Content is your strongest weapon. Seth Godin even went as far as saying that “content marketing is the only type of marketing left” and according to the Content Marketing Institute “nine in 10 organizations market with content”.
As marketers, we’re experiencing first hand, daily, how useful, but at the same time, how difficult and costly planning and implementing a content strategy can be. Finding the time and resources pose a challenge to everyone, but even more so for small businesses and solo-entrepreneurs. Does this mean they’re disqualified from the content race?
It doesn’t have to. There are very effective content marketing tactics that can ease the process resulting in time and cost saving. But, where do we start?
1. Curate Content
As Beth Kanter defines on her post Content Curation Primer, “content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme.”
Content curation is based on four pillars:
- publishing information
If you are new to content curation, incorporating this tactic into your strategy to attract an audience may sound daunting. Social Media trainer Cendrine Marrouat has put together this quick guide to walk through the what, the why, the how and the who of content curation.
Note! The moment you come across a specific piece of content, separate it from the rest available and make a “mindful decision” to share it with your followers, as pointed out by Judy Gombita in this interview.
2. Get active on Social Channels
If you are just at the beginning of your community building journey, and don’t own a blog, you will need to turn to social media to share curated content. If you aren’t sure where your community is yet (on which channel) then pick a channel that you are comfortable with and start there. Here are a few tips.
- One very good way to keep track of good content sharing is by creating a Twitter list. If this is something you want to look into, PCMag has a good How-to article by Jill Duffy that you should check out. As Jill herself explains “lists help you organize your Twitter feed so you can see tweets coming from people with specific interests and expertise, or that you might for any reason categorize into a group.” Try it!
- If you dare to go one step even further, you can use one of the many content curation platforms to pin or save the content you’ve been collecting from your networks. Here’s The Ultimate List of content curation platforms, according to Curata.
- Or you can easily create a topic based Paper.li with Twitter lists by following this Tutorial!
3. Give Shout-outs
Sharing content by like minded people is one of the quickest ways to create awareness for yourself, or for your company, as well as develop strong relationships. In doing so giving credit, or attribution, to whom wrote the original content –or even made you aware of a piece of content you are sharing –is a must.
Here are two best practices to follow:
- When sharing content always include the author of the piece in the mention. Sometimes you’ll find the Twitter handles included in the post itself, if not, take a few extra minutes to locate the author and include it in the tweet. (You can also include the name of the site where you found it, but the author name goes a lot further) Your share could look something like this: 6 Tips to Building Community Without a Blog by Magda Torres via the @paper_li blog
- If re-sharing on social platforms, include a Hat Tip (h/t), via or Thank You to the person who tipped you off to the content when re-sharing. Your share would look something like this: 6 Tips to Building Community Without a Blog via @kdhungerford, h/t @MagdaATQ
- For more “best practices” on attribution and credit, read this post written by Lisa Barone on How Not To Get Sued for Stealing Content on the Internet.
4. Nurture relationships
One of the biggest parts of building and maintaining a community is connecting and communicating. As soon as you notice you have one new follower, it’s time to work on your relationship. Be open, honest and caring. Go beyond simply commenting on content they have written or shared and get personal!
Take a little time to find out more about them and connect on a personal level. Research and see if they are also present on other platforms you use. Every platform in unique in why and how people use it. Where one of your new community members might be very business-like on Twitter or LinkedIn, you may discover what interests they have outside of work on Instagram or Pinterest.
Treat each new relationship like a new acquaintance and use the same curiosity you would in discovering what makes a person tick offline, online.
5. Send Email Newsletters
Contrary to what you may think, you do not need a blog to create a daily or weekly newsletter to send to your community. About 40% of our user base at Paper.li don’t own blogs. They use our service to send daily or weekly newsletters to the subscribers of their paper.
Email newsletters are a really easy and effective community building tactic that serves both the community builder and the community!
As a community builder you strengthen your relationship with your community by delivering the content they are looking for automatically, daily, in their inbox.
As a community member you are receiving a stellar service of having that content delivered daily. It saves you a ton of time daily by not needing to round-up content on the topic you are interested in yourself.
A very cool thing about our email newsletters is that you can also export the HTML to a third party email service. You may not have a blog, but you may have already cultivated email subscription from your business and want to begin sending out newsletters. This is where your paper’s curated content comes into play! Watch this 60 second video on how easy it is to set up a newsletter with Paper.li.
6. Share Positivity
Content sharing isn’t limited to articles. In fact, sharing a nice image or a positive quote is a fantastic way to attract people to you. We live in a world where negativity is present in just about every step we take –if we let it be. Share a bit of sunshine or happiness, a little perk, word of wisdom or a favorite piece of inspirational advice.
A very good example of this approach is from one of our community members, Jessica Roberts. Whenever I run into her on social media I get a positive, nice vibe. I don’t know about you, but I want to be surrounded by good hearted, positive people. Who wouldn’t want to be part of her community?
Jessica is not only a master in sharing positive vibes, but she has also built her own thriving community, as well as communities for her clients, through curation tips and strategies shared in this post.
Next week on #BizHeroes, Jessica will tell how she’s building a community without a blog and how Paper.li can help. Jessica uses her paper to curate around her community and in her own words
Paper.li is the “most powerful tool to curate targeted, niche content that facilitates connection, collaboration, and real-time engagement”.
If you’re curious as to how she does it, join us next Tuesday at 2PM ET. We’re looking forward to discuss more ways of building community and a sense of belonging without a blog and I’d love to see you there.
Co author: Kelly Hungerford