6 Ways to Grow Your Business With Content

social media expert interviewAre you wondering why your business needs content? When you produce high-quality content, it’s a gift to your audience that they appreciate.

If you think of your business as a rocket, content is the fuel that moves it forward. Be sure to watch this edition of Social Media Examiner TV where I’ll share 6 effective ways to grow your business with content and take it to the stratosphere.

Share your feedback and see the show notes below!

There are two different types of content to fuel your business: primary fuel and nuclear fuel.

Primary Fuel

This is the content you produce regularly to attract people to your business. Here are some different types of primary fuel:

#1: How-to articles

How-to articles, such as 21 Creative Ways to Increase Your Facebook Fanbase, are great resources for your readers.  Be sure to provide details, give screenshots to illustrate things clearly and tell people exactly what to do. This way, your audience will want to share your content.

#2: Expert interviews

The right experts have valuable content for your audience. One example of this on Social Media Examiner is my interview with Guy KawasakiRemember to both record and transcribe your interview to share it in multiple formats with your audience.

#3: Case studies

Share stories of the people who are doing great things in your industry.  Have a look at the story of Logos Bible Software we recently published.

#4: Breaking news

Your audience appreciates good sources of breaking news. Think about doing a weekly wrap-up of the hot news of the week like we do on Social Media Examiner.

rocket fuel

What fuel do you use to grow your business?

.

Nuclear Fuel

This content is a special type of fuel to propel your business beyond the competition. It’s a bit more complicated to produce, but it has a much longer impact.

#5: Reports based on surveys

At Social Media Examiner, we create an annual industry report and distribute it for free.  We ask thousands of marketers lots of questions and then our team puts the report together and we give it away.  Often it’s read by tens of thousands of people. To make it easy to share, we embed a retweet button in the report.

#6: Contests

On Social Media Examiner, we do a Top 10 Social Media Blog contest.  Allow your audience to nominate the winners to activate your community.  And consider creating a badge for winners to put on their website and bring traffic back to your own website.

Want to learn more?

Watch the video and check out my brand-new book, Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition. Be sure to check out the FREE sample chapter of the book here.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode of Social Media Examiner TV, make sure to tweet about it (use hashtag #SMEtv), share it on Facebook or even embed this episode on your blog.

We want to hear from you! What content do you use to fuel your business ? Please tell us in the comments below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, and host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. He also authored of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    People want to be taught and not sold to like some sleazy sales man. if you can offer great readable content, then your on the way to the top..just stay consistence.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off” 

  • http://bloggerjet.com/ Tim Soulo

    Hey Michael, thanks for breaking down the content strategy that is being successfully used here at SME!
    Here are couple suggestions from me:

    Infographics.
    Since 2010 the internet saw the rise of infographics! And that’s because they work great in terms of bringing people to your website. In case you don’t have time to create an infographic yourself – there are a couple online agencies that will do that for you. There is even some guy at MyBlogGuest, who can create a sleek infographic for you in return for a link to his website! (I’m sure there’s someone on DigitalPoint too)
    Here is an example from SEOmoz: “The Noob Guide To Internet Marketing” – http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-noob-guide-to-online-marketing-with-giant-infographic-11928

    Inspirational Posts.
    Every industry has something amusing to showcase. Why don’t you collect all those funny/amazing/inspiring pictures and videos into a single post and share it with your audience? Posts like this are very powerful when they appear on Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit, etc. People share them like craaaazy :)
    As an example you can see this post of mine: “50 Amusing Examples of What You Never Thought You Can Do to Your Facebook Profile” – http://fbml-templates.net/2011/04/50-examples-of-what-you-never-thought-you-can-do-to-your-facebook-profile/

    Art-Directed Posts.
    This is a young trend and some people may not yet know about it. Art-Directed post is a combination of a blogpost with the infographic. Your post gets a unique design, different from your website and it becomes much more visually appealing. Those posts are pretty popular on social networks too.
    Here’s a nice example of an Art-Directed post on 1stWebDesigner: “Twitter Marketing Guide: Bigger, Longer and Uncut” – http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/twitter-marketing-guide/

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Great ideas here Tim. Thanks for sharing

  • http://www.experienceparade.com Nik Paterak

    Good content inspiration, it’s tough to not only keep coming up with quality material but at the same time not drift into the realm of coming across as sales. 

    I do have one question about content regarding surveys.  Being with a small company, what would be a good incentive to get others in our industry to take part in a survey we might conduct?

  • http://www.internetmarketingsource.net Sam Beamond

     Nice Tim, I almost got as much out of your reply as the post itself. I’ve definitely thought about the infographic industry. When I get some great info, I might just do that now! Do you see much demand for your FBML templates?

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Nik – Yes. The best incentive is to generate a report from a survey and offer it to all who take part in your survey.

  • http://bloggerjet.com/ Tim Soulo

    Thanks for the kind feedback :) As for the templates – considering that the project is very immature and the domain name still contains “FBML”, which is no longer supported by Facebook – the sales are pretty good :)

  • Jeremy Boone

    Michael,
    Great post and VERY informative!  You mentioned that you got the interview with Guy transcribed.  Can I ask you who you use to do the transcription for you?  If there a certain interview length that you would recommend?

    thanks!
    Jeremy

  • http://felixrelationshipmarketing.com/ Juan Felix

    hi Mike. Thanks for these 6 turbo boosters. Coincidence or not, but today I used your number 2. I interviewed Douglas Idugboe, founder and executive editor of smedio. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.bischoff Daniel Bischoff

    Great post. I’d like to add guest bloggers, too. Guest bloggers bring some variety to your blog, a third party name (which is a bit like a testimonial), expands your audience, and other good stuff.

  • http://www.brandignity.com/ Brandignity

     It is amazing to see how powerful content has become. When I speak to companies that are serious about marketing their business online and I hear they don’t have time to construct content it hurts inside.

  • http://www.AnnieAndre.com Annie Andre

    Mike, this is crazy amazing break down of content types.  I feel inspired to go create some rocket fuel…..

  • http://www.furgefutar.hu Colin

    I can’t believe you guys give this stuff out for free. Nice 1 !!!!! 

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Mike, I would love you to write a post on interviewing people like Guy so when we get a chance, we don’t mess it up. Top do’s and dont’s. Linda

  • http://reelseo.com/about/grant Grant Crowell

     Mike, thank you again for providing expert content free for everyone, and also taking the time to respond to some of people’s comments. I plan to use you and this site as an example of “social video optimization” for my presentation on that same subject next week. I believe that while there’s lots of good video content that’s attractive for consumers to share, what seems to be forgotten is the importance of customer service, which I think is crucial for people to understand as the key to building relationships with your audience (as both future clients and referrals to your own business.)

    Mari Smith is another great example I plan to mention. I hope to find others I can showcase as well that believe in both creating content that start conversations, as well as participating in the conversations they start with their own responses. (Of course not everyone has the time, so expectations should be manageable.)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Grant – Thanks much! I appreciate you.  Please email me as I would like to speak to you mike at socialmediaexaminer dot come

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

     Great idea!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    We aim to please Colin! :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Go get em Annie! :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    And those who don’t create content or make time for it are the ones struggling…

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Agree 100%

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Great to hear :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Jeremy – Reach out to me privately: mike at socialmediaexaminer dot com

  • Leland

    Good idea… survey takers motivated by others taking the same survey… a self-fueled piece of work. :)

  • http://www.melissadavis.com.au/ Melissa Davis

    Thanks for sharing such great ideas Mike, and Tim’s thoughts were a bonus!  I’ve cited SME as a social media virtuoso, valuable resource and brilliant example of ‘how to do it exceptionally well’ in a number of small business marketing workshops. There’s never a time I don’t learn something new from you – it’s powerful information so freely given and greatly appreciated. If you do a post on interviewing experts as Linda suggested, perhaps you can offer some tips not just on the interviewing process but on how to approach experts like yourself to secure an interview. I have no doubt all the ‘go to gurus’ must get inundated.

  • Leland

    Thankfully in many new/younger companies these days, customer service is taking huge strides towards better quality. :)

  • Leland

    Michael, I would just like to say… I admire what you have done with Social Media Examiner… and I was just reading the information page regarding your Social Media Success Summit that you are doing. Just wanted to say.. I had a few laughs. :)

    I am not a professional writer, so I would not presume to correct anything, however… it was quite long! I think the word Free was repeated more then 100 times? Mostly in Capitals? It was amusing :). I almost considered that the tactic you were going with for marketing the summit was… marketing lingo that is so over-the-top it’s designed to be satire? It had that effect on me at least.

    Also, I really enjoyed seeing that if i register today i can get $1197 in free bonuses!

    WOW!

    Hahaha. Really thank you for making me smile this morning Michael! Perhaps professional Marketers (I would not presume to be one) enjoy reading paragraphs constructed in marketing lingo? There was also a plethora of different visual styles used throughout the pitch… almost comical. For example.. the “NO TRAVEL REQUIRED” blurb inside of a green “power spike oval”. Followed by a 6 minute video of course. :)

    Indeed, the yellow-highlighted text helped me to wake up this morning as I was sipping on my apricot/orange juice (really tasty btw… suggest you cut oranges, squeeze them and then add some apricot puree and a little bit of water to smooth it out a bit.. great for the morning!

    Again, Michael, this is not meant in any way to talk down on the summit or what you are doing with that… the advertisement for it it was quite amusing though and if I had 40 minutes I might read the entire thing. ^^

    Have a great day :)

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  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Leland,

    Thanks for being a loyal follower. What you may not know about me is my back ground as a long form copywriter who specialized in white papers (see my first book). While you might think long copy is crazy, it works exceptionally well. We have sold more than 2500 tickets to that event. And nearly all attendees are marketers. So, despite that it seems odd to you, it really works. Think of it like an infomercial in written form :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Melissa

  • akeem adeola salami

    Mike,what a good job from u.I realy love ur analysis and i which to know more from u.

  • http://www.oneresult.co.uk liz strawford

     Thanks to Michael and Tim for the great tips here…I think this post counts as a “how to” and an inspirational post :)

  • http://www.jonesnow.org/ Gareth

    Great post and comments! We are just starting our journey in to promoting our business via Social Media and this has been incredibly valuable in helping work out our direction. Kudos to you Mike, keep up the great work.

  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

    It’s strange. I seem to be hitting the mark on all of the
    topics discussed in this article yet my readership response and my new
    readership remains stagnant. What can I do?
     

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

     Great tips Mike I can’t wait to read your book!

  • Rohit Nair

    Hey Micheal,
    The retweet link u mention in your video is not working on new twitter. Can u suggest any changes that needs to be made in the link??
    Regards – Rohit 

  • http://www.Mokumax.com Craig Kelley

    Great suggestions Mike!  Generating original content always seems to take the most time for a site but it definitely is the biggest draw for traffic.  Sounds like a challenge that a lot of us need to overcome.. Just do it! 
    Thanks again,
    Craig

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hi Rohit,

    Actually it does work. We are using it right now. See http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-add-retweet-buttons-in-your-pdf-documents/

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Stephanie

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Donald,

    Are you making it easy for people to share your content?

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

     Thanks for the kudos and good luck Gareth!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Liz

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks so much Akeem

  • http://naturalhealthcare.web.officelive.com/africanmangoweightloss.aspx Dennis

    I never looked at it this way. This is really informative. I always try to have good content but sometimes it is just ok. I will have to brush up on this.

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  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

     

    I basically share personal development information. I am not
    sure how much of it actually gets shared. I typically work my brand and share
    content from others. I have an “opt in” box but I really don’t have any follow
    up information for people once they sign up. Take a look and tell me what you
    think. http://paynelessadvice.com   

  • http://www.internetincomecode.com George Tee

    Hi mike, great post. Thanks for the illustrations and dividing the different kinds of contents. Indeed, it is much more difficult to achieve the nuclear fuel but the effect is much longer. It is much more easy to do the primary fuel. Both methods gives good traffic.

  • http://www.coreymcmahon.com/ Corey McMahon

    6 great ideas for content!

    Not really sure about the rocket ship, fuel metaphor thing though….

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Corey – Content is fuel for your business. The rocket is your business.  Your readers consume the fuel, moving you forward

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks George

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Yes, now get underway :)

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  • http://www.connectioncafe.com connectioncafe

     Hey Michael,

    First, I agree that content is a great grower of traffic. It’s real substance and that’s great. My comment here though really isn’t about the post. It’s about how you posted it. I find Social Media Examiner to have some really great content (woohoo!) but I have to tell you, the lengthy videos often push me away. Who has time for a 6, 7 or even 8 minute video!? I hope in future video posts you’ll consider breaking up what is almost absolutely awesome content into two or three shorter videos…ideally in the under 2 minutes realm. I would get a lot more insight from your expertise this way. But to end on positive note, I do like bullets for the written content. Very fast-paced-lifestyle friendly.

    -Cheryl

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Cheryl,

    Great feedback and they are rare for us.  We typically do interview videos.  Some folks prefer video and others text :)

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Great addendum to Mike’s list, Tim. 

    Thnx 

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    I know @douglasi:twitter  …a hustler of the best sort. Love that dude. 

  • http://www.Mokumax.com Craig Kelley

     Done! – new post (http://mokumax.org/tutorials/how-often-should-you-tweet) Thx for the lift! No pun intended. :)

  • propagandahouse

    Great post Michael, this is the second addition to my ‘content inspiration’ folder.. 

    Another one of my favorite types of content is the ‘borrowed name recognition’ post. Using a recognized party such as a celebrity, tv show, band that is popular with the target audience and relating them to a topic. e.g. The ‘Friends’ Guide to Facebook Marketing, or 5 Things Lady Gaga Can Teach You About Building A Twitter Following.. (I might use them for a post right now!)

    Cheers
    Dan

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  • Dasarathi Behera

    Very Informative! I would like to read more such content. Everyday I am reading the articles published by the socialmediaexaminer.com. Very useful guide for social media marketing. Thank u very much.

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  • Mary Mancera

    Michael — bravo! You consistently produce “content” that makes me stop and read your emails amidst the hundreds of others in my inbox, day after day, week after week. You’re a rock star!

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  • http://www.buystand.com/ Sergei Dolukhanov

    It looks like he’s reading from something next to the camera. 

  • http://www.buystand.com/ Sergei Dolukhanov

    It looks like he’s reading from something next to the camera. 

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