Keeping up with the latest, greatest killer app can make your head spin.
Google launches Google+ to go after Facebook. Facebook rolls out Branch Out to go after LinkedIn. As soon as you get comfortable with one of them, someone rolls out something else that supposed to be even greater.
So who is right? Which one should you be using?
Those are good questions, but not necessarily the best questions. These platforms all have their strengths and all will help you spread your company’s message. But they are just that: tools.
The important thing to remember is that no matter how great the tools, if you don’t have something interesting to say, your customers and prospects aren’t going to listen. The content is critical.
So what is content? Fortunately, the palette here is pretty broad, especially within the context of Inbound Marketing. Content is the information you share about your business and how it operates. It’s the information on your Web page, a case study, a downloadable tip sheet, a blog post or even a quick “tweet” about something new at your company.
Content is the building block of your relationship with customers and prospects.
Perhaps the most important exercise you can go through is taking a few minutes to think about those relationships. Who are you trying to reach? What information would be valuable to them? Try to put yourself in their role: what information do you need to see to become a prospect or customer?
This is an important exercise. Once you know the content, then you can make decisions on the best way to get it out there, whether that’s via your Web site or a blog or perhaps using social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
When you are ready to create your content, here are some simple guidelines:
- Think about the intended audience. Make sure the message matches the intended target.
- Keep it simple and consistent. (In the case of Twitter, short, 140 characters or less)
- Have a personality but don’t speak in jargon. Make it easy to understand.
- Use the interactive features of social media to generate interest. Have fans and encourage them to like your stuff.
- Tell a story.
That last one is important. Make sure to tell them your story.