What is content and why do I need creating content?
Open a browser and start browsing the web.
Everything you see is content. Everything that makes the web such a great place is… you guessed it: Content. Content is what makes the internet the internet. Content is the currency that rules the internet.
This post doesn’t intend to show you how to drive traffic via social media. But to drive traffic, you need to know where to drive that traffic to. You need content marketing to get clicks on content.
There are many different forms of content, and they are all connected:
- Blog posts
- White papers and ebooks
- Corporate websites
Sometimes, the differentiation between what is content and what is not content, or just a link to content is not clear. Are tweets content? Are Facebook posts content? What if you are posting a link on Facebook? Is that content?
Well, it depends – is the intention only to link to a piece of content? Then the post is just a link or a distribution tool. But there are people, like Robert Scoble, who use their Facebook presence more like a blog and write lengthy, informative posts directly on Facebook. That is undeniably content.
There are also Twitter accounts that post quotes by famous people – that is also content.
Content makes the web – if you want a piece of the traffic pie, you need content as well.
The easiest form of creating content – start a blog
If you don’t have a blog yet – go get one. There are many different options these days.
Blog posts are relevant for every niche. They can be created fast. They can contain links, images, embed Youtube videos. And everyone can get better at blogging, all you need is practice and an open eye for the stuff that others blog.
Because blog posts can be created relatively fast, you can create a lot more of them then you would ever be able to with other forms of content (try creating videos).
They can also be used very well in social media: Post them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and G+. Also, post them again – especially on Twitter. If they drew traffic the first time, then they will drive traffic a second time.
But: you still need to think about what you should write, and you always need to work on improving your style of writing.
Here are a few tips on how to improve your writing and how to easily continue creating content regularly:
Imitate: Read what others are writing, decide whether you like it and if you do (and only then), write something similar. Also a good way to counter writer’s block.
Repurpose: Remember that explanation email you wrote to explain your brother/sister/fiancee about your business and why it is going to be a success? Read it again, rewrite a few things and publish as a blog post.
Short form: Your business is about cupcakes and how to bake them? Well, embed an image of a beautiful cupcake into a post every week, call it “Monday Cupcake Love” and write one sentence about it. You just started a weekly editorial… well, kind of.
Answer: You found a blog post by an influencer that you strongly disagree with? Write your own about the topic, and answer him/her directly! Good way to get into the discussion. Make sure to link in their comment sections and mention them when tweeting.
Repost: This one will come as a surprise to many hardcore SEOs: You can repost the same content on different outlets. If you have social media and business related content, you can try publishing on Business2Community or SocialMediaToday, you can also post it on Tumblr or others.
These are just tips to get you started – if you needed that. You should also start working on your style. With practice, you will develop your voice.
Other forms of content
Social media is a visual as well as a text-based medium, but not all of us are artists or graphic designers. If you are, good for you. If you are not, you are still going to need the occasional visual piece for your social media presence.
Don’t worry, though – there are ways around becoming a photoshop expert.
The first one is again: Content curation. While you have to create some content yourself, it is possible to curate all of the visual content you post.
Why is that?
Because most of the time this content is more necessary to create interactions and up your social rankings and standing. It is possible to drive traffic through images and videos – but there is no need to have them to drive traffic. That is why the (not to be underestimated) network Pinterest is based almost entirely on content curation (in the form of images).
But, even if you decide, that you need your own image content – don’t despair. There are a handful of web tools that allow you to create images that look… decent enough for social media.
What do I do with all that content?
Well that is easy – you post them on your social networks. But: Don’t just post it once. On Twitter for instance, you can repeat every post as long as it is relevant. If you wrote a post about how happy you are that Kim Kardashian got married – well that post is not going to be relevant anymore after a week.
But your awesome cupcake recipe? That stays relevant forever.
On other social networks you have to be a bit more careful – especially on Facebook. If you post the same stuff every day, Facebook’s algorithm will determine that the post has been published before and will stop showing it to your fans. Nevertheless, it is ok to repost stuff from time to time, even on Facebook.
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