Content is the Killer App

Nearly everyone can boast a presence on the main social media channels – Twitter, Facebook and Google+. But it won’t take long to work out where the action is – creating remarkable content. And not content for the sake of it, but the sort of content that people want to read, view or listen to, and engage with.

I recognise that there are lots of stock phrases in these first few lines, but the point that I am driving at is creating content that earns you a following.

It isn’t easy.

In fact, it’s the hardest thing in the world to keep going absent zero engagement, no feedback and a production capability that is, at best, do-it-yourself.

Let me make this very clear. If you don’t have a clue about content then let go of your desire to embrace all the social media platforms. All you are doing is making a noise which will, in time, earn you no following but instead a lot of cynical people.

Go back to basics:

  1. What do you do better than anyone else?
  2. Are you clear about your message on and offline?
  3. Do you have internal buy in?
  4. If not, how can you engineer a situation where your ‘content wizards’ come from within the business?
  5. Work out what excites your audience and go about fulfilling that need better than anyone else.
  6. Think years… not weeks or months.
  7. Don’t try to sell too early. If all you do is go from the content to the pitch then any genuine attempt at developing a following will be lost.
  8. Make a ruckus by all means, but not for the sake of it. Make sure you have something to back it up.
  9. Spend some money. The best content won’t come about by relying on user generated content.
  10. Make sure you manage things beyond just dreaming up content on the fly. Where is your production/editorial calendar?

I will keep banging this drum for the simple fact that right now it is the one and only differentiator. You cannot rely early upon adoption of new social media tools to win work or develop your brand.

Think content first, second and third. Indeed, it’s where I’m finding an increasing business need as people recognise a lacuna in their online efforts absent something more than the odd Tweet or post to Facebook.

Finally, stop proselytising about your unique selling proposition (USP) and missing the mark. If you get the content equation right then the rest will look after itself.

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