Week 5 – Defining your initial content focus

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This week’s session is about defining a focus for what you engage around. With your first challenge being relevant to a few with something. Rather than putting on a kettle and attempt to boiling the ocean.

Selecting your engagement topics

The available content out there and competition for your audience is a harsh reality. Where you need to select topics where you both have an interest and can add value to the conversation. Start by listing topics in two columns. One for what you want to learn about. One for where you have insights and experiences to share. Dare to list specific topics rather than generic ones as your focus candidates.

Picking 2-4 topics as a starting point. Select topics that can keep you engaged for an initial 6-month period. Such a choice will allow you to both pick up a large enough amount of insights. As well as gaining a reputation for being able to provide insights in the same area. Expect your engagements to go both to and from your audience on the topics you select.

Focusing on a few topics make your personal brand building simpler. It is hard to get recognized in the broad categories. Where super connectors and established digital influencers reign. We are all experts at something. And in the digital world meritocracy at something always beat beats mediocrity at everything.

Spend some time researching the traction for the hashtags associated with your topics. If there is now or low activity you might have picked a too narrow or too novel topic. And if it looks too crowded it might be worth rethinking. Put the topics you select with appropriate hashtags in your profile to make your interests known.

My first journey focused on a broad subject. Where I zoomed in on 7 categories. In hind-sight 7 were 2-3 too many. And I did not leverage the power of hashtag centric engagements from start.

Internal content sources

Searching for content to post is a tedious job. Making it worthwhile to find out what you can leverage on already curated content. Two sources can prove to be crucial short cuts.

First, your company might be big enough to have an employee advocacy program. Where you get access to a daily curated content feed. As a baseline for your posts. A lot easier to browse than to scan a few hashtags.

Second, existing digital influencers in your company can create short cuts. To content considered important. A group also alert in relaying new content when it is fresh.

Avoid content crafted for outbound communication. Where the focus is on getting out your message, and not having your audience in focus and what they are looking for. Where you can differentiate they two between the tone of voice. If “we” and your company name dominate, it is most likely outbound centric. When “you” dominate the language, it is a signal you deal with inbound content.

My journey started the hard way. Before employee advocacy programs and inbound centric content was available in quantities. Which make your influencer life harder. Leverage the shortcuts mentioned above as far as possible as far as possible.

External content sources

Your own inbound marketing skills get trained by engaging early with external content sources. Beyond customers you want to take leverage from existing digital influencers in your industry. Like super-connectors, industry analysts and news sources.

Super connectors have vast digital networks and spend a lot of time and effort to share and engage. One key to their success is their ability to find and share great content. A great source of insightful content. But leaving your to sort through the large quantities of posts they make.

Industry analysts track all hot topics in your industry. Often with a specific focus. Once you find the ones covering your industry you can expect a steady flow of relevant content.

News sources are great at crafting punch headlines. And master the art of writing for digital networks. With the only caveat around the trust and credibility. Stick to the ones you trust. As the news you relay spill over on the perception of your trustworthiness.

I missed super connectors in the beginning. And have become more and more selective who I share posts from. Once someone have gained my trust I relay more of their content.

Week 5 checklist

Topics you want to start engaging with during your first 6 months

  • Selected from your company’s digital discovery journeys
  • Hashtags in your digital biography

Internal content sources to leverage

  • Curated content in employee advocacy programs
  • Internal thought leaders, and the assets they generate weekly.

External content sources to leverage

  • Market segment super connectors
  • Industry analysts
  • News sources

Thank you for reading and engaging. Next week’s session will be about learning the basics about the tools.

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