How #contentmarketing & #social media let small organizations play bigger than they are Click To Tweet
Basketball net - You can score with content marketing and social media!Growing up, my favorite sport was basketball. Unfortunately, I was vertically challenged, standing 5’ 2” in the even cushiest of sneakers.

But there’s a saying in the sport about “playing bigger than you are.” On the court facing 5 other competing players – most, if not all of them, taller – that means being fit enough to set the tempo; using a lot of motion on offense to create mismatches; protecting the ball and taking only good shots; and “boxing out” to position yourself well to win the rebounds of all missed shots, yours and theirs.

There are equivalents today in the marketing world, where the internet and social media will allow you to play much bigger within your competitive space, figuratively, than your organization literally is.

7 ways to ‘play bigger than you are’

Regardless of annual sales, or even headcount to a significant degree, you can level the playing field by taking advantage of this environment in which everyone is a publisher and anyone can establish themselves as a thought leader. Yes, you’ve got your website. And a basic presence on social media. But are you being found? The combination of regular, strategic content marketing and social media equals powerful marketing. Any small- to medium-sized business (SMB) or nonprofit can take what you know and leverage the power of the web and social media to “play bigger than you are.”

Here’s how:

  1. TAKING STOCK: Consider your expertise (keeping in mind your entire staff) and do an audit of your existing content assets (case studies, reports, articles). How might you leverage these resources more fully by repurposing using different formats and promoting via more and different channels (blog, webinars, a podcast, even by securing a speaking engagement, perhaps on a panel or workshop at an upcoming trade show)?
  2. CLAIMING YOUR SPOT on all relevant social media channels (Your focus will vary depending on your industry but, generally, and for now, the “big 3” might be considered Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.)
  3. CALENDARING: Commit to creating and posting content on a regular basis; create a calendar of ideas including repurposing of particular pieces of content.
  4. FINDING THE INFLUENCERS: Conduct research to identify other influencers in your space (one good tool is BuzzSumo); add them to the list of people you are Following on Twitter, pay attention to their posts, Retweet and Comment so you’re taking an active part in the community and the conversation. You will learn and uncover countless resources while you nurture awareness for your own brand and influencer status.
  5. CURATING: Use all the resources at your disposal to curate relevant, valuable information; share those golden nuggets via a Resource Center on your website, through commentary on your own blog and posts on your social accounts, particularly on Twitter. (Be sure to use a link shortener such as bit.ly or ow.ly or a social media management platform such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck that performs that function automatically to avoid sharing overly long URLs.
  6. content marketing tweetWORDS MATTER! Do keyword research to understand specifically how people use online search and social tools to go about finding answers to key questions in your field. There are free tools such as those from SpyFu and SEMRush. Google’s Keyword Planner is the most widely known and probably used, but you must set up a Google AdWords account to access it. Use these keywords and keyword phrases in planning and creating your content. Incorporate them into alt tags on any images you use. Use them with hashtags in your Tweets to make your posts findable beyond your existing followership, i.e. If I share a link regarding #contentmarketing, with the # mark, not only will those who already follow me on Twitter have the potential to see it, but it also will pop up for anyone who uses Twitter as a news and research tool and searches #contentmarketing.
  7. BE YOUR OWN SOURCE: Consider whether you have an opportunity to collect and present original research that would be useful to others and compelling to local or trade press. Publicity – or “earned” media – amplifies your reach and your credibility. There’s one more criteria for succeeding at “playing bigger than you are.” It’s more of an intangible but it can have tangible effects. It’s believing in yourself and your teammates (colleagues, in the organizational world) and exuding that belief through your actions and demeanor. Having the above gameplan for utilizing digital tools and techniques should boost your confidence, and leveraging the “play bigger than you are” strategy is as likely to generate success in the business or nonprofit arena as it does on the basketball court. Get ready, play big!

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