How to find great content to share
If you want people to really engage with you and your products online, your social media posts need to be tailored to your audience, but where do you find the right content to share and inspiration for social media and blog posts?
How to Choose Content to Post Online
In this post we’ll go through some sources of juicy content for your blogs and social media channels and make sure you have a ready supply of instant hits of inspiration to write about. We’ll also look at how you choose what is great content that your fans and followers will enjoy. Professional marketing teams work hard on content marketing strategies to ensure that the right people are engaging with them and finding their brands.
Let’s start with the basics…
What is ‘Content’?
Content is anything that you post on the internet on your website, blog or social media channels. It can be text, images, video or audio.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is creating and sharing content that engages your audience and ultimately leads to increased brand awareness and sales.
It’s a simple concept and for almost every product and target market there will be content you can share or create to get people engaged. In content marketing, the content should be useful, interesting or humorous, as opposed to a direct sales message, which simply shows you the product being sold. This does not mean you should never share a finished product listing though – content marketing can sit alongside traditional marketing.
What is Engaging Content?
Engaging content makes people take an interest. The engagement can be measured by actions such as likes replies and clicks. For each public engagement your content reaches new people and builds awareness of your brand. You may need to look into Search Engine Optimisation if you are new to blogging/vlogging – there’s a link at the end of this post with some great tips.
“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one.” —Robert Rose
— Robert Rose (@Robert_Rose) December 26, 2013
How do I get started with content marketing?
If you have a blog or social media accounts set up you are ready to start creating a content marketing plan. You need to identify who your target market is and what they are interested in before you can find content to share. This is the basis of all marketing and we’ve got a great post here which explains how to identify your target market if you haven’t already.
For those who know their buyers the next step is to start building a system where highly relevant content will come to you!
Creating a Content Marketing Resource
The key to finding great content to share is being highly organised with your research and your ‘filing’. You need to create streams of information that you can access and share easily. Don’t panic – there are some great tools available to help with this.
1. You and your work are a source of content
As a crafts person you will be surrounded by interesting things, books and materials. Don’t underestimate how interesting your work in progress and thought process is to a potential customer. Just sharing a few sneak peaks of what you’re working on and what’s inspired your latest design can engage an existing customer base and, as a result, help you to find more people within their circles.
You need to be aware of this content opportunity as you’re working or when you’re out hunting for inspiration. Keep your camera or smart phone near by at all times so you can capture little moments when you’re working on your crafts. These moments make great posts for Instagram, be sure to tag hem – you can find out how here – Using Instagram Hashtags.
2. Learn how to use search engines properly
It seems obvious but you need to be really good at searching! There’s a post on craft Blog UK with details of How to Search more effectively using all the tools that Google offers.
3. Set up RSS Feeds
Create a list of blogs using a Feed reader like Feedly.com. With Feedly you can organise blogs and websites into groups by topic and it’s really easy to add a new site when you’re next researching content online. You’re then presented with a magazine or list of the latest posts and you can share them directly after you’ve read them.
Bloglovin is also a way to create a feed of blogs you follow. When you find a new blogger who has a shared interest with your target market, you will simply ‘file’ them away and let their content come to you.
It’s very easy to start a feed reader and just add hundreds of blogs to the feed. The key is to only keep very niche blogs in your must-read pile and regularly declutter.
4. Create Twitter lists
On Twitter you have a stream of tweets coming from all the people you follow. If you’ve been on there a while it could be hundreds or thousands long, and many of these tweets can end up as unwanted noise in your feed. So when you find someone who tweets great content that fits your target market, add them to a list of similar useful accounts. Most bloggers also tweet, so it’s always worth taking two minutes to find their account and add them to a list. You can then log in to Twitter and see just the tweets from these useful accounts.
Most Twitter clients also support lists. You can make lots of lists covering different but relevant topics to your target market and you can also find other people’s public lists, which is a really useful way of finding ready-made interesting content and more accounts to add to your lists.
There is help on Twitter if you are new to lists – Using Twitter Lists
5. Pinterest Boards
Pinterest is a great way of bringing traffic to your site, but it’s also a top content marketing tool. It’s like having your own marketing team made up of all the boards you are following.
If you’re careful about the accounts and Pinterest Boards you follow, you’ll be presented with a stream of highly shareable posts when you log in, rather than a mish-mash of subjects. Sometimes you might start following someone on Pinterest and six months down the line they’re only posting about topics that aren’t relevant. Banish these irrelevant boards and accounts from your news feed (eg stop following them) as they are just a distraction.
6. Use communities and forums to find ideas
Forums are a hive of brilliant content ideas. The great thing about forums is they are full of questions. You can use these questions to think up new blog post or a social media post. Look for forums where your target market will be hanging out, not just the forums about your craft.
Every hobby and interest will have an associated forum, if not 50 of them. You can usually access forums without having to post. Never post sales links on forums – it comes across as spammy. However, you could link to useful content on a blog post you’ve written if it’s relevant to the conversation. Be chatty and get involved in conversations. Most forums allow you to have a link beneath every post where you can add your Folksy shop details or blog.
More Useful Content Marketing Tools
Content marketing research can take you off on lots of adventures. You need to keep focused so you don’t get distracted and lose important hours you could be spending making new crafts to sell.
The following tools are useful for saving and sharing finds.
Pocket.com is a really useful bookmarking site. You can quickly save an item add a tag to keep it organised and then come back to it without having to read it there and then.
Use Buffer.com to queue up interesting content to share on your social media channels.
Use IFTTT.com to connect useful apps to eachother and create special recipes tailored just for you. It’s short for If This Then That, so you tell it for example IF you star a Vimeo video THEN it will automatically create a draft blog post with the video embedded. This can be a real time saver and there are so many useful recipes.
Tell us about your content finding tips – what works for you?
Further Reading – Blogging Tips for Craft Sellers