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Creating Content, Establishing Expertise

au·then·tic·i·ty The quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy, or genuine.

Increasingly, business owners understand to be taken seriously in today’s marketplace, they need to produce high quality, education-based content consistently, and then get it in front of their target audiences. In fact, useful content – the kind that gets you recognized as the “go-to” source in your particular field – is the core of many successful small business marketing campaigns. And it’s not enough to create content; you need to get it in front of your target audience, people with a need for your products or services.

If you’re a business owner, you’re probably wondering where you’re going to find time (or talent) for writing. Running a business day to day is more than a full-time job, especially in a struggling economy.

Some of your content can be third-party. A post consisting of a line or two and a link to an article can keep you in front of your your target audience. Many professional associations, veterinarians and financial planners, e.g., produce generic newsletters, on- or offline. Pawan Deshpande over at Social Media Pros reports that a combination of original content and third-party content yields better results than original content alone.

As well, in many cases, content creation can be 1. delegated to someone on your staff, or 2. outsourced to your marketing consultant or a freelance writer or writing service such as bloggmutt.com or contentdevelopmentpros.com. If you’re selling manufactured products or impersonal services, then authenticity shouldn’t be a problem. So long as your information is factual and germane, neither your target audience nor the search engines will care who wrote it.

If you ARE your business, however – say you’re an investment advisor, a candidate for elected office, or a wedding planner – then at least some of your content should be your own. What you’re selling is your personality, your own thoughts and opinions. Sure, you can incorporate points from various sources, even other blogs, but make it your own. Because what you’re selling is you!

Keep in mind that the purpose of content creation is to attract and convert leads to you, not to your industry. Your goal is to own your niche.

If you’ve been following my recent posts, you know I’ve joined the Duct Tape Marketing consultant network, and that over at Duct Tape, we treat marketing as a habit, not an event. The most important step you can take to generate and convert leads is to make it a habit to produce fresh, noteworthy content, and make it authentically yours.