Creating original content is imperative to building audience, growing reputation and earning an authoritative voice in your marketplace.
To be effective, it is essential that you focus on creating content that is informative, educational, adds value, and speaks to the specific needs and interests of your audience. You must also ensure that the content is discoverable by your audience, meaning that it is able to be found in context of the consumer's own behavior (right device/channel/time).
Focus on creating content that provides value without a goal of reciprocity.
Content Creation Exercise
Brainwrite responses for five minutes to each of the below questions. Following this exercise, organize your responses into topical areas, de-dupe or aggregate any overlap, and prioritize your responses. This serves as the topics for your content calendar for upcoming LinkedIn posts and blogs.
What terms of industry do my clients and prospects not understand?
What questions have my customers and prospects asked me in the past six months?
What do my customers need to do to be successful? What are they not doing today?
What has changed in the last 6-12 months in my industry? What do I anticipate will change in the next 6-12 months?
As you begin to write, spend the time needed to ensure you have SMART content, meaning that it is:
“Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.” Milton Hershey
When developing your blog, think about its readability. Is it easily snack-able for your reader? Consider leveraging the following tactics to assist your reader and increase consumption of your content:
Create a captivating title
Define a general format that allows you to scale your research and content creation process (for example, intro-statistics-take aways)
Leverage bold and italics to break up sections and emphasize key points or the bottom line
Utilize bulleted or numbered lists to assist distill points
Interject expressions, statistics and a closing summary to improve readability of your content
Incorporate compelling imagery, video, SlideShare presentations and other content like infographics
“Be specific enough to be believable and universal enough to be relevant." Ann Handley
The right to engage with a prospect or network connection is earned, not automatic once a connection is made or an initial interaction occurs.
Create a content calendar that is driven by listening to your prospects and customers' needs, not what you think they need to hear.
Experiment with the format and placement of your content until you get it right and find your audience - then amplify your activity and stay true to your audience's needs and goals.