By Todd LaRoche (@ToddLaRoche)
Interactions take place online more so now than ever before. Even if youre not expanding your Web site strategy or participating in social media, chances are your competitors are; theyre blogging, sending electronic newsletters, tweeting, and posting to their Facebook account and LinkedIn groups. With everyone vying for the attention of potential customers, how can you make your content king and stand out from the crowd?
Have a solid strategy A key mistake many companies make is not taking the time upfront to develop a content strategy. This should encompass a clear vision for your blog or newsletter such as what topic youll cover and then having the substance to support it. Its also imperative to have a strategy for supporting key messages on other mediums. In other words, dont create content in a silo. Engage customers on social networks, but dont expect too much too soon. Relationships take time to develop so its important you demonstrate value and relevance.
Tell a story The Elements of Persuasion espouses the idea that stories are facts wrapped in emotion. While facts may be hard to remember, stories are usually easier to recall. Tell a story rather than reporting just the facts across the variety of mediums where you participate. Enable consumers to shape the story by participating in the conversation and encourage them to share their story with their network.
Share good stuff – Popular social media strategist Jason Falls recently tweeted “Google says author authority (even in Tweets) is a factor in SEO. Building authority or influence results from connections. That means sharing relevant content on social networks as well as linking to others work in your blogs. Doing this builds both an individuals influence as well as that of their blog.
Be your authentic self Transparency is essential in todays always-on world, but too much of anything isnt necessarily a good thing. Open and honest communication is critical; but your readers dont need to know everything. Tease their interest by doling out content that keeps them coming back for more and recognize what information isnt necessary to share. Thats not saying secrecy should be your operating philosophy, but rather knowing what to keep private and what to reveal. Whatever communication you do put forth, whether thats through Twitter, a corporate blog or through comments on someone elses blog, should be authentic. Theres no room for “fake it until you make it in social media and other published content.
Trying to be something youre not will surely backfire, so make sure your thoughts align with your actions.