How To Successfully Create And Leverage Content

We've all heard content is king. But how do you create great content, and what do you do with it?
November 16, 2011

When it comes to new media, content is king. We are finding that a common goal among our clients is learning how to successfully leverage content to promote their brands and advance their issues. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

Repurpose your content

New media is dynamic, so your content should be too. Think about ways to extend your content’s life cycle. Let’s say you come across some information that you think is important, so you share it on LinkedIn within groups that share common interests with you. What next?

1. The same content that you posted on LinkedIn can be repurposed as a topic on your blog or e-newsletter by focusing on the new thoughts and ideas that have come to you since posting and the responses you received from your LinkedIn groups.

2. Your newsletter can then be expanded and refined to contribute to a third-party blog, like Open Forum, to share your insight with an even broader audience.

3. Next, use this third-party validation of your ideas to affirm your expertise to your clients and prospects by e-mailing them a link to your guest post. As a professional services provider, your knowledge and insight are directly related to your value to clients. Promoting the fact that an objective source finds your thoughts useful can help improve your credibility.

4. After you have made several contributions on a topic, combine your posts to create an e-book focusing on that theme. This will further establish your authority and promote your personal brand.

5. The e-book can serve as the launching point to getting speaking engagements or being chosen to be a participant on a panel. Why? Because you have objectively demonstrated that you have something of value to say. Make use of digital video to capture the event and post it to your channel on YouTube.

In the new media environment, content is currency, and having a strategy to utilize it in multiple ways can really help to promote you and your business.

Establish a Web 2.0 environment

Having dynamic content that can be repurposed is only the first step in this process. You should also possess the basic technical tools required to deliver your content into a real-time, two-way communications environment. This means having the ability to utilize platforms and channels where your content is shared and knowledge is refined through collaboration within virtual communities.

There are several benefits that you receive by utilizing this type of sharing:

1. Idea Incubator: Soliciting the opinions of others enables your ideas to continue to grow into viable, marketable concepts. A thoughtful group on LinkedIn can take a concept global and refine in overnight.

2. Going Global: Carefully building, nourishing and growing your communities on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will allow you to introduce your content into new markets. I once had a discussion going with people from four continents on whether content, communities or technology was the most essential component of social media.

3. Feedback: As you use Web 2.0 platforms, you will discover that the feedback you receive is an invaluable asset in challenging, enhancing and refining your viewpoint. During my 48-hour global conversation with over 70 comments, my point of view evolved considerably, thanks to this new technology.

4. Growth: This process will also give you insight that should inspire you to continue to expand your knowledge. The goal is for you to become able to see the power and potential of new media through your own lens, without the need for input from others.

Content used strategically within a Web 2.0 environment can help your business dramatically, by establishing a strong, thoughtful and inclusive personal brand. This is particularly helpful if you are a provider of professional services. My advice is to stop emailing attachments and start leveraging content.

OPEN Cardmember Dennis Powell is founder of Massey Powell, a consultancy that provides strategic communications and digital strategy services.

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