Courting Customers: A Tale of Content, The King & The Courtiers

Content may be king, but the courtiers are the key to scaling your content machine.

Don’t have enough resources or enough time? This thinking applies as much to life as to content marketing.

There will always be a demand for more content, but what makes your content share-worthy?

Sharing is as much a way to break through as it is a way to be the noise.

Content may be King, but the courtiers hold the keys to the kingdom.

If you want people to share your ideas, you need them to care and you need to get them involved. You need to make your story and their story the same.

Scaling your content machine comes from involving more people emotionally in your success.

Collaboration, crowdsourcing and connection can all help you build a content machine that will cultivate community and extend your reach.

Not joining in and not sharing are ways to get forgotten. Silence is no defence in a content war.

The explosion of content marketing is a dilemma for just about every business. If you don’t contribute you not being found. You risk not getting involved in the conversations that lead to people choosing your competition.

So how do you survive? How do you cope? How do you make your existing resources work harder? How do you make your content last longer and reach further?

Today, very few people think about the lifecycle of content. If you create content and tell a story that can evolve over time then you can significantly improve your search rankings. You also let yourself return to tell the next evolution of your story and refresh your old content, thereby extending its useful life.

Think about your story. How can it be told through the eyes of your customers? Your story means so much more to customers when it’s told through the eyes and voices of their peers.

Think about your buyers. Think about their buying lifecycle. What do they need and when? Think about writing content that answers the questions they need answering at all the different stages in their buying cycle.

You probably have more content creators, more content and more answers inside your extended organization than you are currently considering.

Is this Crowdsourcing?

People often miss the real value of crowdsourcing. Many think crowdsourcing is about lowering your cost of production, but the real value is to escalate the emotional commitment of your contributors – the crowd.

In the case of content creation, that means you get curators who care. When people see their ideas credited and shared, then they will share your content with a deeper passion, which simply adds to the weight of your story. We live in an age of social proof.

Every organization has people that speak to customers on a daily basis, but are you capturing what they say? Are your reusing their answers to extend your content marketing resources?

Are you tracking the most common questions?

Getting more people emotionally involved is a great way to scale your content machine – that applies both inside and outside your enterprise.

  • When you think about it, there are more people that care and can contribute to your story.
  • Who can help you inside your company?
  • Who can help you inside your extended supply chain?
  • Who can help you in your distribution channels?
  • How are you involving your customers to share their story and their experiences?

By letting your audience help, you can scale your content machine, deepen the emotional commitment and grow the social proof behind your brand.

Is this Creation or Curation?

Many people get scared by the act of content creation. A blank page is scary. Working alone is scary. The current trend for social curation is about getting more people involved in the process of “creation”. The meaning of “creation” and “curation” are changing slowly over time. In one sense they sit at opposite ends of a continuum.

The debate on creation vs curation will continue to rage. What does this mean to you? Creation is hard, but curation is simply more accessible. More people can contribute and your can utilize more existing resources. Curation is like assembling a jigsaw.

You can not only reuse existing content, you can also repurpose existing work. By taking conversations and answers to questions, you can get more from your existing broader community.

You can turn answers to questions into text content. You can turn blog posts into podcasts. You can record and repurpose conversations in the form of short form video clips. You can reuse this information in ebooks and newsletters.

Something to think about

Are you reusing the best of the web? Are you adding opinion and insights? Are you willing and ready to stand on the shoulders of giants?

So what are you going to do differently? How big is your team today? Do you have a bigger virtual team? Who are you going to ask for help? How will you grow your team of willing contributors?

Do you find curation less scary than creation?

What’s stopping your content machine from scaling?

Nick Kellet

Nick Kellet is a Community Builder, Collaborator, Startup Addict & Idea Machine. He is co-founder of Listly, the only social curation tool to tap into people’s love of lists. Listly is to lists, what YouTube is for videos. Once a list is created, people can engage, contribute and find your interactive content both on Listly or embedded in blog posts. He has been a long-time innovator. In the business intelligence space, he created a visual segmentation tool called Set Analyzer, which was acquired by Business Objects (now SAP).

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