If you have added social marketing into your campaign bag of tools, and you have read up on best practices, you know you have to feed the social media engine regularly and frequently. Meeting the demand for content can become a challenge. Best intentions wont come close to delivering the amount of content that is recommended. Being organized and setting time dedicated to your social media marketing is your first step to success. How much time can you commit on your calendar? 2 hours a week, 4 hours a week? 10 hours? You will need more time in the first weeks and months to get your program ramped up and yourself into a routine. Regardless of when you set time on your calendar devoted to developing your own content, you need to feed your chosen social media sites regularly. Some people post articles daily, others commit to 3 times a week. The results you want from social marketing determines how often you need to publish, where you publish and the amount of time you will need to commit to achieve results. But our topic is content.
Lee Odden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and has written an authoritative blog on digital marketing since 2003. Hes fond of saying that
If youre not creating content on the web, you dont exist.
So what do you do about content? For quick content, daily review industry news and select what will be of interest to your followers and re-post to Linkedin groups and to your Linkedin updates, as well as retweet and post to Facebook, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, etc. Be sure to add a comment when appropriate. I have found that interesting reposts will start discussions, which provides an opportunity to communicate with peers and prospects. That what we want, dialog. Avoid reposting blogs by your competitors. I know this is common sense, but at first glance the authors industry is not always evident. There are on-line publications that are hungry for content too and are not exclusively using articles by impartial journalists. Check out the authors profile and search the site where the article is posted to be sure you are not going to promote your competitor. Scheduling 15-30 minutes a day to this task will help boost your social presence - EdgeRank. Remember your objective for publishing is to develop your reputation as an expert not to hard sell. Join discussions where your experience and knowledge can be illustrated. These are small opportunities that will add up and increase your network visibility. You still need to originate content with some length and depth.
Originating content is a must. Content must be of interest to your target audience for it to benefit your business. Why would they call you? What problems are they searching the web about that you can speak on with authority? Develop a list of topics to write about based on your prospects pain points, industry trends, best practices, how to shop for your product or service. Inspiration for articles comes from many sources. Your daily interaction with customers and prospects offers the best inspiration. What questions are you repeatedly answering, what objections do you come up against, and what is trending online? Use these thoughts and others to develop a list of topics. Dont restrict topics just to your knowledge. Enlist others in your organization to contribute topics. Then create a list of titles that could be used for these topics. You will find there are multiple articles that can be written on each topic.
Consider the titles you have listed and whether they can be a series of articles: broad introduction article then a series of in-depth article on one subject point in the first article. Can any of your topics be composed into a list with a title like Letterman uses 5 Reasons Your Computer Should Be Retired? This headline could be developed into a series of 6 blogs.
Gather reference material that will help you compose each article. Being organized and having everything at your fingertips makes the process easier, especially if you are sharing the responsibility of content development.
Your articles need to be written from impartial perspective providing advice and information on subjects of interest to your clients and prospects. Use the opportunity to promote what is your unique selling position, your products or services but not styled as a self-promotion. Blogs are articles not sell sheets and not a self-promotion.
Consider hiring a blog writer. The volume that is needed to fuel your on-line success can seem over-whelming and may not be your favorite activity. So get the assistance of someone that loves to write, has the writing style that you like and has skill to write about your business or industry. Not all topics need to be written by a specialist or expert. It is important that it be written so your customers understand, with terms and words they use when talking about that topic. There are hundreds of websites with databases of bloggers looking for writing work, all of them experienced and ready to help you out. We have found resources that only cost $10 per article to $30. It doesnt have to be Pulitzer winning writing. Dont be a perfectionist, but do put out quality.
Download our Inspiring List of Questions to jump start writing your topic list.