Brook McCarthy, business coach and digital marketer extraordinaire, shares here how to make and curate content to create your community. She also runs a content workshop for us, find out more here!
When you post a photo to your Facebook business page, send a mass email or update Instagram with a photo of your work, you’re content marketing – even if you’ve never heard this term before. Most people intuitively understand that digital marketing is about sharing information. Far fewer know how to do so in a way that brings in business.
The old way of marketing your business was steeped in advertising and promotions. The brave new world of business has community at its heart. It’s based on the premise that if you consistently share information that’s useful, valuable and relevant to the exact type of person you’re seeking to attract, then you’ll gather a community around your business.
You earn the privilege to periodically offer this community an opportunity to buy from you, and so long as you continue to remain relevant, useful and valuable to them, they’ll stay within your community for years. This means far less risk for you as a business, because you’re selling to people who already know, like and trust you and appreciate your work.
So how do you know what information to share online? Where do you go to find this? How do you connect the dots between sharing information and making a sale? And most importantly – how do you keep this up for years to come, without exhausting yourself and making time for your work?
Curate, then Create
Only 20% of your content needs to be original. The rest you can source from other people and places. And there’s further good news – by sharing your colleagues’, mentors’ and other respected individuals’ work, you’re effectively complimenting them, introducing yourself, or further deepening your relationship.
Ideally, you’re already partaking of content that’s relevant to your industry and niche, it’s a small step from reading to sharing. To get the best engagement from your community and from the original author of the post, make sure you always frame information you share with a comment, opinion or question.
Your Opinion is Needed
Without sharing your opinions, you’ll quickly blend into beige. Luckily everyone has an opinion, so turn up the volume on yours and share it. Don’t be obnoxious or strident – instead, express the nuances of your point. Reference sources. Share your experiences. And repeat yourself.
Your opinion is needed to show that you stand for something, to express your values, to attract like-minded people. And you need to repeat yourself, in a hundred different variations on your theme, because not everyone is paying attention and some will need a slightly different approach to understand you.
Give People a Backstage Pass
We all take for granted what we do everyday, but to some your days are highly exotic and interesting. You don’t need to sell your feelings online, but you do need to share a more intimate view of what you do – including your processes, mistakes, procrastination, and doubts.
Bring people in through photography that shows reality. Don’t only use the glamorous shots. Show the backstage. People want access, and they want transparency.
Schedule and Automate
While not everything can be automated, you’re likely spending more time than you need to on your content marketing. Done well, scheduling can reduce the time you’re spending responding to individual inquiries while also increasing your reach.
Ultimately, those who do content marketing really well are social beings interested in other humans. At its heart, marketing is about sharing information. Most of us do this anyway. We just need to be more strategic about it.