The photo above was taken in our back yard which opens up to a lake and open space. We had the luxury of watching the courting of two Sandhill Cranes. We have since watched them raise their young chicks. We are enlightened by how they care for the young birds, and how they share their best stuff, always.
How does this relate to business you may be asking? Well, read on and you will see it relates in many ways.
You have a blog. You have a website. You may even have a content marketing plan and marketing strategy being executed.
My question for you today is this: Are you sharing your best stuff? Are you really, really sharing your best stuff?
I am seeing more and more business leaders, brands, bloggers, educators that are holding back on sharing the goods. Some are auto tweeting links to blog posts with out dated links or tools that expired over a year ago. Come on folks. This isn't your best stuff.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to engage current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.
The purpose of this post is not to teach you everything about content marketing. Doing such would not be possible in a single blog post anyway. You can review numerous resources at the bottom of this post that will help you learn more about what content marketing is and how to leverage for business results.
The purpose of this post is to encourage you to dig deep and answer the question “am I sharing my best stuff.” I hope that you can give yourself an honest answer. If you are not sharing your best stuff, then I hope you will be encouraged to do such.
Your audience wants to:
Know something their competitors do not know
Learn how they can make a difference in their world, for their customers
Have access to the best information possible to make decisions
Here are 12 Tips To Determine if You are Sharing Your Best Stuff
1. Current. Is the content current? Bottom line if you are sharing and still promoting content that is two years old AND inaccurate, stop! Update your content and make it current to today, period.
2. Unique. Is your content unique? Does it offer something of value that is not already plastered on social media billboards, blogs and websites across the internet? Or does it offer something truly unique to you, your brand and your offering? Does it offer a unique way to solve a problem, learn a new skill or do something? What is unique about it? Are you sharing anything that offers unique value?
3. Helpful. Is the content going to help them in any regard? Are you helping them connect with others? Enlighten their thinking? Become more educated on a topic? Better their business or life in any regard?
4. Positive tone. Is your blog filled with rants and raves of all the things you hate or love? If the only time you feel inspired to blog is when something goes wrong with a brand you buy from or a bad client, then why complain about it on your business blog? Every blog post you write is leaving a brand impression with anyone who reads it. If all you do is complain, that is the brand personality you are building for your brand and yourself. Focus on providing content that is positive and enlightening. Yes, there is sometimes a need to share something negative to educate, but do it with caution and smarts. If you must blog about negative all the time, then consider starting a more personal blog to do such.
5. Purposeful. Does your content have a purpose. Is there a reason to write it, read it and learn from it? With every piece of content you should ask yourself, “what is my purpose of this content?” Does it provide value, meaningful, helpful, inspirational?
6. Solve a problem. Does the content help solve a problem or pain point your target audience has? Does it really solve the problem or does it just amplify the problem?
7. Does not include trickery. Do not trick your audience with inflated blog post titles, or never ending mazes to get to the content you advertise. If you tweet or promote in any regard a free white paper on a topic, then within a couple clicks they should be able to download the white paper. Don't make them watch a video, click thru 10 pages and then find out they need to pay you $29 to get the white paper. Have some ethics and make it easy for them to get to what it was you advertised in the first place that led them to your blog or website.
8. Quality. Is the content written in high quality? Is it accurate? Is it informative? Are there grammatical errors? Is it something you would want to read and obtain value from doing such?
9. Share secrets. The truth is the many “secrets” you may think you have are not secrets at all. Share your best possible content. Of course you need to hold some back for your clients and to protect your intellectual property and “secret sauce.” However, I challenge you to share more “secrets” than you are today. I will guarantee the benefits of doing such will out weigh the risk if you just give it a try. We share some of our best stuff daily. The same tips I blog about, distribute via worksheets and more is the same content and strategies we use with clients.
10. Invest in your readers. Bottom line you can never go wrong by investing in people. Is your content investing in the brands and people visiting your blogs, websites, and social network profiles? Are you truly investing in them?
11. Good intentions. What are your intentions? Is your only goal to increase subscribers to your email list or to sell something? Or do you have a genuine goal to inspire, educate and empower. Keep your goals and objectives focused on providing value in every word you write, and your results will be exponential.
12. Inspire – Connect – Achieve! Inspire your audiences to connect with you and your brand. Help them achieve their goals and you will achieve yours by default. When all else fails and you do not know what to write about, write content that will inspire and help your readers, audience, clients, partners and target customer solve problems. Help them better their life or business and you both win!
Quit Holding Back
Why hold back? When you hold back and save only the best parts for yourself you may miss out on the greatest customer, partner or friend of a lifetime. Share what ya' got, the good, the great and the awesome! I dare ya'!
- Worksheet: Download our POST audience analysis worksheet to help you identify and prioritize your top audiences. It is based upon the Forrester POST methodology.
- Worksheet: Download our Content Marketing Asset Inventory Worksheet
- Slideshare Presentation: 16 Content Marketing Golden Rules for Real Results
- Blog Post: 16 Golden Rules of Content Marketing
- Blog Post: 25 Content Marketing Ideas for People Who Don't Like to Write
- Blog Post: 28 Attributes of Good Content Marketing to Rock Your Social Business!
- Blog Post: Content marketing is not a new shiny object invented via social media
- Blog Post: 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing & Social Media Don't Work (Marketing Nutz)
- Blog Post: You Can't Fake Relevance in Social Media, Business & Life
- Blog Post: Is Your Content Worthy of a Like, Share, Pin, Retweet or Google +1? (includes definition of content marketing)
- Blog Post: Social Media Buzz, the False Perception of Social Media Success
- Blog Post: Are You Ignoring the Social Inspiration People Metrics?
- Blog Post: Inspiration Made Simple: Pick 3 Things
- Report/ Blog Post: Content and the new Marketing Equation (Brian Solis)
- Blog Post: The Definition of Social Business
- Website: Content Marketing Institute