When getting serious about content marketing, a lot of businesses start with the vehicle, or asset, and focus on that. They think, “Oh, let’s start a blog” or “Let’s start a podcast”, and then they try and figure out what to fill it with.
That is always a really painful approach and fraught with danger.
Instead, focus on the ‘what’ and not the ‘how’. Focus on what you want to communicate through your content, and how you want to influence the audience, and then decide the how of delivering it?
The beauty of taking a content-first approach, instead of vehicle-first approach, is that you start to open yourself up to all types of repurposing and recutting content.
Repurposing and recutting content is, in my opinion, one of the greatest efficiency tricks in marketing.
In this episode, I’ll explain a top-down and a bottom-up way for you you repurpose your content and maximise its value.
IN-SHOW EXAMPLE MUD MAP
Here is a visual of the example I talk through in the show. Simply right-click and ‘Save image’ to download it.
As part of the service, I have had this episode transcribed. Transcribing, proofing, and editing a podcast episode is A LOT of work. That’s why I use a service called REV who provide professional freelance transcriptionists who are vetted for quality. While they offer a 99% accuracy guarantee, I do not proof-read their work extensively. Instead, I simply copy and paste below and, as such, please note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the episode and I have trimmed things like the intro, close, and mid-show ad.
If you haven’t already, head back and listen to episode 20 where I discuss the power of content marketing and how it can help your business. It will set you up well for this episode.
Also, a little bit of housekeeping. In episode 20, I said I was going to spend this episode talking about why content marketing isn’t just for the top of your funnel, however, I remembered, I’d already talked about that back in episode 7 where I covered off Aligning Content To The Buyer Decision Process. Pretty much the same thing!
Considering the buyer decision process is really just looking at the sales funnel from the customer’s perspective, I am going to skip ahead and talk about repurposing content. Which is what I said I’d do in episode 24.
So, this is a bit like the Star Wars movies in that they are being created out of order. So, if you are lost, listen to episode 20, then 7, then 22 which is this one. Clear as mud? Good.
OK, let’s assume you’ve done that and you are up to speed. Let’s crack on with talking about repurposing content.
To recap and get our heads in the right space again, to define content marketing, I’m going to head to the Content Marketing Institute for their definition, which is, quote “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” End quote
The key there is the use of the words valuable and relevant. The use of those words means you have to create content with an audience-first mentality; not a ‘what can the business get out of making some content?’ approach.
Ultimately, Content marketing is an umbrella term for any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. The acquiring, as well as retaining customers, is still important for you; otherwise, why would we do it?
However, the basic premise is to provide some valuable information or entertainment (content) that stops short of a direct sales pitch or call to action, but which seeks to positively influence the customer in some way.
So, what does content look like in terms of the actual ‘asset’, the thing we are creating. Well, it can be a blog, an article, a whitepaper, an image, an infographic, a podcast, a video, an eBook, whitepaper, emails, a slidedeck, research reports, a webinar, case studies, useful calculators, checklists, self-assessment tools, maybe a hard copy book like Shelley spoke about in the last episode. Heck, it can even be an engaging game. And the list goes on.
When getting serious about content marketing, a lot of businesses start with the vehicle, the asset, the thing, and focus on that. They think “Oh, let’s start a blog” or “Let’s start a podcast” and then they try and figure out what to fill it with. That’s always a really painful approach.
Instead, focus on the what and not the how. Focus on what you want to communicate through your content, and how you want to influence the audience, and then decide the how, how are you going to deliver it?
The beauty of taking a content first approach, instead of vehicle first approach, is that you start to open yourself up to all types of repurposing and recutting content.
Repurposing and recutting content is, in my opinion, one of the greatest efficiency tricks in marketing. The basic idea is that you take a piece of content, say a podcast, and fashion it into other pieces of content which is easier because you have done all the heavy lifting of the bigger piece of content, the podcast. For example, if you have a podcast, you can get the show transcribed and put it up as a blog on your website (great SEO by the way), and then create short audio snippet videos for social media, as well as images with quotes from the show on them for social as well. All of them promoting the podcast and linking back to your site.
Lots of smaller pieces of content can be extracted from the larger piece, the podcast itself. The overarching concept here is, once you have a sizeable content asset, think about what snackable content you can create from it.
Or, maybe you are a regular blogger. Again, think about creating short text snippets over images to help fill your social channels but one big thing you can do, is go the opposite direction, and start to pull those blogs together into an eBook, so, create a bigger content asset, something along the lines of “Our 10 Most Popular Blogs In 2020”, or something like that, and then give it away for free or even put it behind a form on your site so people have to give their email to be able to access it and you can then automate more marketing to them or simply add them to your database.
After the break, I’ll look at how you can take an umbrella content approach, creating a really large asset each year which will then fuel your content for the following year.
As I said before the, I’ll look at how you can take an umbrella content approach, creating a really large asset each year which will then fuel your content for the following year.
This is an idea that I absolutely love. It takes a bit of work upfront, but it sets you for a year with content to share each week.
Now, before I start, just a heads up that there is a mud map that I scribbled down before the show which draws out the order and all the elements. It is just hand drawn and I just took a photo and uploaded it. But grab it and use it. Just head to the show notes for this episode at marketing builder.net
OK, so this approach is all about going hard at a big piece of content – something that is valuable to your audience. And that thing would be a survey or research report.
What you do is conduct a survey across 26 key areas or elements of your industry. You might look at things like trends and whether people expect to follow them, or things like areas of increased or decreased spending intentions, changes, habits, etc.
Get that out to your database or use your network to help distribute it or maybe you have to jump on the phone and actually interview people and walk them through the questions.
Either way, once you have collated what you think is enough responses, all you have to do is process and present the data in a well-designed, slick looking PDF. You’ll also need to write a few words to help provide context and position.
Get the report up on your website and consider gating it, that is, asking people to register to be able to download it, as this will help build your database. You may even consider running some targeted digital ads to drive more of your target audience to the report.
To help launch the report, run a webinar where you highlight some of the interesting things and add some valuable insights to them. Webinar software allow you to record your webinar so be sure to do that and then create a page on your website and embed the video. Don’t forget to share it on your social channels and to your email database.
Next, create a really slick, sharp, looking, beautiful slide deck with some amazing imagery and some distilled information on each of the 26 sections. Share that to your email database and social channels and create a page on your site and embed it. Slideshare is great for that. Don’t forget to share it on your social channels and to your email database.
Then, create a huge infographic which distils down and visually represents the highlights form the report. Infographics are great because we can process images 60,000 times quicker than we can words and we only remember about 20% of what we read anyway. Just like the slidedeck, share the infographic to your email database and social channels and create a page on your site and embed it. Don’t forget to share it on your social channels and to your email database.
Now, because you have 26 different section or areas, you can look at each of them and write a blog and you’ll have a blog to post every fortnight – which can also be an article on LinkedIn and maybe you can even get that in some industry news services or association publications?
Be sure to provide a call to action at the bottom of each blog for people to be able to download the report.
Then, look through each blog for two snippets or highlight you can pull out. Find some great imagery, and put that together as a social media post. I’m talking nice text over and image type thing, something that is really eye-catching. Be sure to provide a link to the blog so you can encourage people to read the blog and then download the report.
Because you have 26 blogs, and two snippets from each blog, you now have two great social media post per week to use.
From there, consider repurposing each blog into a podcast and you can also add other valuable elements into the show as well if you like. You’ll then have a fortnightly podcast to share and, also, ss you did with the blogs, for each podcast, look for two 30-45 second snippets that are interesting, and create small audiograms, video with the soundbars moving over them and transcription as well. That then gives you 52 audiograms to share on your social media, one a week, and it ties in nicely with your static images you created from your blogs. Again, be sure to provide a link to the report so you can encourage people to download it. Headliner is a great, easy to use, free online service to be able to create audiograms.
Either separately, or you could even do it while you podcast, create a short video on each of the blog topics. It doesn’t have to be fancy and schmick, just be organised and well-prepared so you can be concise. Get those videos up on YouTube or Vimeo and get them up on your site, either as standalone pages or simply embed them on the corresponding blog page. Don’t forget to share them on your social channels and to your email database as well.
So, you have the report, slidedeck, infographic, webinar, blogs, images quotes, podcast episodes, audiograms, and videos and my rough notes tell me that those amount to 211 pieces of content for you to share, add value to and engage with your audience with social media and email being great distribution channels and it supported by your website as the hub or destination for people. That’s a tick over an average of 4 pieces of content per week for you to use.
And the coolest thing is, if you get the key sections or areas of the report right, next year, you can do a lot of comparison work. For example, you can say 26% of people indicated X, which is a 4% increase from last year.
If you get this right, your umbrella asset, the research report, can become a much-anticipated piece of content in your industry each year.
As I said earlier, there is a mud map that I scribbled down before the show which draws out the order and all the elements. It is just hand drawn and I just took a photo and uploaded it. But grab it and use it. Just head to the show notes for this episode at marketing builder.net