In my NJ Tech Weekly article, Portray Your Thought Leadership With a Data Sheet, I discuss using a consistent email data sheet/newsletter to showcase your expertise as a technology organization. Today, we’re talking content: how to fill your newsletter and social posts with timely, interesting information that your readers really want.
According to Adobe, organizations see a 28% increase in audience engagement when they deliver both 3rd party industry content as well as their own. In other words, it’s important to mix up the type of content you’re offering your readers.
So how can you generate articles that your target audience not only read, but also use as a guide? When you establish yourself as a thought leader, you build credibility in the eyes of your audience—and credibility leads to trust, which ultimately leads to selling relationships. At the end of the day, isn’t that your ultimate objective?
Sometimes that means creating your own content, other times it means using it from other industry-leading sources. Here are five tips on finding and creating great content:
1. Know Your Audience: Think exactly about to whom it is you’re communicating. If it is a small, niche group, then direct your content to their specific needs and tastes. It’s better to have depth of content that serves a specific audience than shallow content that tries to serve everyone.
2. Assign a Content Curator: Anyone can push out content. But is it good content? The fact is, in order to ensure the content you’re putting out there is of any worth, someone needs to be in charge of sorting and sifting through information that offers relevance and value. This cannot be automated – and it’s critical to any successful content strategy.
3. Find Informative Third-Party Content: Read, read, read! Subscribe to your favorite blogs and consume all you can, then create a quick sentence or two for the ones you choose offering your take on it as well as a hyperlink. Some good places to find content include Tech Crunch, IT News Daily, IT Whitepapers and Fortune Data Sheet. You can subscribe to all of these and get the latest news feeds right in your mailbox. Stay away from major news outlets, as you don’t want to duplicate content read by the masses.
TIP: Create a list in Twitter of writers who produce content that you’d like to use—and read your feed every day.
4. Proofread: When creating new content of your own for your blog or newsletter, be sure it’s not only well written, but also grammar/spelling checked. A highly effective tool I use is Grammarly—an automated proofreader that offers a free browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. In essence, it ensures that everything you write is grammar and spelling-corrected.
5. Tap Into Your Previous Work: If you have a blog and have accumulated a substantial collection of articles, look into Storify.com. This easy web-based tool helps you collect and create an e-digest or summary of your posts and creates an online link to them, which can be included in your next newsletter or social post. See an example of a company’s blog series here.
If you concentrate on the steps above, you can fill your newsletter/social posts with content that your audience will look forward to reading. You know your customer best, so let your instincts guide you on what you believe they want to read about. Give them something worth consuming and the payoff will be new opportunities to grow your business.