Does your current content marketing strategy mention generosity? It probably should. Here’s why.
Social media forever changed the online marketing landscape, and while B2B content marketers are often prolific in posting to platforms like LinkedIn and Google+, relatively few seem to gain a great deal from that environment. What stands out about those who do, is that they’re generous.
Take LinkedIn groups for example. What you’ll notice in many business related groups is that there are plenty of posts, but little or no interaction. The posters often don’t seem to do anything but post. Some do jump in to “contribute” when someone else posts, but instead of making a meaningful contribution, they shamelessly try to re-direct the conversation towards their own services. Those who do endeavour to start conversations about interesting topics are often left hanging – because nobody bothers to contribute. I’ve come to the conclusion that successful content marketing comes down to being generous.
There are at least 4 ways to do this with your content marketing and social media interactions.
Create content that gives
Gives what you ask? Most often it will be information. With a huge amount of information so readily accessible online, we often open an article only to find that we’ve heard or read all of the content before. Or that the article that promised to tell us something valuable is too general and vague to add to our knowledge at all. Give away information that is specific and useful. Or as Ruchi Pardal put it recently in a post of the Search Engine Journal blog, stop producing BS!
Many fear that doing this will cost them business – the truth is that being genuinely helpful is one of the best ways to showcase your expertise, and it can help others to develop trust in your services.
If you don’t know much about content marketing and content creation, you’ll find a very useful eBook series available for free at Copyblogger. The series covers everything from research and content creation through to promotion.
Share good content written by others
This can be one of the best ways to increase likes and followers, but people often see only that it directs the readers’ attention to someone else’s content. If you consistently provide people with high quality information, regardless of the source, chances are they’ll appreciate it or even begin to see you as an excellent source of useful information. There’s no need to send people to your direct competitors – there is likely to be an abundance of information on non-competing sites that your readers would find useful.
Give credit where credit is due
There are three aspects to this. The first is simply acknowledging the source of great ideas or good information when you create content. The second is letting people know when they post something you find useful. Reward their efforts – like it, make a comment, or contribute to the discussion. And when someone shares your content, say thanks or give them a like.
Hold a conversation not a monologue
Social media is a personal communication environment. The appropriate means of communication is conversation. Imagine if you will, going to a party where instead of talking, guests simply handed out articles in an attempt to get others to like them, and reading the articles of others was optional. It would hardly be effective networking. Of course, a few generous individuals might do a little reading, begin to ask questions or express their own thoughts – and the few that opted for meaningful two-way conversation might actually form relationships. And those relationships might lead to sales or referrals.
When it comes to content marketing, success may be as simple as developing a generous attitude. Publish excellent content, engage generously with others, share or like the good content others have published, and make a contribution when you come across an interesting discussion.