Being earnest, or sincere, in your efforts to provide content to you customers is perhaps your most important task. Until recent years, your “content” was advertisements, flyers, coupons and other promotional materials. Outstanding content today requires a new mindset and intent. You’re not selling your customers with your content, be it that from a blog, an email newsletter or a posting on a social network, but instead you are providing them with value.

While having lunch with Jay Garmon, an email marketing whiz and fellow Social Media Club Louisville board member, earlier this week I asked if he happened to subscribe to Exploring Social Media – my email newsletter. (I was looking for some constructive criticism.) He said he subscribed to the RSS feed of my blog and assumed that my e-newsletter was a digest of the month’s Social Media Explorer posts. I assured him the newsletter content was exclusive and, in fact, different.

E-Newsletter from Jason Falls and Social Media ExplorerThe conversation reminded me that having a strong content strategy doesn’t just imply that you need and editorial calendar for your corporate website or blog. You also need to think about each content marketing mechanism you employ is different, how its audience is different and what additional value you can provide exclusively to that group.

The content I provide on Social Media Explorer serves (I think) social media marketers at many levels, but mostly established professionals seeking ideas and insights to help them do their jobs better. The content I provide on Exploring Social Media (the newsletter) serves a more broad audience of folks interested in social media but not as established, but without dumbing it down too much and alienating the blog readers. My posts on the Social Media Explorer Facebook Page are intended for almost a 101 audience since many of my connections there are people who have no contact with social media other than they’re on Facebook. It’s sort of my beginners sandbox, if you will.

The content for each is different because it serves a slightly different audience.

To copy and paste your blog or website content into an e-newsletter may very well serve the same content to two different audiences, but are you sure? Are you perhaps missing an opportunity to move your website audience a little closer to your brand with a targeted email effort? Are your Twitter followers also your Facebook fans? If so, don’t you think the auto post to your status update is a bit redundant?

Think about your content channels. How are you using them? I’m interested to know if it’s repositioned content or a rethought strategy. The comments are yours.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

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  • http://davidhorne.me david horne

    i am in agreement here Jason. the different channels probably contain different audiences. this is where listening to the voice of your readers/participants and what they want or need is important here. being relevant to our audiences and giving them something of value (which is most likely different for each group) should be a priority. Jason, how do you manage this process?

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Good question, David. I manage it very informally for Social Media
      Explorer, but recommend managing it with a bit more precision for
      clients. Let's say you have three audiences – general public, a deal/
      coupon crowd that's a bit more invested but only for monetary savings,
      then a hardcore crowd that loves you/your product. Your blog content
      needs to be geared toward everyone, but with some deal/coupons and
      close to the vest or in-depth content sprinkled in there to entice
      those interested to step up and invest more time in your brand. Your
      email newsletter (lets say) can either be coupon driven for those who
      just want deals (or you can use Twitter or Facebook for this channel,
      depending upon what your audience tells you or where that type of
      audience member plays most often) or it can be the place where your
      biggest fans get more close to the bone content — up close and
      personal video interviews with your employees, technical explanations
      that hard core fans would like, etc. You can also use Facebook for
      that if you don't mind anyone seeing it. Sometimes the close to the
      bone content is better if behind some sort of sign up. Makes it appear
      more exclusive.

      Managing it all is a matter of planning and prioritizing. Developing
      and editorial calendar to guide your thinking helps you pull back and
      say, “How will I serve each audience, how often and are there any
      overlaps or synergies (can't believe I used that word) to take into
      account. Then you plug it into your weekly routine. Maybe you spend
      Friday afternoon writing and producing the next week's main content,
      work Monday to get the exclusive content for the hard core folks out
      the door, then toss a coupon deal or promotion out on Wednesday.
      Depending upon your audiences and volume, you just need to plug in the
      time to produce the content into your schedule.

      Does that help? (Not bad for early in the morning and top of mind. Heh.)

      • http://davidhorne.me david horne

        impressive for early am. i appreciate your response

      • http://twitter.com/greggorman Greg Gorman

        That reply is one of the more concrete examples. You may want to use that in a more widely read medium!

        • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

          Yeah … almost a post in and of itself. Got carried away, I guess. Thanks, Greg.

  • http://www.writingVA.com/blog.php maryhruth

    Yes! Thanks so much for saying this. I even object to the tools that spread your posts over all your networking sites: there's no respect for your readers in that. Each tool has its reason for being, different from others.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Mary. Good to know I'm not the only one thinking it!

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    A good content strategy is a bit like running a coffee shop. Sure, everyone who steps to the counter wants coffee (content), but if you served them all the exact some cup of joe, you wouldn't stay in business. Some want cream. Some want sugar. Some want both. Some want a premium latte. Some want it fast, drive-thru style. Some want to linger.

    Your content needs to work the same way. It takes careful planning, astute understanding of your audience, and a “their needs, not mine” mentality.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Flat awesome analogy. Well done, Scott!

  • http://www.themoviebanter.com/ Craig

    Interesting take and its true you have and others may have different types of audiences in different social networks. But when do you feel it's necessary to supply different content? Like you mention you use FB as more of a 101 class, but would you produce content strictly for them and not your blog or elsewhere? May be good, but is the reach worth it? I guess you have to figure out based off of your time restraints.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks Craig. True that everything is a matter of balance. Honestly, I
      have motivation to build a 101-type audience because I'm building a
      premium content mechanism to drive some revenue with online learning
      (mostly for non-social media people). So that's the starter audience
      for that effort. But I do think that developing different content for
      separate audiences is largely an opportunity taken only if you have
      the time and resources to do so. For a small business, it's about
      driving sales with minimal effort. Marketing takes up about 10 percent
      of your time, so you have to be efficient with it. As you grow and
      have more opportunity, resources, etc., you can get smarter with your
      audience targeting.

      Great point to discuss. Thanks for throwing it out there.

  • http://www.themoviebanter.com/ Craig

    Interesting take and its true you have and others may have different types of audiences in different social networks. But when do you feel it's necessary to supply different content? Like you mention you use FB as more of a 101 class, but would you produce content strictly for them and not your blog or elsewhere? May be good, but is the reach worth it? I guess you have to figure out based off of your time restraints.

  • http://jeffhora.wordpress.com Jeff Hora

    I really appreciate your differentiation of the interests of the various audiences, even for the “same content”, if need be. I've been a storyteller all my life, but when retelling a story for a different group, I pay attention to the gravitas, commonalities, interests (if I can), etc. of the particular group and shade, emphasize or de-emphasize different parts of the story accordingly. The arc remains, the point is the same, but there are ways to make something interesting to almost anyone.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Well said, Jeff. First rule of communications is to understand your
      audience. This is just how it manifests itself with multiple content
      channels.

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  • sheilamikulin

    Great article – thanks!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      You're welcome. Thanks for the comment.

  • angeladejesus

    Interesting blog. Nice to know that there still are blogs who make sense. =) You can also drop by our website. It's mainly about affordable seo services . You might know someone who might be interested. =)

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks for stopping by.

  • frankdickinson

    Thanks for this Jason. As I am setting up a new blog I have been thinking about the various groups that I want to reach with the content. This post has confirmed that I was on the right track.

    Over the last few years I have seen the need for a definite shift in mindset and intent you speak of:

    “Outstanding content today requires a new mindset and intent. You’re not selling your customers with your content, be it that from a blog, an email newsletter or a posting on a social network, but instead you are providing them with value.”

    So true, so VERY true.

    Let's hope that more and more bloggers take this truth to heart.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Frank. Glad you found the post useful. I appreciate the
      feedback and the comment.

  • http://www.advertising-techniques.com Dong Eito

    This is an insightful thought for new blogger like me who really struggles between to write good content or to aggregate. With 199M sites competing on the search term 'social media' it's just too much to bear from a reader's perspective. I would guess that out of 199M there are only a handful of really Good Quality content out there. Having said that, with more people joining the social media environment connecting each other on a daily basis information flies at a lightning speed. They will find out if its worth visiting your blog or if its worth clicking what you offer…and that is called Value as Jason mentioned earlier.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks for the thoughts.

  • http://blogcatalog.com/community Jason Teitelman

    Very helpful insight Jason. I was wondering how much time/effort do you put into organizing your editorial calendar? Is it something that you spend a good amount of time setting up or is it one of those things that is fairly easy to work out? I think setting up an editorial calendar for myself is something that will be extremely helpful to me and I was just trying to get a gauge of how much time I should be devoting to planning this out each week.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Good question Jason. Planning anything, even informally, is smart an
      helpful. I spend about 20 minutes a month brainstorming ideas for
      content. I tuck the list away and pull it out when I'm ready to write
      and go with whatever topic is timely and appropriate. It is really
      more of a gut feel for SME.

      I recommend a more formal approach for clients. SME stuff lives more
      in my head than anywhere else.

      • http://blogcatalog.com/community Jason Teitelman

        Thanks for the response. In light of your article I am going to put the now empty whiteboard behind my desk to use with post ideas on the one side and a tentative monthly posting schedule on the other. I sometime like the idea of having certain days, like Feature member Monday or Blog Tip Tuesday, but don't like the idea of being limited to only 5-7 topics throughout the week. By setting up a calendar I think it will give me a great visual aid to see what days throughout any given month I can choose post one of those “predetermined” posts and then what days I can fill with broader content.

        Once again, thanks for the post. I'll let you know how my whiteboard experiment works out over the next month or so.

        • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

          Please do report back. Love to know if it helps alleviate some stress
          with content creation. Good luck.

  • http://20-20faithsight.blogspot.com/ Sheryl

    Good article! Caught you as featured on blogcatalog front page.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Awesome! Thanks Sheryl. Glad to know the Blog Catalog gang is still a fan of
      my stuff. Appreciate the comment.

  • http://www.spiceupyourblog.com/ Paul Crowe

    Some Great thoughts,

    I never really tought of using the fan page for unique content.

    Paul.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Glad to help, Paul. Thanks for the comment.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Glad to help, Paul. Thanks for the comment.

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  • http://www.playonacoustic.com Acoustic

    Really interesting idea to post unique snippets on Social sites instead of just adding links to posts..

  • http://www.playonacoustic.com Acoustic

    Really interesting idea to post unique snippets on Social sites instead of just adding links to posts..

  • http://www.netsurfers.net Than

    awesome post man,keep them coming,very usefull for a full time blogger like me…i will try them out..

  • http://www.cygnismedia.com/social-media-application/facebook-developer.html facebook application developer

    It is really nice for me to see you and your great hardwork again.Every piece of your work look excellent.Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  • http://www.rapidwriters.net/ Writing Custom Essays

    This an interesting approach.
    Thank you for sharing to us.
    Please one more post about that..

  • http://twitter.com/mailblaze Spiro Malamoglou

    Bit late on the wagon here, but really well put Jason. Very thought provoking, us marketers need to be sure we’re doing the best that we can to engage with our subscribers on each level. Simply taking content and shifting it between the different points of contact is no longer acceptable. Thanks for driving home that fact.