Content is King. We’ve been saying it for years. But, what exactly does content mean to you? Content doesn’t just mean sharing things others have created, but it isn’t limited to original content either. Knowing when to create content and when to share content is key to engaging prospects through all of your online channels and throughout the sales funnel.

Content Creation

When you create your own content, it’s yours. You own it. Everything included within that content is the opinion of your company and the varying opinions and skill sets within your organization. This directly contributes to your brand’s thought leadership. This perfect mash up of facts, opinions, and voice provides value to your prospects and as long as there is value, they will return for more.

Creating your own content drives conversions. It’s why we put such an emphasis on content creation in each of our inbound marketing strategies. Sharing this original content not only drives traffic to your site, but it can also turn prospects into leads.

When it comes to branding your company, content creation should be “me-centric”. What I mean by that is your website and blog should be solely comprised of original content. Not only will this provide visitors with proof of your expertise and thought leadership, it will boost your Google ranking.

Sharing Content

Sharing external content is tricky. Right off the bat, you may be opposed to this idea. Think about it, why would you want to be sharing content from another company and quite possibly a competitor? Let’s face it, most of us don’t have the time to write a blog or an ebook every time there’s a new development in our industry. By curating (sharing external content), you are letting prospects know that you are on top of what is happening in your industry and that your company is engaged and aware of these developments.

What is the best way to share others’ content? I like to use the social media “cocktail party” rule. When you show up to a cocktail party, no one is attracted to the guy or gal that talks about nothing but themselves. Your company’s social media presence should follow the same social etiquette. If you make it all about you, prospects will become disinterested and move on. Educate, don’t sell. Be witty and entertaining. Being sly and keeping the mantra “always be selling” is off-putting to prospects.

Content curation should be aimed at starting a conversation. Your social media presence will benefit from being informational rather than self-promotional, and being entertaining or provocative rather than boring. Treat your social presence like you would a real world social event and you’ll see an increase in engagement. I promise!

3 Tips on Creating and Sharing Content

Are you ready to commit to a new content strategy? Use these three tips to get the best results:

  1. Use your colleagues. There is no need to put this task solely on your own shoulders. Your colleagues are a wealth of knowledge in their respective disciplines, so use it to your advantage. More importantly, reach out beyond your marketing department and tap into sales.
  2. Use free resources to your advantage. News aggregators are your best friend when you are searching for content to share. These tools pull content from all over the web based on self-imputed interests, topics, industry, breaking news, etc. Try out a few and see what works best for you. Our favorites include; Alltop, Flipboard, Google Play Newsstand and LinkedIn Pulse.
  3. Do a little competitive analysis. It’s always wise to keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. Why? So you can know when to do things differently and better.

Take some of the pressure off of your content strategy. Not everything needs to be original, and you don’t need to employ a pseudo-professional news jacker. Work the resources you have and understand where your content goals need to be to stay current within your competitive landscape.

How do you currently handle content creation versus content sharing. Let us know in the comments.

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