Connective pieces are articles, blog posts or social media updates that are based on external content – where you're re-printing, commenting on or building from something someone else said or wrote.
I call these connective pieces because they help us connect in three important ways:
- They help us connect the dots for our readers. As Andrea J. Lee writes in her perennial thought piece, Multiple Streams of Coaching Income, we're fulfilling the request, "Excuse me, will you be my Google?" as we filter the most relevant and accurate information in that unique way that our readers have come to enjoy.
- They help us connect our own ideas with what else is out there (new thought pieces will naturally flow out of your connective pieces and vice versa).
- They help us connect with our community of colleagues and the experts in our industry. These connections can lead to cross-referrals and future collaborate projects.
Connective pieces include:
- Pre-written articles that you choose from an article bank website or a specialized article service
- Articles that you commission from a guest author
- Transcriptions or summaries of expert interviews
- Case stories about clients you've worked with
- Reviews of tools, resources or services that might be useful to your readers
- Tweets or other social media updates where you share links, quotes or recommendations
As you can see, connective pieces can range in length from a 140-character tweet to a full-length article, and everything in between. While there's certainly more room and permission on social media sites to blur the line between your personal interests and those of your readers, generally your connective pieces are targeted specifically to address the needs and concerns of your ideal client.
Writing prompt: Are you stuck coming up with your own original content? How about compiling some content that's already been written? How about interviewing a client or colleague? Or add another head to the job and see what the two of you can come up with!
For more about how to use the connective piece in your content marketing strategy, see my follow-up post, "How different types of online content can help you build a relationship with your ideal client". Watch also for my next post about the third type of online content, the core piece.