For as long as I can remember, the old saying “content is king” has pretty much pervaded the mindset of internet marketers. It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, a product creator, or an affiliate marketer, your success will hinge in large part on the content you create and share.
Did you catch that last part?
Your success will hinge in large part on the content you create and SHARE.
More and more, content is moving around the web at an amazing rate. People want content they can share with their friends and other members of their social networks. Entire communities are being formed now (Facebook groups, anyone?) around the sharing of content. And this, now, more so than writing material specifically to get ranked in the search engines, is what content marketing is all about. Instead of writing ads that drive people to your content, the content itself IS your advertising, and your business will stand or fall on the quality of content you share with your audience.
So what’s the big deal?
Easy… the big deal is that there are so many more outlets where you, and your customers, fans, and prospects, can share your content now. And if you’re not creating content with the sharing of it in mind, then you’re missing the boat.
Case in point, last month I participated in a Content Creation Challenge through the MyNams Insiders Club, and as a result now have content available to share not just here on my blog, but on YouTube, Ezine Articles, and SlideShare as well.
(Aside: One thing I should mention here is that by sharing I do not mean ripping off someone else’s content and “sharing” it either as your own — that’s plagiarism — or posting their content on your site and thinking it’s okay because you link back to them. That’s not okay either.)
You need to be creating content specifically with your social networks in mind. Here’s why:
1. Quantity plus quality equals trust
Usually I would say that you want quality over quantity, but when it comes to content that’s available for your audience you want both!
There’s a reason industry experts generally agree that it takes a minimum of 100 pages of quality content on a site to establish its authority. That’s because it takes time to produce 100 pages of quality content, and in that time people are reading and sharing as you create it. The more your content gets shared, the more others see it and perceive you as a trustworthy site that will still be around six months down the road.
2. Your social network will stand or fall on the quality of your content
It’s a sad truth that people are fickle. Your fans will only be your fans as long as you are giving them content they can consume. And by consume I mean like, share, and engage with. If you want your content to go viral then it needs to be good enough to be shared in the first place.
If you have a strong network that continually shares your content, it’s much easier to achieve viral success should you want to run a contest, for example.
Take, for example, something like a “Pin it to win it” contest on Pinterest. If you don’t have a network that’s already sharing and re-pinning your content, it will be very hard to get enough participation to make a contest worth running. But if, on the other hand, you are regularly providing great images for them to share and re-pin, then sharing your contest pin will be a no-brainer for them.
3. Your content builds your brand
One of the major reasons you need to pay attention to the type of content you produce is that it is the biggest single determining factor in how your brand is perceived.
It all comes back to the “know, like, and trust” factor that determines whether or not people will want to do business with you. If you are perceived of as someone who produces and shares relevant, expert content, then it becomes much easier for others to know, like, and trust you.
When you create quality content that is based on your unique experiences and life lessons, you give people the chance to get to know you. When you publish it on a consistent schedule, you give them the opportunity to trust you. Chances are when someone knows you and trusts you, the like becomes a given and you have a new customer, fan, or both. And that, in a nutshell, is the big deal about content marketing.