Pretty much every marketer knows that content is king and, truly, it’s one of the best avenues towards lead generation. But the sad reality we all have to face is the fact that few have both the time and/or the resources to constantly generate all that content all the time. And with multi-channel marketing – blogging, posting on social media and pushing email marketing pieces out, in particular – it’s just content, content, content across the various marketing channels. So, while it’s important to create original pieces, there is a fair bit of value in sharing or resharing existing information as well. Why reinvent the wheel? If there’s already an article, tweet or Facebook post out there that so eloquently states what you’re stumbling to say in your own words, why work so hard to duplicate their same exact efforts?
First and foremost, understand that sharing is not the same thing as plagiarizing
You should always do your due diligence and obtain permission to use someone else’s content before using it. What you might think is a flattering gesture of inclusion might meet with heated opposition. Some may flat out call what you’re doing stealing and demand that you take action to remedy the situation immediately. This is especially the case with image assets found on the Internet and reused without attribution. No one wants the turbulence that sort of exchange would entail. At the very least, if you make use of someone else’s content, be sure to credit them as your source. Everyone loves and deserves credit for their work. Take it one step further and do them a solid by including a link to their original post or to their blog’s homepage. If you think their content is so great, at least show its creator some gratitude by throwing traffic their way.
Some sites allow for resharing or “reblogging” which literally republishes someone else’s post as something coming from you but with very conspicuous crediting of the original source. Social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter do this in spades and give the original content creator an increasing tally each time a particular piece gets reshared by others.
Now, if you’re not reproducing their content in any way but instead are merely linking your readers to it in, say, an email newsletter or a post to your Google+ stream, you should be all set. It’s fairly obvious that the URL you are posting is in no way yours, after all, and that you are in no way claiming to be the content’s originator. It is still recommended that you inform the other writer as a courtesy, though. Reach out to them via social media. Comment on or reply to the very post you’re resharing. Email them. They’ll appreciate the gesture. But do yourself a favor — preface the link to their site with some content of your own.
Put the link and, by extension, the article into some sort of context. Introduce the writer. Say what exactly it is about the piece that you thought was worth resharing. However way you decide to do so, just be sure to add your voice. Don’t make your blog or social media platform simply a collection of links that drive your readers away to other destinations with nary a word from you. Keep them there with you.
Sharing benefits both the sharer and the shared
If you do reach out to other content creators to request permission to use their work or to simply inform them that you featured a link to their article or post, they may make mention of it on their own blog or social media platforms and link back to your post. Congratulations, you just landed yourself an inbound link. What’s more, this introduces the possibility of them featuring some of your content on their blog, for example, or, better still, this may open the door to the idea of guest blogging on either your blog or theirs.Backlinks galore! Moreover, this sort of hat-tipping to one another helps reinforce the industry positioning you are both working to achieve as subject matter experts.
Saying that you’re an expert in a particular field is all well and good but having someoneelse say so? That speaks volumes. And, hey, at the least, you may find yourself with a new follower or subscriber. That’s good, too.
Sharing information from other sources also helps to demonstrate the fact that you are indeed cognizant of what’s outside your business and what’s going on in the industry at large. Keeping current and involved in the industry happenings and discussions communicate to your readers (customers and prospects, alike) that you know what’s what, you know what’s going on and, more importantly, you aren’t being left behind. You’re part of the conversation.
Continue the discussion or start a new one
While what’s already been stated has been stated, waste not the opportunity that is presented before you. With a reshare you can begin a new discussion that uses the quoted article’s stance as a launching off point for what you would like to say. Use it as a citation or reference to reinforce your point. Conversely, you can merely continue the discussion that the other writer has already begun by adding a little bit of your own take on the topic.
Another option would be to present the post as a counter-point to your own diametrically opposed viewpoint. You could, in effect, make it a personal response to the other post entirely. If you coordinate with the other content creator the two of you could possibly have a very frank and reasoned back-and-forth over the Internet, providing links to one another’s posts.
A third angle might be to preface the article or post with a specific, personal example of what is otherwise described in general, abstract terms. Make your own content a specific case elaboration and real world example of what it is that they’re describing. You could provide valuable insight to what is simply a prescriptive or instructive post by describing matters from a personal and therefore relatable perspective.
Short on time no longer has to mean short on content
Still hesitant to share and reshare content? Don’t be. In today’s fast-paced business world this sort of thing has become a standard practice. Everything in moderation, mind you. You don’t want to make reshares the entirety or even the bulk of your multi-channel marketing efforts. In particular, it would be less than desirable to unintentionally demonstrate that everyone else’s content is superior and/or more prolific than your own due to your Twitter timeline, Google+ stream or blog being populated with pieces that you, yourself, didn’t come up with.
When approached correctly and mindfully, resharing content could potentially lead to even more content through guest blogging and virtual dialogues between two completely disparate sites or social media profiles. It could bring about new opportunities and forge new relationships. So, keep on generating that original content. But if you’re stuck or if someone has already articulated something you’re struggling with or, heck, if you just want to mix things up, don’t shy away from the reshare.