Creation, Curation and Conversation: The 3 C’s of Content Strategy

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Andy Crestodina
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These are the three most important parts of content strategy. It’s the trinity of modern marketing. This short post includes some practical “I-can-start-doing-this-today” tips. All you need is a website with a blog and a newsletter. Ready? Let’s go!

Create Content

If you can put 500 words together in a way that teaches, helps or entertains, you’re ready. Write articles that both demonstrate your expertise and give practical advice. Write about what you care about, be concise and always respect your audience. If you write a little bit every week, it will start getting easier.

  1. One article = search friendly blog post + email newsletter
    Stretch the value of that article by making sure it aligns with a phrase your audience is searching for (Google Keyword Tool) and posting the full version in your blog. Then put an excerpt and a link to it in your newsletter.
  2. OPB “Other People’s Blogs”
    Some sites have large audiences and need a constant stream of articles to keep them happy. Help them out by sharing what you’ve written. Find those that your audience may be reading. These might be media sites in your area or industry blogs.
  3. Write for the press
    The media, online and offline, are still looking for great stories. If your piece is a story and if the topic and tone fit the calendar of a publication, go ahead and share it with an editor. Try to give them what they need.  If you have a good following or email list, be sure to mention that you’ll help promote the piece if they use it.

Curate Content

There are tons of great articles, blogs, videos, etc…out there. There’s a lot of value for both you and your audience in finding interesting content and sharing it, or having others create content specifically for you.

  1. Invite others to write for your blog
    If you know smart people with a writing style that fits your blog, ask others to guest blog for you. It will take some pressure off you and add some variety. The people you invite may really like the exposure. But first give them writing guidelines so they don’t miss the mark.
  2. Interview others over email
    This is a fast way to curate: send a list of questions to an expert in your field and see what you get back. If it works out and you get an article, be sure to give them attribution with a link and photo.
  3. Add great articles to your newsletters
    Whenever you come across something especially interesting or useful, bookmark it.
    If it’s not from a paid subscription site, put an excerpt into your newsletter and link to the site. You may not be driving traffic to your site, but your adding value for your subscribers. You can even use paper.li to make Tweetable mini-magazines for your following.

Start Conversations

Here’s where you go to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to talk about the content you wrote or that you found and published. Being social around your content is absolutely crucial today. It extends your reach, generates feedback and drives traffic.

  1. Mention your content to influencers in your network
    When you write something, be sure to look around at who may be interested. It may only take a few minutes to find Twitter accounts of people who have that topic in their bio (filtertweeps.com). Once the article is posted, Tweet the link and mention them. Maybe they’ll read it, share it and maybe even write a comment.
  2. Thank people when you curate their content
    Always, always give props to anyone who writes about you or for you. Let them know you shared content of theirs, or thank them publicly on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. If you’re nice, they may promote your content through their social networks, which can drive instant traffic.
  1. Network with possible blogs and bloggers
    Want to connect with a journalist?  Comment on their articles, tweet everything they write and mention them on all of your social networks. Want to get into a blog? Tweet with them, write to them through their sites, and comment on their blog posts. Be respectful, friendly and direct.

 

If you begin a journey into content strategy, you’ll likely find that almost everything you do falls within these three categories. Be sure to cover all three and watch for opportunities when they overlap. That’s where the real fun starts.

Each of these techniques could easily be an article itself. If you’d like to hear more about any one of these, please let us know with a comment below.

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Comments (5)
  • Great tips, Andy. I’d like to add that if writing is not your forte, you could look into creating short video content as well.

  • Really like the parallels you draw between networking F2F and online. Be present, polite, direct, but above all get it done.

  • Really smart, practical, actionable tips, Andy. Great article!

  • Thanks for the feedback, everyone! It’s becoming clear that content marketing as the highest ROI of anything out there.

    Let me know if you’d like to see more on these topics.

  • I found your site on google and checked a couple of of your early posts. Keep up the extremely excellent operation. I just added your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Looking forward to reading you later on!

 
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