Creating content that’s fresh, relevant (to whatever it is you’re applying it to), and well-written is crucial today for so many reasons. A few of them…
- Search engine optimization and visibility (SEO)
- Establishing thought-leadership
- Shrinking sales cycles
- Building brand loyalty
- Generating leads
- Generating social media conversation and followers
When I think about content marketing, I think about the lifecycle that content goes through online. It helps me not only come up with content ideas, but what I’ll need to do once that content is created.
1. Gather – search the interwebs for content of interest. There are tons of sites that you can find good information at:
– Twitter – do a hashtag search
– LinkedIn Groups
– Blogs and articles
– News sites
In fact, there are so many places to source content that I like to create a Google Reader feed from publications, blogs, and using subject matter Google Alerts. This allows me to quickly and easily view the places that I think have the best and most interesting articles and blog posts. I get great ideas from seeing what other folks write about.
2. Curate – you can certainly write original content based on what you find and cultivate online, but you can also curate content by building on what other people write about. Find a good article or two that discuss a topic? Great! Add to it with thoughts of your own and refer to the article or blog in your post. This not only gives credit to the author that you’re referencing but also an outbound link to some relevant content. You can even create an inbound link on occasion by commenting on the referenced piece if they allow comments.
3. Write – start your piece with a keyword rich title and use keywords intelligently throughout. I say intelligently because you don’t want to stuff keywords into anything with Google in mind. Write for your audience, but use keywords where they make sense. Writing? Content can come in many forms beyond your traditional blog or article, including:
– Case studies
– White papers
– FAQ sections of a website
– Facebook notes
– Comments on someone else’s content
4. Publish and Share – okay you’ve created some piece of content. Now what? Now is the time to get it in front of people that matter, share it socially.
– Tweet it
– Post to Facebook
– LinkedIn Groups of relevance
– Reference it in comments on relevant blogs and articles
There are an unlimited number of social media sites, and some are more relevant to certain audiences than others, but there’s no limit to where you can share information, only the time it takes to do it.
5. Recycle – the joy of knowing that a well-written piece of content might be curated by others so that your content can live on.
A while back we created an Infographic on the Content Lifecycle. Be sure to check it out, especially if you’re more of a visual person. I’d love to hear your thoughts and additions to our content marketing lifecycle thoughts so drop a comment below.