New year, new content

With content marketing set to dominate again in 2021, there’s a world of difference between the companies doing it well and those frantically pumping out content just for the sake of it.

Not that we blame them. It’s challenging running a business while delighting your audience with fresh content that’s interesting, engaging, relevant and regularly updated.

The good news is you don’t have to create all your content in-house – you can pull it from elsewhere if you’re smart about it. Those in the know are already sourcing content from a wide variety of trusted sources in their field, and in-turn positioning themselves as industry leaders with a fine eye for curation.

Why produce everything yourself when you can look to peers and thought leaders across your industry for inspiration – interacting with them by reposting, repurposing, highlighting and adding to discussions?  

This is the idea behind content communities, where clever brands draw inspiration from those operating in the same space or even further afield – entities with a similar ethos, approach or aesthetic. 

Sharing relevant, engaging pieces from content communities that echo your own brand values will show your audience that you’re across everything important that’s happening in the field.

Done right, a flow-on effect of community-sourced content is better brand awareness, enhanced trust and credibility, new community members and customers, and a better all-round experience for the followers you have already. 

Perhaps the biggest benefit, however, is the absolute Holy Grail – regularly produced content. When others in the community are creating content for you, it eliminates the worry around where your next post is coming from – hello, peace of mind!

Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind when it comes to community-sourced content:

1. Listen to your audience
Struggling to figure out what your audience wants? Given half a chance, they’ll tell you. Listen carefully to what your community has to say and take this feedback on board. Read between the lines and look for valuable insights. Take note of the conversations they have with each other and what they’re saying to your competitors. Pick up on cues relating to what they’re interested in, what experiences resonate with them and what tools they use.

2.  Focus on others for a change
Banging on about your own business sure does get repetitive after a while. Consider mixing it up by shining the spotlight on an industry peer with insights to share. There’s nothing like a change of lens to energise your own brand message and show that you’re across everything that’s happening in your industry. Good content is content the audience is truly interested in – get to know their tastes and ensure everything you re-share is relevant and engaging.   

3. Give them something for nothing
Noticed a trend in your industry? Something interesting that might surprise people? Share a post that speaks to what you’ve learned, relating it back to your own experiences and why this matters to your audience. You’ll reinforce your own expertise and the domino effect of enhanced brand awareness, credibility and great new recruits begins.

The bottom line is that a content stream featuring a healthy mix of material, sourced both from your community and produced in-house, takes the pressure off your own team and ensures you have enough content to keep kicking goals in 2021.