“What Should I Do?” – Content Sharing

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on April 13, 2010 in: Social Media Mindmeister

I’ve been blogging from time to time about a MindMeister map that outlines various social marketing activities you can do to promote your business. I’ve talked about advertising and about blog commenting. Today, I’m going to talk about content sharing sites.

contentsharing

You can see that the map creator has divided the category of “content sharing” into sub-categories based on the type of content sharing that you can do: Text/Slideshows, Audio sites, Image sharing, Music sharing. It’s an interesting mix of opportunities and some readers might be wondering where they’ll find the time to do all of it.

Here’s what I would suggest:

First, don’t bother trying to do all of it
. You won’t be able to. Or, if you are able to, you won’t have time for stuff like revenue generation. So forget trying to reach out to everyone. Instead, pick a few places where you can make a splash.

  • Start by figuring out where your customers like to hang out. Pick 3-5 of the places and see if your target market is spending time there. (Is there content for them? Are they linking to those sites from their sites? Are they talking about it on Twitter?
  • See what the competition is like there. Are your competitors already dominating the discussion? If they are, have they left any room for you to shoehorn your way in or are you going to be just another voice in the crowd?
  • If there is room on a site where your customers are hanging out but your competitors haven’t tapped out, then get in there!

Second, once you’ve found a couple places, decide what you are going to do there. I would recommend that you don’t post the same content everywhere. Don’t repost your Squidoo content on HubPages, for example. Make sure you’re taking the time to produce unique content at each place according to the types of things that your market is looking for in those places. For example, perhaps I find that my readers on Squidoo typically look for productivity content that has a business-building aspect to it, while my readers on HubPages might be looking for business-building content with a productivity twist. It’s a subtle distinction but the important thing is that you figure out what your readers want and give it to them (while staying true to your brand, of course).

Third, avoid taking on new channels until you have built up good habits and a reputation in these channels. As I coach clients, I’ve found that many of them can be tempted to add the latest, shiniest opportunity to their marketing arsenal without first excelling at the ones they are already using.

Troubleshooting: If you look at each of the content sharing sites and you think that they are so jam-packed with competitors that your voice will never be heard, then consider a different approach. Perhaps, on that channel only (and not as a broad marketing plan for your business), consider doing something totally different. Write some news on your industry and post it on Squidoo instead of yet another tips page like all of your competitors are doing. Take photos about your industry and post them on Flickr. Do reviews of the products in your industry and post them on Triond. In other words, find something that meshes with your brand but takes a fresh approach to the ideas that your readers are looking for.

Content sharing isn’t just about you finding another place to share your insight. Of course that’s important, but I believe content sharing is about a targeted approach to finding places where your insight will be valued and then understanding what you can do to provide content that meets the needs of your audience.

Heather Recommends:

If you are a coach, freelancer, or entrepreneur who wants to succeed like a pro, I can help.

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