Little time. Little content. Little brand presence online. Lost growth opportunities. Sounds familiar?
With the growing expectations we have from the digital world, online visibility is an increasingly important contributor to our success. And this holds true regardless of if you are a small business, consultant, professional, or just looking for work.
So it’s not surprising that I often get questions like this:
“I want to up my game on the content front but I don’t have a lot of time (very little time actually).
However, I read a ton. I’ve got articles and articles that I annotate and make notes on, but I’m not making use of them. Any tips?”
Online gurus say that you need to create content to gain an effective online presence, and show you intricate ways to develop them.
Little time. Little content…
Let’s fix that with some easy to do content hacking that will work across multiple platforms.
Start with your goal. What are you specifically trying to accomplish?
Who are you trying to be visible to?
Who is your target audience?
Clients for your consulting services? An employer? Customers for your SaaS startup?
Once you know the answers, flesh out around 3 buyer/audience personas or fictional representations of your ideal target audience. There are some great templates out there and Hubspot’s free buyer persona templates is a good place to start.
With that information in hand let’s look for some easy ways to create content for our buyer personas.
1. Image based quotations
Visual content is increasingly popular. In fact, millennials now flock to visually driven engagement platforms like Snapchat.
There’s a good reason for this. With the glut of content out there, the information presented in ‘snackable’ formats are most convenient for user consumption.
To adapt to this digital behaviour you could take those annotations/notes you’ve gathered and paraphrase it into a quote or insight for an image.
Bring your staff to https://t.co/GjdDbEutBP on May 6th to unleash #leadership potential. #ottawa #ottbiz #ottevents pic.twitter.com/AnVtop4lYs
— Leadercast Ottawa (@LeadercastYOW) March 14, 2016
Though the above image may look complicated, I did it in under 5 minutes using Canva.com. Try some of their free social media image templates to get started.
I’ve worked with Photoshop (my first version was 3.0) for over 20 years now, but Canva makes quick-win content creation a snap.
While you are creating these quotes think about ways you can promote someone else too. That’s a good way to nurture goodwill and even to secure an inroad into the networks of those you promote.
Marketing your brand should not be a solo effort.
Look Mom. I just made up a word!
I find that miniature infographics are the perfect ‘snackable’ content. They also work better on smaller mobile devices like smartphones, than bigger infographics would.
Take any of those tidbits of information from a blog, newspaper, or magazine. Head over to Canva.com. Choose one of their free infographic templates and delete all the sections except the ‘minfographic’ section you want to keep.
See that? Nice and easy. Ready for Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook etc.
People like lists. Proof? You are reading this list based article. More proof?
Here are some stats pulled together by Odork.com and Buzzsumo a while ago.
Lists are popular… as are infographics. Their ‘mini’ varieties are likely to follow suit.
Since you already have notes, annotations or other snippets, put them together into a 300-500 word list.
E.g.: 3 useful leadership tactics that inspire me to do better.
You can do a smaller version in Canva for posting as an image across networks.
OR go create a short listicle post on LinkedIn.
4. Screenshot content
Create an interesting screenshot your buyer persona could find interesting. Using the ‘awesome screenshot extension’, I grabbed this interesting tweet by my colleague Care. I then posted it on Facebook and Linkedin.
5. ‘Non-selfie’ selfie content
There are content creation opportunities in most mundane activities, as I found while reading this book.
That post garnered 61 ‘likes’ and a handful of comments. A decent amount of engagement for a couple of minutes worth of effort isn’t it?
The image worked well on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as well.
I even use spontaneous photos of my e-reader reading for my blog content like in this very popular evergreen post on a one-page digital marketing plan.
6. Curated content
Another ‘easy win’ is to re-post interesting trends and information about your industry.
Being a reliable curator of information on a specific topic can help you position yourself as that subject matter expert. This is the most common branding tactic due to the low barrier to implementation.
7. Repurposed content
I also pluck pieces of information from my long form content for redistribution.
This GIF I created for my post on hiring based on ‘marketer personas’ has been re-posted as an individual content piece across all my social feeds.
Look for such opportunities in your content pipeline.
8. Engagement oriented micro-content
The easiest to do. How difficult is it to ‘like’ an interesting post that a recruiter on your network has posted on LinkedIn?
A congratulatory comment on some achievement of a potential client is a great goodwill gesture.
It’s human to want to ‘do business’ with those you are familiar with. Even with a huge corporation it’s an individual that finally signs on the dotted line.
Company pages and forums on social networks are run by individuals too. It is certainly easy for organizations to extend special ‘privileges’ to the most engaged followers. I say this based on my experiences in leading enterprise digital teams.
So ‘be familiar’ and nurture your relationships just as you would in real life.
By engaging in an unassuming, restrained and positive manner you also make yourself visible to the networks of your immediate connections. Maybe that’s where your next employer notices you.
Mix up your content hacks.
Just remember to vary the content mix of your social feeds. I’ve seen people over-share a specific type of content to the point of being annoying.
That’s it. I’m probably yet not as engaging a writer as Mark Schaefer of the ‘content-shock fame’ or as prolific as Neil Patel.
Yet I showed up in at least one list of top 100 digital marketing influencers alongside these heavy-hitters.
I got there by mixing up some of the above tactics with some long-form content creation such as this.
It’s important to keep trying things out, experimenting. I find these tactics are transferable across my enterprise marketing strategies too.
I’m constantly evaluating what works while I am busy being myself or being the brands I lead. I make improvements as I go.
So you go be ‘you’ too.
Oh, and do share your content hack ideas in the comments section below.