It's all about content.
Content is King.
Generating enough content is the top issue on our little business brains, according to any statistics you'd ever like to quote.
I define content as the stories your company shares with it's various audiences, to help them understand what makes you unique and why they should spend their time and money supporting your brand. Content is not a substitute for marketing, but it is the information you supply, to form an emotional connection with your customers - it gets them involved.
There are really only 3 ways to go.
1. You create fresh, original content
This is by far the hardest and most time consuming route, but as with anything in life, all that effort can lead to maximum returns if done well. Content creation puts you in control, lets you add your own personality and project images and stories that resonate with your distinct groups. You have the ideas, you produce a post/article/whitepaper and you share it.
See Red Bull content marketing.
2. You summarize and curate the content that's already out there
The time poor consumer is happy to do their own research, but anyone who can shorten their decision making process is a friend. Companies who pull together the best content available, be that blog posts, articles, infographics, podcasts etc. around a particular industry/market/topic to share with their audience, immediately add value by saving them the trouble of finding these gems themselves.
IBM have a great curation example on tumblr.
3. You find key allies and syndicate content
Syndication is about getting your content in front of different audiences, often creating new revenue sources along the way. You can either join forces with those already making a noise in the markets you want to reach and find a way to work with them, (guest blog, co-produced white paper etc.) or distribute third party information, usually be quoting links back to the original work, (or paying to republish as necessary). Newspapers are a great example of syndication, with several different journalists, puzzle makers, cartoonists etc contributing to the final product.
Take a look at the following sites to see more on this model
Social Media Today
Sustainable Business Forum
My Venture Pad
I suspect that the day is near when we won't even talk about content as a separate subject, since social media has now put the consumer firmly in control of the stories behind each brand. Let coca-cola's content 2020 program lead the way .......