Originally posted on WCG’s blog on 9/30/11.
How many times have we heard that content is king? Believe it or not, probably not enough. That’s because good content is a major component in creating successful presences and connections on the social web. And with Facebook’s most recent announcement it sounds like brands will need to work even harder to gain their customers attention.
Creating Great Content
Unfortunately, many companies are not particularly well-equipped when it comes to creating content. Many are used to creating ads, collateral and e-mails. What most companies don’t realize is that the answer to many of their content needs may already exist within their four walls.
Here are three ways to think about creating content:
- Hold an internal contest to find out who can write the best blog posts. Give your employees three topics, have them write three blog posts and offer a prize (cash, parking space, recognition, gift card) for the winner(s)
- Arm someone in your marketing/PR department with a flip camera. Have them schedule weekly video or audio interviews with your product or customer service team (note – start wide by interviewing multiple members of product or customer service and then narrow the pool once you’ve find your best “speakers”)
- Create a corporate photo-sharing account on Flickr or Picasa. Let your employees submit pictures they think best-represent your culture. Designate someone in marketing/PR to curate post-upload.
Curating Other People’s (or Companies’) Content
The conundrum for most businesses is that they know they need more content yet they don’t feel like they can possibly create enough content on their own. One great way to present engaging content is to “curate” other people’s or companies’ content.
Here are five ways companies can curate third party content:
- Creating a list of relevant Twitter accounts. If you don’t know where to start, try looking up relevant key words on site Listorious.com
- Ask your customers, partners or industry influencers to guest blog for you.
- Build a list of your favorite sites, blogs, videos on a social bookmarking site like Delicious
- Follow keywords in a Twitter management tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite and then rewet relevant tweets
- Pick a favorite Slideshare deck and feature it on your website or Facebook account
Taking Advantage of Opportunities to Capture Content
One of the easiest ways to capture content is to attend live events. The rationale is that most live events like a trade show or conference feature numerous speakers and sponsors who are domain experts. Depending on how big the conference is and how popular some of the speakers/sponsors are, you might want to try and pre-arrange interviews ahead of time to ensure you get time with the right people.
To that end, here are four ways to capture content at your next live event:
- Bring a flip camera and do short video interviews. This could include speakers, sponsors or even fellow attendees. Consider asking the same 3-5 questions to each.
- Live tweet or blog the event. If you don’t have someone at your company to do this, there are many agencies and consultants that offer this service (sometimes even for the cost of a conference pass and meals)
- Take pictures and upload them to a photo sharing site or a content aggregation tool like Tumblr or Posterous
- If you or one of your employees is speaking at the event, consider posting your presentation to SlideShare
Cross-Purposing Existing Content
One of the thing companies forget is that they may already possess some content in the form of white papers, executive interviews and webcast recordings. Assuming that content is somewhat evergreen, there are a number of ways to cross-purpose that content into other formats and thus cross-post content into more social channels. Doing this can earn you better search engine optimization (SEO) and get your content in front of more eyeballs. Don’t forget to link this content together to create even better SEO juice.
Here are three ways to cross-purpose your existing content:
- If you have a white paper, consider creating an infographic out of it. Social channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + love infographics thus giving them higher amplification or pass along among your customers and prospects.
- Has one of your executives done a recent video interview on the news or for an industry outlet? Consider making a transcript of the video and adding an introduction/summary and posting it on your company blog.
- Chances are you have a set of FAQs on your website. Consider tweeting these FAQs, especially if they are more of an educational nature. You can post 2-3 a day or stretch them out over the course of a week. If you do the latter, consider using a hashtag such as #UsefulFAQs to make sure people can easily find your other tweets.
Do you have any great content tips to share? If so, please include them in the comments below. Feel free to call out companies or individuals that do a good job at creating, curating, capturing or cross-purposing content.