Content (noun) is King on the Internets.
It’s repeated all the time in the online space. Why? Because we seek good information, companies want to share and sell, and the web is full of it.
Of course, we see crap content too, and Google recently slapped many companies for not adhering to “quality standards”.
Instead of just copy & paste, learn some ways you can use your existing content without spamming. And, you have to do it in a careful, and correct way. Gone are the days of copying other people’s articles and submitting to 100’s of directories.
If you are submitting to social media networks and bookmarking sites (Digg, Reddit, Stumble, etc) – make sure that you use a smarter strategy than your competition.
You can do it. It’s easy when you know how, right?
Get content (adjective) with your content today!
In preparation for the 10 content recycle and distribution tips, do these things first:
Pick and find sources of where existing content lies (your company’s PDFs, powerpoints, MS-Office documents, Intranet, email, office/file shares, etc).
Use these as a starting point, but make sure to match your new discoveries to incoming requests occurring in your business. Learn what the (repeated) questions are from your customers, vendors, sales people.
Create a list of the top 10 questions people ask over and over. Don’t be afraid to submit a survey (short), and potentially offer a prize or special video to the group. Share the results with your (email) list.
From all that, create another 10 questions that are either complimentary, or is an opposite view – ie., things that they SHOULD have asked about your business or product. You’ll have 20 killer questions and opportunities to create headlines and recycled (repurposed) content for submissions and articles.
Hire (cheap) help.
If you have very little time to do this yourself, hire an intern to get lists compiled. Make it a fun project, and how everybody will get a “credit” when it goes live on the social media wires.
And, don’t make this a one time event.
Continue digging into employee’s existing (company) data and existing lists, as mentioned above (with their permission). And, ask via email – “what 10 questions do you get asked weekly”? Yes, compile lists, lists, lists! (exclamation point, nuff said).
Communication is a basic human need. Your information and content forms the core of this online, and everything emanates from it.
Repurpose and Reuse.
Now, try to create different descriptions of each item, of different lengths, for various use. For example, you may have a short description for a white paper of 30 words, 60 words, 100 words and 150 words. This can be used in submissions and can easily be re-purposed and updated to make them more unique. You may have 3-5 different versions of each of those. Again, simple works, and an intern can do it. Avoid spinning and article spinning – it works only short-term. Use quotes and references from others, don’t be afraid to link out and give others accolades for work already done.
From this core work, collaborate with your marketing team (if it’s only you, it’s easy) to create materials that can be used for specific promotional, newsworthy, educational campaigns. Do you have enough materials to create a specialized whitepaper (often found in B2B markets), where contributors make up the content? That may be something you send out via your email list, and make available via download, which can also be “re-tweeted”, and “liked”, and “+’ed”. (Google)
Try to create different formats – from text, video to audio.
And, decide on how personal you want to be. This deals with different communication styles, and branding opportunities. You need to (as always) research your audience, and find out what they expect. However, in our new social world, a faceless organization will not win.
You may decide to start an entirely new site that provides a lot of information, and your main (corporate) site is listed as “powered by…” in the footer, trying not to be overly promotional, for example.
Here is the top 10 list of places and recycling existing content using the strategies above. These are not in order of importance.
Apply updating/re-writing rules as described above.
1. Write a press release
Re-write the Title, sub-header, intro paragraph and resources box for each submission.
2. Write a blog post (you have a blog, right?)
Write blog posts, daily, weekly. Include keywords and benefit driven headlines. Reach out to fellow bloggers, join their community and share, share, share.
3. Write an article
Research article directories for your market. (Note: no spam here. Google recently slapped some of the bigger article sites)
4. Write a forum post (or respond first – before posting exclusively)
Join a related forum, and submit questions and create connections before mentioning what you do.
5. Submit to bookmarking sites – with content from your blog
Don’t spam with keywords. Try 1-3 keywords that support the content. Please note: You should include and bookmark others as well. And, if you have a great video – bookmark that. It doesn’t have to always be your (money) corporate site. A natural distribution and syndication of materials work best.
6. YouTube it
Use the updating principles above (TITLEs, Descriptions, tags) and submit. Use HeySpread and TubeMogul, including manual submits to other video sites as well. (recommended: manual submits). Make sure you set up a youtube channel, even if you only have 1 video right now.
7. Facebook it
Make sure you have social buttons and embeds on your blog and website. Enhance this by visiting daily your Facebook news feed where you post updates and interact. If you can write 80% about “them”, and 20% about yourself, you are #winning! Pictures, videos are the highest engagement tools you can use on Facebook.
8. LinkedIn it
B2B companies must have a presence here. Use tools to interlink Twitter (below) to help with cross-promotional posting. www.linkedin.com
9. Twitter It
Leverage a popular networking tool to get your message out there. Change up the titles, get inventive with action/benefit driven headlines to solicit action and re-tweets. Use # (hash-tags) often. www.twitter.com
10. Offline it.
Yes, you read that right! If you have some great content to share (flagship content, evergreen content), rent a list (from a list broker) and send out a postcard about your content, whitepaper, event, prize, quizz. And, don’t make it too flashy. Simple works. How much “corporate hype” material do you send? Make it friendly, accessible and useful.
Track everything you do via your web analytics, and tools like SocialMention, Hootsuite and Google Alerts will help you stay on top of it all.
Are you ready? Pick one thing, and start today! 🙂
Don’t expect one thing to change your world, but the steady application of these things across weeks and months will make a (huge) difference to help your community, connect and create more natural inbound leads and traffic.