What Kind of Content Should You Create?

What Kind of Content Should You Create?

The holidays are long behind us. What’s more, Punxsutawney Phil let it be known today that it’s going to be a short winter. Spring is on its way. Looks like we’re all out of excuses for failing to create valuable content. We’d better get on that. But …

What Kind of Content Should You Create?

Your focus depends on whether you are a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) concern. Fellow writers, we are solidly B2C (unless you’re writing business books). Common to both, however, is this: Writing is a business. And if you want to connect with your intended audience, you should be creating content on a regular basis and connecting with that audience in every way possible.

One part of your audience includes other writers, agents, editors, and those in various aspects of the publishing industry (it’s about the networking, people!). The other part is readers in your genre. If you’re already published — whether traditionally, indie, or self-published — you likely have some readers, and Lord knows you want more of them. If you’re in the as-yet-unpublished category, you need to start connecting with potential readers now, before you are published.

The infographic below is a terrific guideline for deciding which tactics you should be using. Whatever you do, don’t — let me repeat, do not — jump in and attempt every single one right off the bat. Pick one and learn everything you can about it. Get good at it. Become consistent with it. My recommendation is to start with a WordPress blog. There are a couple of good reasons for this:

Your WordPress blog is both a website and a blog, all in one place.

You never want your blog readers to have to wander away from the cozy confines of your delightful blog out into the cold, dark interwebz to visit your website. You don’t send the most important person in your (writing) life out to cruise the dive bars of cyberspace! They could get lost and never find their way back to you. Avoid this tragedy. Feather a comfy little nest for them to visit, have a cup of tea or a cocktail, enjoy your writing and learn more about you.

You own and control your blog and everything on it.

Your blog is the hub of your online presence. You create a blog post and — voila! — you now also have a Facebook post, a tweet, a Google+ post, a LinkedIn post, and numerous others through the miracle of cross-posting. Oh, that’s right, you’re not on those platforms yet … because I told you not to jump into the deep end before you knew how to swim. Good, I’m glad you were listening. But here’s the thing: When you do get going on those platforms, you’re going to be able to take those blog posts and cross-post them to your other places on the web … so that even if Facebook blows up your page, or LinkedIn becomes unlinked from our universe, or some other cosmic calamity causes your social media account to be lost forever, you’ve still got your blog.

Words to remember: Your blog is forever. Make it the home of everything important that you create for the web.

Start with your blog and build your online presence piece by piece.

Chances are, you’re one of the one-billion-plus people who have a Facebook profile This is a nice way to stay in touch with your old school chums and those relatives you’d rather not see beyond weddings and holidays. But for your business? You’re going to want to have a Facebook page. That differs from a Facebook profile in several significant ways, which we will go into in a future blog post.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and all the rest? Each has its own merits. Yup, sounds like another blog post coming on.

To make sure you don’t miss these and other posts that can help you be a better self-marketer, be sure to subscribe to receive notifications of future blog posts by using the box at the top of the right-hand column.

INFOGRAPHIC - What Content Types Should You Create

Brand Your Business Like Coca Cola

Coca ColaI can hear you all the way over here. “Linda, how is MY business like Coca Cola??”

I assure you, I am not crazy. Well, maybe a little, but only after too much caffeine.

See, here’s the deal. You go to a ballgame, every kid is sipping from a cup emblazoned with the Coca Cola logo.

Your favorite sitcom? There’s a can of Coke sitting on the kitchen counter.

Super Bowl? Yup. There’s a $4 million dollar Coke ad – or two.

Why? Isn’t Coke known throughout the world? Hasn’t “Coke” become the generic term for “fizzy cola beverage” – much the way “Xerox” has come to mean “photocopy” and “Kleenex” is understood as “tissue”?

The answer is yes, yes, and yes.

So tell me again, Linda, how MY business is like Coke… (more…)

Online Reputation Management

Online Reputation ManagementOne of my favorite quotes about online reputation management is by Tyler Tervooren: “Even if you opt out of participating in the digital world, your online identity still exists in parallel; you’re just not in charge of it.” Basically, it comes down to this: Refusing to acknowledge that people are talking about you does not make that talk go away. And if that talk is negative or inaccurate or untruthful, you have, essentially, decided to allow others to decide who you are and what your brand represents.

Whether due to time constraints, or not knowing enough about how online marketing differs from traditional media, or an inability to keep up with the ever-changing world of online marketing – monitoring online channels is not something the average business professional can reliably do on their own. Many try, only to find sooner rather than later that neither they nor their staff have the time and expertise necessary to develop the Know-Like-Trust factor that leads fans, followers and other online connections to be converted into buyers.

Understanding those challenges is what led me to transform my own business from a general sales and marketing consulting firm to one focused exclusively on branding through social media, online, and email marketing.

Managing Your Online Reputation

There are two equally bad responses to negative online feedback: (more…)

Branding is Dead; Long Live Branding.

Branding is Dead; Long Live BrandingI recently came across a couple of online articles touting the demise of branding, which prompted this post. The title, of course, is a play on the traditional proclamation made upon the death of a monarch to announce the ascension of the heir to the throne. So … is branding dead??

A recent LinkedIn survey revealed that 37% of small to medium sized businesses still view the company logo as the main focus of the company brand. And 32% see branding as relevant only to large businesses. Wow.

With such a narrow view of branding, it’s understandable that roughly one-third of small and medium sized businesses might think branding is dead. (more…)

The Gold(man Sachs) Standard

Goldman SachsAs a marketing and branding professional, I have been watching with strange fascination as the story unfolds about Goldman Sachs Executive Director Greg Smith’s very public resignation letter, which appeared today on the op-ed page of the New York Times.

The response by CEO Lloyd Blankfein and COO Gary Cohn – in an email to the firm’s 30,000 employees – is, to me, predictably “1984”-esque.

For me, the salient point was made near the end of Mr. Smith’s resignation letter: “Make the client the focal point of your business again.”

Amen.

And we’ll be watching.