag = TrendingNow > change sort order to Date Published (newest first).
Get the word out about your current events content by embedding your #TrendingNow Widget on your library homepage, blog, and even on your LibGuides A-Z list!