Content. Inbound. Custom media. Brand Journalism.
These and other similar phrases abound in digital marketing today. Overall these terms refer to a strategy of creating and sharing content in order to acquire, educate, engage, and retain customers. Content wears a variety of outfits such as whitepapers, podcasts, videos, infographics, and photos.
If you’re going to compete today, you need to be doing content. Why? Because big companies are doing content. Because small companies are doing content. And, because your competitors are doing content. (Sorry, it’s true.) As a matter of fact, according to a recent study, More than 82% of B2B marketers are increasing their content production over the next 12 months. The same study goes on to point out that most content is managed in-house as opposed to being outsourced.
How a time-strapped promo business can deliver content
Use the digital cornerstone of content: a blog.
But, what about Twitter? But, what about Facebook? But what about Pinterest?
Yes, yes, and yes. Those are all great properties to have in your digital and content arsenal, but I want you to tie everything back to your blog because:
- You control the information.
- It is permanent.
- Your posts don’t cascade out of view within seconds.
- Relevant material brings people to your site for the long haul, through search.
But, I’m running a business, I don’t have time to blog
I know that you don’t have the time and resources to churn out epic pieces of journalism every week, that’s why I’m going to give you 3 simple tactics you can use to create the majority of your content.
Curation is the process of going out and discovering information from external sources then wrapping it up and presenting it to your audience. And nowadays it is a big, big creation strategy for bloggers and content marketers.
Photos, trends, and seasonal product features are categories that lend themselves well to curation. For example, you could create a gallery of your recommended holiday products or string together the history of a trend to show how it evolved.
If you’re going to curate posts, you should know some basic terms like Via and Hat Tip. Check out the Curators’s Code website to read about the best practices surrounding curation. If you don’t follow the code, you run the risk of plagiarism or getting called out publicly for it. (To see how that can play out, read this post on commonsku.) If annotating is good enough for companies like Fast Company, it’s good enough for you and me.
For an example of a website that does curation particularly well, check out Trendland.
For a commentary post, take a look at notable news or a story and then give an opinion on it. Structure it so that you give an introduction to the news story, add some commentary of your own, and maybe include a quote. Then finish with a summation.
You’re probably already talking or thinking about these stories anyway, so all you need to do is transfer those thoughts into your blog. Again, remember to give credit where credit is due if you’re going to be quoting from another source. I bet you have at least a few commentary posts already started and masquerading as email.
I suppose you could say that a list post is similar to a curation post, but executed differently. In a curation post, your reader shouldn’t really have to leave the page because you’ve already done the work for them by gathering everything in one place.
List posts however, work kind of like the card catalog at your local library. They are meant to be a starting out guide to help people who want to delve deeper into a subject matter. For a quintessential list post, check out this one from Huffington Post.
Posting curation, commentary, and list posts regularly will build a solid foundation for your blog. If you put in an hour of work every week focusing on these types of content, you should be able to put up 1-4 pieces.
And, hey, if you don’t have that hour, I know great order management software that will reclaim it for you.