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14 Tips To Source and Create Great Content For Social Media

content 1A question I often hear is how do you create great unique content?  What most people and companies don’t realise is that they have great content it just happens to be offline in Silos, files on computers that are waiting to be repurposed for online. It can be interviews or press releases that can be edited, summarized or combined. There are presentations you have used for clients, articles you have sent to clients, information from your suppliers that is sitting on your computer, there are training videos that could be edited for YouTube, videos taken at conferences.

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The core foundation for your content should be initially a blog as part of your own website’s domain, this will help with creating links that will improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to help you “get found online”. A good part of this article is devoted to the best ways to utilize your content from outside your website. Why? Because it is the least discussed and most misunderstood aspect of content utilization. It is also the most difficult and many SEO companies just avoid it … also, because highly relevant content, properly utilized, will produce naturally occurring, highly relevant backlinks … and these backlinks, both by quality and quantity, are what makes the difference between those on page 1 and everyone else.

So there are 2 core activities to having great content: “Repurposing Existing Content” of different types and mediums and “Writing New Content”.

5 Tips For Repurposing Off-line Content To On-line Content

Lee Odden on a guest post for Social Media Today gives 5 great tips on how to take existing content and repurpose it and as he says “With the importance of content in online marketing, many businesses are hard pressed to come up with original articles, blog posts, videos, images, presentations, etc on a regular basis.  There’s a myth that once you publish something, that all who matter will see it. That’s simply not true.

 Here are 5 of many ways companies can repurpose content for marketing purposes in ways that are efficient and meet the needs of target audiences.

1. Turn Powerpoint Presentations into Articles and Blog Posts and vice versa.  Companies that leverage public speaking involving PowerPoint presentations can leverage the research and content created for the presentation as a compliment or inspiration for supporting materials such as

  • Content for a series of blog posts promoting the event for which the PowerPoint presentation was created.
  • Blog posts or articles can serve as the structure for a presentation.  
  • Microblogging content for Twitter 
  • Video for YouTube 
  • Graphical diagrams  

2. Aggregate email, phone or online interviews If there are people at your organization that give interviews often either because of being pitched in a media relations effort or simply because they have a good profile and are respected in the industry, the responses given in those interviews can be aggregated into blog and/or article content. 

3. Break up a long article you’ve had published in a notable publication into a series of blog posts. Add unique introductions and summaries to each. Depending on the arrangement you have with publications that you submit articles to, there is ample opportunity to take key concepts from a long article and turn them into several blog posts. If the article is modular, then it can easily be customized for a different industry with new examples, but the same core message.

4. Repurpose press releases and rewrite conversationally as a blog post or article, linking out to relevant resources.  It’s an interesting exercise to take a formal announcement and imagine how the same news would be explained conversationally, without marketing hype or PR speak. Do that and write it as a blog post including links to supporting articles, blog posts and resources within the post or at the end as recommended reading.

5. Revise old blog posts, updating titles, recent news references, examples and links to updated external resources.  Blogging has been around long enough that there’s a substantial amount of content that continues to offer value, but is lost in the sheer volume of blog posts.  The social web has a short attention span and if there have been substantial changes to a topic, it makes sense to revisit it and update with current supporting references. 

Repurposing content for marketing will only work if the new articles, blog posts, videos, diagrams, presentations or other media offer value and are sufficiently different by search engines so as to not be categorized as duplicate content.  There’s no question that in order to compete on today’s search marketing world, content plays a tremendous part.

So be creative get a few of the team together and brainstorm.There’s plenty of room for creativity in order to become more efficient with content marketing. 

  • Repurpose offline content for online use (ex: tradeshow videos converted to a series on YouTube) 
  • Mine sales and customer service conversations to develop online resources

As a percentage of online marketing content creation as a whole, repurposed content should probably never exceend 5% or 10% and it certainly needs to serve corporate messaging and marketing objectives. Over time, the kinds of repurposed content that yield the best results can be tracked and made part of the overall online content development and marketing process”.

9 Tips To Getting Inspired To Create Content

First to write great content you need to listen and understand your audience get to know the “personas” (courtesy of David Meerman Scott) of your target market (or markets)  you need to

  • Be passionate about the subject helps… a lot, in fact this is where you have to start… if you aren’t don’t start
  • Connect and register with the largest “relevant and “appropriate” Social communities (by the way the 5 largest are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs and LinkedIn  .  (This will give you the most leverage) If you are a band then maybe MySpace should be on the list. 
  • Listen in to the Social communities on these social media platforms. (You will get to understand the community and getting to know the persona’s of the community is important . Knowing the audience is key to creating content they’ll love.
  • Some Ideas About Writing

    1. Share: Share Real Stories about your experiences. .If you want to know more about  power of storytelling check out Copyblogger: I often find an experience that I have had that day or the week before can create an idea for a new piece of content (write it down in your diary immediately before it is forgotten)  

    2. Share Your Own Knowledge don’t keep it to yourself, the new rules of marketing are about sharing your content so how else can anyone know about your personal or companies expertise. Your experience and expertise in your field will probably be of interest to others in your social community. This might be in the form of posts on your own blog, guest articles on other sites, how to videos, photo galleries, white paper PDFs, and more. Giving away your knowledge sets you up as an authority, earns respect, and helps you develop an audience. And isn’t that one of the main reasons you’re getting into social media in the first place? Because you’re trying to develop an audience of new prospects, customers, peers, business partners, or whatever.

    3. Interview people that are seen as “Knowledge Leaders” in your industry This can be difficult initially but it gets easier as you become known. Ask your community what questions to ask and the content then basically writes itself and people love reading interviews with well known “knowledge leaders”   

    4. Run a Survey or Poll

    5. Do a Top 10 List: This is sometimes called Linkbaiting and Matt McGee from his blog post linkbait in the offline world.  Your list might be “5 Tips to Writing a Blog” or “9 Resources for Using Facebook For Business” or The Top 10 News Stories in Your Industry For the Week” .. have some fun with this.

    6. Disagree with someone on your blog post .. especially if you don’t agree and have some reasons for taking a contrary view

    7. Comment on a Study or Survey in your Industry .. especially if it is a “Brand Name” survey such as Nielsen’s (They quite often have a poor headline and the great points they make are buried in academic speak)

    8. Write a Great Headline .. To help you I have provided a link to copybloggers great post “How To Write a Magnetic Headline”   

    9. To Support your Content .. quote or link to authorites, knowledge leaders or examples where possible that lend your article authority and credibility.

    So get to know the community and the types of content they like then spend your time and passion on content development. Once you know the people and what content plays well you do more of it, it isn’t easy and takes time and patience, this is whre passion comes in, if you love it, it isn’t hard but it is a mission…should you be prepared to accept it 

    What have you done to create content for your blog, website and the social media channels that you are using to deliver your content, What’s worked for you?  

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