Most of us learned to share in kindergarten, maybe earlier if we had siblings. Who knew the art of sharing would become even more important when we became adults?
We've heard it, we've read it, we've even said it: To create and maintain a successful online presence, you need to be friendly and helpful—and you need to share relevant content. But is there a way to extend your brand while sharing content without being overtly promotional? Of course.
A positive experience with your brand lingers with those who encounter it. These 10 quick tips encourage you to share liberally and make it easy for others to find, use, and distribute your content... all the while subtly increasing your brand's influence online.
1. Multichannel Distribution
Use multichannel distribution media and platforms, such as Posterous and Tumblr, that allow you to assemble your content and send it via email. Once your branded content is distributed, users and fans can easily share it with others.
Using Twitter, post short messages with information or links to your content. Followers will re-tweet posts of interest.
Be alert and reciprocate, and thank those who re-tweet you: It’s a good way to start, or continue, a conversation.
Aggregate your content from various sources into a branded iPhone, Android, or other smartphone app. The market is competitive, so make sure your app is interesting, relevant, valuable, useful, or entertaining.
Give your content away as branded e-books, whitepapers, and audio or video downloads. Make it available on multiple platforms.
Upload you content onto a portable device, such as a branded flash drive, and personally hand it to (or send it to) a prospect or influential person.
Create a contest or sweepstakes to attract people to your content, then provide them with incentive to share that content with others to view, enter, or vote.
Use Creative Commons to manage usage rights for your content on sites like Flickr. It protects you, the author, and facilitates liberal sharing of your content.
Photo: Michael Porter
Collaborate from the outset to make your content a team effort. When people share in the process of content creation, they become invested in it.
(For more on encouraging your whole team to create content, see "10 Ways to Entice Your Whole Company (Not Just Marketing) to Blog.")
Tastefully embed a logo or other watermark in the corner of your photos and encourage other content creators to use them in other digital applications.
To spark more ideas on how to extend your brand, download Brainstorm's 2011 Edition MediaSphere, a graphical menu of traditional and emerging channel options available to today's marketers.