Achieving success in the social selling world directly correlates to one thing above everything else: ENGAGEMENT.
As social sellers, we constantly seek to engage our buyers by providing them valuable information on an ongoing basis. In order to do this, we must have an ample amount of relevant content to share with our networks.
In content marketing, there are two main ways of gathering valuable content to share with your network; content creation and content curation.
Both are very important in an optimal content strategy mix but this post is going to solely focus on the steps you need to take to CREATE valuable content for your business network.
How to create valuable content
1. Research Problems
In order to create valuable content for your buyers you must first understand the problems that exist in their world. The goal is to get yourself into your buyers’ headspace and then write your content to align with the keywords that they would search on Google to find solutions to their problems. Preliminary research can be done in a number of ways to uncover these keywords and problems that will become the topic focuses of your posts.
- Check out their activity on LinkedIn: Often if someone has an issue or question, they will reach out to their community to find answers. You can search their recent activity on LinkedIn by visiting their profile, hovering over the small arrow to the left of their # of Connections and clicking “View recent activity.” This will give you some insight into any questions they’re posting and their activity in LinkedIn Groups.
- Check out their activity on Twitter: Very similarly to LinkedIn, people often reach out to their Twitter communities to find answers to their problems. Check out their feeds for some insights into these conversations.
- Use Google Alerts: These alerts are super easy to setup and they will notify you of important info around your buyers’ activity. I’d recommend setting up a series of keyword searches that will return info on mentions of your buyers companies as well as the keyword searches they’re interested in. Visit Google Alerts to setup your own alerts.
2. Make a list of challenges
This second step is fairly easy. Once you have researched your buyers, make a list of problem centric topics that you will be writing about. It is important to create this list so you can refer back to it when you need a new topic for a post.
3. Become an expert
Becoming an expert on issues that relate to your buyers’ world will ensure that you are well-equipped to provide them with value. Ideally, you want to become an industry thought leader that your buyers naturally gravitate towards during their buying journey. Simple Google searches around the problem centric topics in your list will return lots of information for you to read up on.
4. Write answers to challenges
This may seem self-explanatory but writing content is the most important step of the process. Don’t be a perfectionist. Create the content and get it out there for your community quickly. Quality is obviously important but not as important as frequency so don’t spend hours and hours editing your posts. Try to keep most of your posts between 300 – 600 words.
5. Post your content
Now that you’ve created content, it is important to post it places where your buyers will find it. LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ are ideal locations for content. Creating a company blog page on your website, if you don’t already have one, is also very important because it’s very good for SEO and you can add calls-to-action at the end. Using social media management tools like Hootsuite will help you save time by blasting your content to multiple locations at once.
6. Be consistent
Block off an hour each week to dedicate to content creation and stick to it. Consistency is difficult but it’s the only way that your content will start generating you lots of leads. For more info on creating a content schedule, see our blog post on How to Increase your Inbound Leads & Web Traffic by 200%.
I’ll be sure to follow up this post with another one on content curation to help you understand the entire content marketing mix. In the meantime, start writing content like a mad man and use the link below to schedule a call with me if you have any questions.