This process is something I refer to as the Connected Content Model. It’s really that simple: 1) Listen 2) Engage and 3) Blog. Notice that blogging comes last, and the process is repeatable by design. Once you get through the process, do it again, and keep doing it. Ultimately, this model will result in ongoing conversations you can link to, or at least third party blog posts or articles you can react to.
Connected Content is an inherent component of this model. To me, it’s about engaging an audience, whether we’re talking customers or external influencers on a given topic. Put simply, Connected Content is content that is connected to external conversations.
Why does being connected matter? In today’s world, there’s a lot of noise. As examples, over 72 million WordPress blogs exist. There’s 140 million tweets per day. 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. The good news is there’s a ton of good insight companies can derive from the barrage of daily online activity. The downside means it’s a lot harder to cut through the clutter to get noticed. Gone are the days when being a smart person and writing an insightful blog post were enough to get you noticed. If you don’t rise above the noise, chances are good hardly anyone will see the blog post you wrote. Writing blog posts with connected content is one of the most effective ways I know to change that.
Connected content is about bringing external conversations in. Go where those conversations are occurring and add value to them. Blog comments are a great place to start because they can almost always be linked to, plis comment systems like Disqus and Livefyre make conversations much easier to keep track of .Twitter is also now a great way to link to a conversation because they show the original tweet and replies (like this example of a PlayStation 4/ Xbox One conversation). LinkedIn discussion threads can be linked to, but specific comments inside them cannot. Facebook conversations are the most private (unless the status update is public). Google+ is in the same boat, but many more people make their updates public.
The Value of Connected Content:
- It builds relationships – This is the most important reason. Whether you make a connection with an influential blogger, or his or her readers, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is every new connection drives more visibility to your content, and provides you more opportunity for engagement.
- It makes your content less about you – As much as brands want to believe it, people don’t wake up wanting to read a company blog or a company’s status updates in Twitter or Facebook or elsewhere. Linking and reacting to others inherently focuses things externally, about things that matter to others. That potentially makes you and your company blog much more interesting.
- It expands your reach outside the walls of your owned and shared properties – This increases the likelihood that more potential customers will see the content you and your company produces.
Don’t get caught up in numbers. Your content doesn’t have to reach a huge audience. It just has to reach some of the right people. And don’t get discouraged—building relationships takes time. Sticking with it will pay dividends. As an example going back to my Dell days, Richard Binhammer became more recognizable than me in the social media world without writing a single blog post on Dell’s blog, Direct2Dell. While that’s a testament to Richard’s rare networking skillset, I think much of it can be attributed to the fact that he posted anywhere and everywhere around the web.
In this video, I talk a bit about connected content, the importance of establishing a dedicated place to publish and brand as publisher:
I’ll be talking more about content in future posts. I’m hardly the only person here with thoughts on content. Our own Michael Brito wrote a book on the subject. If you missed his post on mobilizing employees in relation to content, it’s definitely worth a read. Brian Reid and Ryan Flinn are two ex-journalists who have tons of perspective. If you’re interested in content strategy and content marketing, you’re in the right place.
If you have questions, insight you want to share, or you want to agree or disagree with me on this, please drop me a line in the comments below or reach out to @LionelGeek on Twitter.