At this very second, it is an absolute imperative to have consistent content on your website or blog. If you have nothing to show, you will be interpreted as an amateur business. Worse, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice by not taking advantage of one of the dead simplest ways to get people to pay attention to you. It may be dead simple, but content marketing in all its stages is certainly not for the lazy or uninspired.
Content has become a paramount business pillar – right alongside sales, marketing, accounting and HR. In fact, the role of “content director” has been popping up virally across the job board. Whether or not you refer to content as copywriting (which many professionals do and the rest get confused by), understand that content essentially offers business value. And the value is earned through courtship. The results don’t require an explanation.
Today’s consumers purchase based on trust, and trust is earned through repeat valuable exposure. If you can offer repeat corporate exposure through content your audience values, you’ll actively work toward building thought leadership. You’ll also increase the chance of your audience turning to you when they need your services/products. Particularly in the case of products, your content consumers are far more inclined to purchase after repeat (and consistent) exposure.
Before you dive into DIY content, you should know the types of content you can produce. There are blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, guides and case studies, and also visual content, like infographics, illustrations and photography. The other end of the spectrum features rich multi-media, including podcasts and videos. Each content type has a specific function, which means that your DIY content strategy needs a blue print that takes all functions into consideration. The good news is you don’t necessarily have to write everything yourself or know everything there is to know – that’s what content curation is for.
Content curation is about getting the info you need to research and write original content or to re-post it across your social platforms or blogs. Sharing curated content is something most news agencies do. It means sharing part of the content as a teaser and linking the original source so readers can continue reading, or it means sharing with full source credit. This method makes it easy to post daily without having the spend a lengthy amount of time research and writing. However, it also means reduced value since you’re not offering anything original. If you can afford to write originally, write originally. If you can’t, pair original work with curated content. There are several channels seen as the best places to curate content. I’ll mix and match a few of these sources from the “best places” list.
Personally, I’ve set customizable filters in Google’s news page or by using the NewsHog app, which lets you do the same. If you’re going the Google News route, you might want to set its findings as part of your Google RSS feeds and then follow that up with Newsify. Newsify is an app that treats all your feed reads by subject and plugs them into a magazine layout.
Once you’ve started curating, you’ve probably realize you don’t have time to read all the material at will. The solution is Pocket. Formerly called Read-it-Later, Pocket lets you save and tag links for access later. It’s also a great reference archive to pull selected material from as needed at the time.
For heavy duty writing and because I’m an archive nerd that likes to have a wealth of custom research findings at my finger tips, I’ll rely on Evernote. I use Evernote exclusively for research purposes and find it works perfectly for me. I also rely heavily on editorial calendars per project, which keeps things organized.
Now if you’re going to outsource your company’s content marketing needs, make sure you run them through the right gauntlet. You want someone trained, up to speed on developing trends (since new media is always in flux), and someone who ideally is passionate about your field. If you can’t get passion, get someone who’s informed. If you can’t get someone knowledgeable, then at least get someone who’s smart as a whip and a quick learner. Oh – and they should also be a pro at stitching sentences together.