Being earnest, or sincere, in your efforts to provide content to you customers is perhaps your most important task. Until recent years, your “content” was advertisements, flyers, coupons and other promotional materials. Outstanding content today requires a new mindset and intent. You’re not selling your customers with your content, be it that from a blog, an email newsletter or a posting on a social network, but instead you are providing them with value.
While having lunch with Jay Garmon, an email marketing whiz and fellow Social Media Club Louisville board member, earlier this week I asked if he happened to subscribe to Exploring Social Media – my email newsletter. (I was looking for some constructive criticism.) He said he subscribed to the RSS feed of my blog and assumed that my e-newsletter was a digest of the month’s Social Media Explorer posts. I assured him the newsletter content was exclusive and, in fact, different.
The conversation reminded me that having a strong content strategy doesn’t just imply that you need and editorial calendar for your corporate website or blog. You also need to think about each content marketing mechanism you employ is different, how its audience is different and what additional value you can provide exclusively to that group.
The content I provide on Social Media Explorer serves (I think) social media marketers at many levels, but mostly established professionals seeking ideas and insights to help them do their jobs better. The content I provide on Exploring Social Media (the newsletter) serves a more broad audience of folks interested in social media but not as established, but without dumbing it down too much and alienating the blog readers. My posts on the Social Media Explorer Facebook Page are intended for almost a 101 audience since many of my connections there are people who have no contact with social media other than they’re on Facebook. It’s sort of my beginners sandbox, if you will.
The content for each is different because it serves a slightly different audience.
To copy and paste your blog or website content into an e-newsletter may very well serve the same content to two different audiences, but are you sure? Are you perhaps missing an opportunity to move your website audience a little closer to your brand with a targeted email effort? Are your Twitter followers also your Facebook fans? If so, don’t you think the auto post to your status update is a bit redundant?
Think about your content channels. How are you using them? I’m interested to know if it’s repositioned content or a rethought strategy. The comments are yours.