I have the content...now what?

Anna Ritchie : Community Maven
Anna Ritchie
Marketing & communications practitioner, and product manager for TMCnet. Focus on content marketing and social media with a specialty in Online Community-building for businesses. Follow @Connectincloud and @apritchie
| Expertise and Advice on Successful Online Communities

I have the content...now what?

by Anna Ritchie

Every day, I stumble upon an article, blog or tweet about how to create the best content for online marketing purposes – the content that will get readers engaged, spread the buzz about your company, and position your company as the “go to resource” for information about your industry.

So you tweet, Facebook, blog, and write articles. You create pages and groups and blog a little more. You have all the content you could ever need.

Now what?

You need content curation- or a way to pull all your content together into one, cohesive environment.  This is also something you probably know, as tools for content Curation are becoming increasingly popular. In a recent article, “Content Curation: Shaping and Influencing your Social Reputation”, Rich Karpinski provides a brief overview of some of these popular Content Curation tools. According to Karpinski, these tools allow you to “express thought leadership, juice SEO rankings, streamline content marketing efforts and even attract and nurture leads.” That’s a tall order for some of these tools, which can certainly act as content-management systems, but sometimes stop there without providing a lot of interactive opportunities, innovation or visual appeal. 

Managing a content-curation tool can also be a time-consuming and budget-eating endeavor that can sometimes distract from other important company initiatives. And, these tools don’t create they curate, meaning that you still need to spend time creating new content to supplement what’s being pulled from other resources.

Online Communities can serve as content curation tools if developed and deployed correctly, and if you partner with a third-party company you can receive a few additional perks that you won’t get with a standard content-curation tool.

First, you’ll have the ability to leverage best practices in content sharing, social media integration, thought leadership and branding so you can have a site that actually integrates your different marketing initiatives successfully, with little time or effort actually required by you.  Plus, if you partner with third-party with expert writers who actually create content for you, you will further build the credibility of your site by adding original outside content and objectivity- both huge factors in building trust with your audience. This allows you to be viewed as a thought-leader and positions your Community as a comprehensive resource, rather than another advertising vehicle that holds your re-purposed marketing messages.

Most importantly, however, is that you won’t lose the personal touch that matters more and more these days, as content turns to clutter and audiences seek for the most trustworthy sources. Unfortunately, tools alone cannot add that connection. Communities can.

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