Content Is The New Packaging

No matter how great your product is, if it is not packaged well, it will not sell. Nowhere is this more true than in the beauty industry, of which, as the leader of the INDIE Beauty Network, I am a part. But today, the package in which a product is enclosed, and even the product itself, takes a back seat to the content circulated to share that product with the world. Let me explain.

Gone are the days when a great website with beautiful product photos and well-written product descriptions was a big advantage. Today, those things are basic starting points. Today, the sale is made long before a buyer gets to your website. Therefore, the information you publish (yes, you are a publisher) via the Internet and mobile devices is more important than ever. If you don't lead your business forward into 2011 with a content marketing strategy that employs a blog, a newsletter, FaceBook, Twitter, and at least one social mobile service, you are like a frog in slowly boiling water. No, you don't have to kill yourself doing all this, but you do have to do it.

When you publish quality content that positively influences others, you are leading your business well. You are also making it easy for your target customers to help you lead your business well, because they will read and share your quality content with their friends.

If you don't produce content, there's nothing to share. If there's nothing to share, well, you finish the sentence.

One way I help my members curate content is by feeding their blog posts via RSS to a widget that appears here on my blog (right column) and on the home page of our social networking site. Members can also share the widget at their blogs. This helps INDIEs deliver more value to their blog readers without having to do it themselves. It also supports other members by sharing their content.

Another way we do this collectively is via the INDIE Members Paperli. Published daily, it aggregates the blog posts and Tweets of my members and makes it easy to share. I share it, and other people share it too — without being asked.

And because I maintain a blog that publishes frequent bursts of content that my members and other small and independent business owenrs find valuable, I am included in other people's Paperli Publications, like this one by Tai Goodwin. What an honor it is to have someone think enough of your content to include it in their own publication. I always try to follow everyone who is included in a Paperli with me, and I always try to Tweet to acknowledge and thank the publisher for including me in their Paperli.

Question: Do you agree? Disagree? How do you use content to package the products and services you offer?

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.