Content Rules #SXSWi

For their session CC Chapman and Ann Handley held an informal Q & A with a few hundred people on the topic of content.  Here were the best questions and their associated answers.

What are some of the best ways to distribute content?

  • Find people who are already talking about your content topics and engage with them.
  • “Re-imagine” your content in other forms (video, blog, photo, etc) and share it some more.
  • It’s okay to tweet about your content on Twitter as look as it’s done correctly.  Focus on your best content and don’t over do it.

How can brands stand out in a crowd?

  • Have an opinion.  Don’t be vanilla.  Don’t be afraid to have a different view.  You can disagree without be disagreeable.
  • Do something unexpected.
  • Create your brand voice so you are heard, recognized and consistent

How do you motivate a client to try something new?

  • Show them examples and success stories
  • Start small
  • Help them recognize the opportunity to stand out

How do you produce a lot of content?

  • Use a content calendar.  Some platforms have plugins for this
  • Who said you have to create a lot of content?  Make sure you know why you think you need a lot.  Yes, SEO is important, but if the experience isn’t great what is the point (content rules right?)
  • Manage the balance of quality vs. quantity
  • Make sure you know what content is important to your customers.  Build that content.

How can you get your content to be more appropriate for digital?

(as opposed to appropriate for academia)

  • Show and tell works.   Find good examples in their industry.
  • An exercise: Have them find a comfortable way to have their writing reviewed by peers
  • Have them read blogs so they can understand reader expectations
  • Have them write a blog about a hobby
  • Help them understand that the format needs to be more conversational

How can a small company create great content?

  • Play to your strengths, if you have good writing skills, leverage that.  Or find a format that works best for you like video or photography.
  • As you grow, find people that fill in your gaps
  • Remember that writers tend to be good thinkers and are usually a safe bet

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