One of my favorite movies is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Knights of the Round Table and King Arthur are on a quest to find the cup that Jesus used at the Last Supper (the Holy Grail). Wikipedia says – According to legend, it has special powers, and is designed to provide happiness, eternal youth and food in infinite abundance. Most people think the Holy Grail in the online world is being #1 in Google searches.
When I teach classes, present at conferences, or do one-on-one consultations, I tell everyone the same thing … there are only two ways to be #1 in Google – pay Google (AdWords) or generate great content.
Types Of Content
Content comes in many flavors … video, audio, text and pictures, which can be created or found all over the internet. Using OPC (other people's content) or creating original content are your two choices.
OPC is a great way to provide a constant stream of great ideas that can help your audience. I was featured in an article in Inc. magazine titled “3 Smart Strategies You Should Be Using on LinkedIn” and that content was shared over 1500 times to date. People obviously found the information useful to their targeted audiences.
Creating Google Alerts is a great way to find specific articles, blogs and material that you can share across all of your social media platforms. Using OPC is a great way to create expertise by association. If you consistently post great content, people will start to associate you with the quality of the information. Make sure it solves the problems and needs of each specific audience you are trying to reach (meaning target the post and make it clear who you are trying to serve).
Original content is the King and Queen of sharing great information. By generating great content that shares your expertise, you are the perceived expert. Also, if done right, it will generate traffic to your website or views on your profile on social media. Plus, you can repurpose that content in so many ways. I wrote a 50 word blog every day for 365 days and converted the content into a book called “It's Not About You, It's About Bacon Bits! 101 Relationship Marketing Tips!“. When you create original content, you have a powerful tool at your fingertips.
Creating content comes in many forms … it can be as simple as a Facebook post or an hour-long webinar. Generating original content is one of the most powerful tools you can use to promote your brand and business, but some people suffer from writer's block or are waiting at the procrastination station for inspiration to hit them over the head. These problems can be solved in three easy steps …
- Know Your Audience – Most people try to reach the broadest audience as possible, but that is a mile wide and an inch deep. The best content goes a mile deep and an inch wide (it targets a specific group and solves a specific problem). That means that you may have to find and produce different content for different audiences (consumers and businesses have different needs and problems).
- Have a Plan – Knowing whom your audience is, is the most important part of the plan. What are their needs, wants and problems? Meet each audience where they are (not every audience is on one social media platform in most cases). That means that you can reach audience A on Monday, audience B on Tuesday, etc. Have a plan of what you want to say, and if you want to create a mix of OPC and/or original content.
- Be Consistent – People love consistency. If you publish the same kind of post on the same date and time of the week, people will start to expect and accept it as a regular occurrence vs. an interruption. I post a caption contest on Facebook every night between 5-6pm every night. People know to look for it and comment and share regularly! Consistency builds familiarity.
When I think of curation, I think of curators at a museum. They collect art and artifacts and put them on display for people to consume (by watching or listening). Whether you use OPC or original content, you are collecting quality information to put on display for the general public. Museums charge admission and also rely on donations and fundraisers.
Your goal should be to make money some how. It may be by getting people to your website to add themselves to your email list or to attend a seminar or webinar. The point is that if you are going to spend the time to capture and present great information, it should have a purpose in your business.
Content can be developed with a plan of repurposing. If you create a video, it can be shared on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and more. Obviously, YouTube and Vimeo video can be shared as links on any social media platform as well as your website. That video could be converted to an audio file. Add an open and a close and now you have a podcast. Take that audio and have it transcribed, and you have an article.
Not every person is going to watch a video, listen to a podcast or read an article. By repurposing content, you increase your potential audience reach. Having a plan to cultivate content will help you reach multiple audiences wherever they are. You can take multiple articles and create an ebook, report or a full length printed book. LinkedIn is more print and article oriented. but if you do a webinar (video) you can take the slides and share them on SlideShare (owned by LinkedIn).
When you start to create a content plan, think of how you can use it to its maximum potential to reach the largest audience possible.
Becoming top of mind is the whole purpose of using content marketing. I have seen people increase business by as much as 50% in one year. The bottom line is if you are going to use social media and email marketing to grow your business, you have to provide value to the end user. You can do all original content, all OPC, or a mix of both. What matters most is your audience. Are they interested, engaged and are they treating you like an expert or as noise?