You are what you share: How to boost your business’ reach with content

Five reasons why compelling content is essential for your start-up brand

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, YouTube and other social media marketing channels all present you with opportunities to share your content and get your business messages across. However, now more than ever, what you share has never been more important. These channels have the potential to be far-reaching, extending beyond your usual ‘databases’, and they present opportunities for advocacy.

If people love what they’ve read, seen or heard, they can share the content on their networks too, helping a wide audience get to know your brand, like you, trust you, share your messages and ultimately even do business with you. And, of course, this isn’t an onerous task; it’s simply a case of hitting a button – like, share or retweet.

Given how potentially far-reaching the social media platforms can be, you need to ensure that you are not wasting the opportunity these channels provide by talking about the cheese sandwich you’ve just eaten. (Unless, of course, you’re Pret A Manger and it’s a tactic you’ve employed to showcase a new product!)

Businesses of all shapes and sizes need to get their ‘content house’ in order.

Ask yourself . . .

  • Have you got a strategy for regularly creating fresh and acceptable content that meets specific business objectives?
  • Have you got a blog that you regularly update for your business?
  • Do you regularly create videos for your business – how-to videos, sharing FAQs, customer testimonials, new product and service features?
  • Have you got any research information that others would be inter¬ested in? Could it be turned into an ebook and provide potential for data capture?
  • Are you a leading authority in a specific area? Can you create ‘white papers’ or industry reports?
  • Do you have interesting infographics that capture a subject perfectly?

Content is all around you, from your websites to service standards, internal training, product demos, new products, etc., so you need to ensure that you have a mechanism for collating the content in your busi¬ness so that you can leverage it effectively.

Reasons why content is king

Fresh and compelling content is key for a number of reasons.

1. It helps you get found online

Regular, fresh content is great for SEO (search engine optimisation) purposes. The more fresh and relevant content you provide, the more the search ‘spiders’ (so named because of ‘the web’) know that they can come to you and they will find updated, keyword-enabled content.

2. It keeps your online presence fresh

Do you have any old news articles on your site? What’s the date of your latest blog post – January 2011? Or even 2010? If so, how does that look to those reading your blog or visiting your website? Keeping your content fresh shares a really positive message about your business. And in an age where people search out products and services online and make decisions in just a few seconds, it’s important that you appear up to date.

3. It grows trust and authority

The content you create gives you something credible to shout about. If you regularly share relevant and compelling content, you will grow a positive reputation. If you regularly share a load of spam links and promotional guff, ask yourself just how engaging or compelling that appears.

4. It grows brand awareness and reach

As we mentioned, social media marketing channels can be far reaching – you just don’t know where your content will end up and who will end up reading it. It may get picked up and shared in a very ‘viral’ way, growing awareness in ways that traditional media simply can’t compete with.

5. It showcases the expertise and personality of the business

Whether you are formally leveraging content in this way for thought leadership, or want to show a more human side of the business, what you communicate to the outside world creates an impression.

Of course, if you have a content strategy in place, there’s also the opportunity of safeguarding what others are saying in your business. You can clearly set boundaries as to what is and what is not shared. Content is best when it’s authentic and transparent. However, you certainly don’t want to be sharing content that is potentially damaging to your brand!

The Business of Being Social, published by Crimson Publishing, is available to buy now.

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