Four things you MUST do when creating or sharing content

At the heart of many great marketing campaigns today is content. But if you’re not a professional content creator, how do you make sure you’re getting it right?

What kind of content is it okay to use and share? How can you make the most of creating and sharing content? And what big errors should you avoid?

These are questions we get asked frequently. So we asked Nicole Martin from Pinpoint Marketing to come up with four content marketing rules.

1) Always be original

When searching for content, never, ever use other people’s wording or imagery without permission. If you do, you could find yourself on the receiving end of an unwanted letter!

It’s fine to share their content on social media, as long as you link to their page, credit them, or add them as a source (the safest thing to do is to use the share buttons next to the articles or posts). But lifting chunks of someone else’s text and claiming it as your own isn’t advised. Nor is using their images without credit or payment (always check you have permission first).

There are plenty of websites now with royalty free images you can use (just Google “royalty free images”), and you can use free tools like Canva and PicMonkey to edit and personalise them.

2) Always be consistent

It’s not that hard to occasionally stumble across great content to share, or be inspired to write your own blog post or newsletter. But to really reap the benefits of content, you need to be consistent.

It doesn’t matter if you generate content daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly, or send it by email, social media or blog. What’s important is that you are consistent in your approach. And the key to consistency is having a plan.

3) Always have a plan

Creating a content plan is much more simple than you might think. Here’s what you need to bear in mind when creating your plan:

  • What your core objectives are.
  • What pages or products you want to direct people to.
  • Who you want to reach.
  • What problems they want to solve.
  • How often you want to share content.
  • Where you want to share your content.

Once you’re clear on all these, you can start to actually work out a plan. As a starting point, we recommend working monthly and creating a calendar for the month ahead. Then finding or planning content for the frequency you want to share and writing it in your calendar.

If you’re sharing third party content, then spend half a day sourcing and scheduling it, so you can tick that off your list. If you’re creating content yourself, clear space in the dear to do so in good time and book it in. Then, finally, schedule a time next month to start the process again.

4) Always add value

If your content comes across too me, me, me or sell, sell, sell, you’ll just put people off. Yes, you do have core objectives you want to reach by creating and sharing content. But you won’t achieve them if you’re too self-focused.

Instead you need to add value. Think what your audience wants to learn, discover and achieve (in relation to what you do) and share content they’ll appreciate and find helpful. It can be a mix of your own content and other peoples’. Just make sure it’s valuable.

As a rule, it’s wise to stick to the 80:20 ratio when sharing content (80% genuinely helpful, 20% self-promotional). And remember that marketing is meant to be a two-way street – so communicate and listen, and don’t just talk ‘at’ people.

Pinpoint Marketing offers packages covering planning, email marketing and social media. Find out how they can help.