Thursday, May 22, 2014

Be the King [10 Content Generation Resources]

Content is king in marketing, right? The marketing data analysts, direct marketers, brand marketers, market researchers, etc. may not always agree to this, but I think we can all agree that when it comes to social media, quality content is not only king, it is highly consumable.

With each person's "feed" on each social media channel moving at a constant pace, there is only a small percentage of your companies "viewers" who are going to even see your content. [At my current company, our organic Facebook page posts average just under 10% viewership of our entire following.] And of those that do actually see your content, only a percentage will be interested in what you have to say.

If you want to increase the virility of your content, you must have good, relevant, interesting content that will resonate with your following. But where do you find this content? How do you create enough content to satisfy?

For my current company, I base our content in multiple categories: industry articles, current events, local news, company updates and humorous/fun/offbeat posts. Much of the content is self-generated. But to position your company as an industry expert, you also need to find third-party articles that back the message you are trying to promote. 

If you are posting regularly to multiple social media channels, you may need 50+ content pieces per week, equaling out to thousands of pieces of information a year. For individuals, small businesses, and small marketing departments, that is a daunting task.

So, to help, here are my top ten resources I use to find quality content to post or re-post.

  1. Your Competition. Seriously. Follow your competition on every blog, social media channel and news station around. See what they are talking about. Chances are, it is relevant to you. And, even if you don't want to be the late one to the party of posting on a topic, often their content will give you ideas for new content you can generate. Plus, it's just good business to know what your competition is up to!
  2. Your Own Employees. Most marketing professionals have a pulse on every department within their companies. It is part of marketing. But, that does not mean we have visibility to everything happening.  Promoting and relying on employees to help generate content with expand your voice. From industry articles I may have missed, to customer selfies past on to me, to employee congratulations for life events, the content my company's employees send me is priceless. It puts a human voice to our corporate accounts.
  3. Industry Magazines Online...and Their E-Blasts. I have found that many of the leading industry magazines I subscribe to have not only online versions, but email digests. Yes, these can clutter your inbox. But when you are looking for the latest, greatest articles, the daily digests [with email rules to put them in a folder for later viewing], can help you grab content quickly and efficiently that is also highly relevant.
  4. "Categories" on the Major News Networks. You own a business in the financial industry? Find the finance section of the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo News, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. Sometimes, it takes a little digging within a site to get to the "top page" for whichever topic you need. Once you find it though, you are set. Bookmark those section pages. I organize my bookmarks into folders within my browser. It doesn't give me instant access, but having a folder called "News Sites - XXX Industry" helps me focus on those specific sources I need quickly. 
  5. If you want to build your relationships, this site is awesome. You must authorize Newsle to have access to your social media accounts. Although I am usually leery of this, once it does, Newsle scours the web for mentions of any of your contacts across your social media channels. It will show you articles published on the web by your contacts, mentioning your contacts, and about your contacts. There is a simple share tool within Newsle itself so you can broadcast kudos to those in your network. What a way to win brownie points with your network, and you'll never miss important spotlights!
  6. Google + Circles. Okay, we can all admit that Google + did not take the social media industry by storm. But there are tons of companies and individuals out there posting. And, with the power of Google search behind it, you can narrow in on content that is relevant to you and your company. Using the native Circles inside Google +, I have created focused feeds for myself based on the different industries and types of posts I like to use for content. Using a tool like HootSuite, you can take these Circles, and generate feed lists that help me quickly navigate the noise to the articles I need.
  7. Twitter Lists. If Google Plus has noise, Twitter is utter chaos. That is, until you create or follow lists. These "lists" allow you to only see posts from the Twitter accounts you have on that specific list. Carefully crafted lists can help you quickly scan and find the right resources in a very loud social media arena.
  8. Klout Create. Klout recently renovated their site. As part of the new Klout, there is a "Create" section. You can add topics and it pulls content based on what's freshest [Hot Off the Press], most relevant [On Target], what is trending for sharing [On the Rise], and little known posts that fall within the topics you ask for [Hidden Gem]. You can even share and schedule the content from inside Klout. Initially, I brushed this off, but with Klout sourcing everyone else on social media, they tend to get articles that I'm getting great reactions from posting.
  9. LinkedIn Pulse. It was called "LinkedIn Today", then moved to Pulse. It started with media articles, added Influencers, and now is rolling out publishing to the entire LinkedIn community. Like Twitter, I feel that Pulse is getting quite loud. However, being the professional social media channel, content is generally high quality here. I value my Pulse Daily Digest email everyday with the 7 articles I must read. And, did you know there is now an app? Having a world of articles, sorted by the topics I need, at my fingertips, in my email, and on my computer has been a wonderful plus to this social media channel.
  10. Need to find the best performing content for a topic? Or to go on a specific social media channel? Buzzsumo analyzes the content out there and gives you the ratings. You can also filter by time frame, type of post, topic, and/or domain. Fairly new, you can also find the influencers on topics. A great way to find, follow and curate content!
These are my top ten go-to's when I need to generate content. I don't make it to every source every day, but if I am sitting down to generate content for a few days, these are the first places I check. What about you? What are your most valuable content generation tools?

Oh, and as an aside, as I researched for this post, I came across this article. It is a great list of 130+ different kinds of marketing. Being a marketer for small business, I have to wear many hats...seeing how many hats there are was highly entertaining to me [so I thought it might be to you too!].


Image created by Lindsey Garrett. 
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