One of the foundational elements of building an online presence is really the content that you put out there. After all, the purpose of an online presence is to build that online real estate and use it to drive the right kinds of traffic to your web site where you’ll host your content. In order to entice people to consume your content, that content has to be good. So how you do create great content?
Start by listening. You can’t become a thought-leader in your field if you’re not well-read. Begin that journey by being an active consumer of information across your industry. Because there is so much out there on the internet, the key here is to be as efficient as possible to stay on top of what’s currently trending. We have some powerful tools today to help you systemize listening.
In order to build great content, here are some tools to help you find what you need to know and listen very efficiently.Listening is key.
1.Twitter Lists. Twitter is a tool that might seem a little harder to use for many business owners, but I think it makes a very efficient listening tool. By creating a ‘list’, you can very quickly find out what’s going on with groups of folks that are on twitter. Create a list of customers or prospects to stay on top of what’s going on in their world and the types of problems they’re needing to solve.
2. Twitter Search. The search feature in twitter becomes even more powerful when you add in hashtags. Simply putting a # in front of a keyword or key term will help you find what’s being posted with that hashtag in it.
3. Google Alerts. Creating a Google alert for all your clients, including their business name and any products of services that have names. A Google alert will send an email with links to mentions of the topic you have on the Google alert. It’s an excellent tool for online monitoring because Google does the scanning and all you have to do is review to confirm it’s actually about the topic you’re looking interested in.
4. Google Reader. This is a web-based aggregation tool that, with some simple set-up, will deposit the latest news from the blogs you subscribe to into your Google Reader feed. When you’re standing in line or waiting at the doctor’s office, you can easily read through some of the content that gets pushed to this powerful tool.
5. Aggregation Web Site. Sites like Alltop are a great resource for taking information that is trending and applying it to your industry to make it relevant.
The above just lists a handful of tools that make online listening easier and somewhat automated. Once you’ve built a listening system, you’re ready for the next step: taking that knowledge and adding your own opinion to create your own content.
Take a look around the blog for more information on how to write great content. Or take a look at our ebook entitled “The Crazy Busy Marketer’s Guide to Content Creation in the Real World.” There’s a host of helpful tips in there.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/observatoryleak/371072543/”>Leeks</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>