Four Strategies for Getting the Most Value Out of Your Content
Marketers love making pretty things and saving money, but the two do not always go hand-in-hand. Visually compelling and informative standalone content pieces, such as infographics and white papers, can become quite expensive depending on the amount of research and creative work involved in their development.
But what if you can get more mileage out of these pieces, beyond their original intent, and turn them into evergreen pieces that can be used in new and different ways over time? Getting some additional mileage out of your content can certainly lower your total cost of ownership of that content, not to mention give you some additional chances to raise your company’s profile.
As it turns out, there are several things you can do with content after the initial work is created and posted on your website or social media channels. Here are four ways you can turn a one-time content marketing initiative — an infographic, survey, white paper, or similar piece of material — into a marketing gift that keeps on giving.
Create inroads to new press opportunities
A single piece of content can be a goldmine that generates multitudes of new ideas for potential press coverage. For instance, data-rich infographics, white papers, and customer surveys can yield factoids and insights that can be the basis of several story ideas that can be pitched to multiple publications. Cherry picking salient information points (especially if they are uniquely insightful and thought provoking) and building compelling pitches around them can result in some good press coverage that will go a long way to proving your thought leadership bona fides.
Many of our clients are experts at this approach. SolarWinds, in particular, comes to mind. Every year the company produces an IT Trends survey. Based on the data in the report, we work with their team to create a series of pitches, articles, and interviews with their experts to promote the findings. It’s a strategy that has paid off for years.
Develop a blog or article series
Longer form content pieces, like white papers, can be great launching pads for the creation of shorter types of editorial pieces. The theme of an entire white paper might be “The Five Steps Agencies Should Take Toward Multi-cloud Environments,” but there are most likely individual points in that 10 or 12 page white paper that can be told in shorter blocks through a blog or article series. For instance, you could write one corporate blog post per month for five months expanding on each of those steps. Or, you write a series of articles for a government publication focusing on the benefits and challenges of multi-cloud, using the white paper as proof points of your expertise.
By taking this approach, your white paper can still fulfill its initial intentions while doing something more. You’ll still drive downloads on your site, and have a great piece of content to display your knowledge to prospects and customers. But you’ll also be able to spread that knowledge further, wider, and over an extended period of time, through multiple channels, making the most of your initial investment.
Write an ebook using existing content
Like white papers, ebooks can be great tools for both marketing and education, but they can be time-consuming to write if you start from scratch. But who says you have to do that?
If you’re already writing blog posts, articles, and other types of shorter content that follows a similar theme, there’s a good chance you already have everything you need to create the bones of a stellar ebook. Instead of having them be separate articles, they can be slightly revised to become different chapters. You’ll probably also have to add some written content — a preface here, an afterword there — and graphic design elements, but the bulk of the work is already done. Just make sure you have the authorization to repurpose the articles elsewhere, beyond the place where they originally appeared (of course, if it was your own blog or website, that’s one less thing you have to worry about).
Get some speaking gigs
Authored articles by corporate executives are the bread and butter of many thought leadership programs, but they’re just the beginning. The content of the articles can be repurposed in different ways, including as the basis for potential speaking topics at industry conferences.
Most executives who love to write articles also love to speak in front of large crowds. Why not use some of the topics that they’ve been writing about to pitch them some potential speaking slots at upcoming conferences? Then, go really crazy — use some of the facts you’ve cultivated for your infographics, surveys, and other content pieces and add them as supporting points to the pitches (and, fingers crossed, the eventual speeches themselves!). Pulling all of these things together can create a fully rounded pitch that has a real chance of grabbing a conference organizer’s attention.
We all like to make the most out of the things we invest in, but that attitude doesn’t have to just apply to the physical stuff we purchase. The initial investment that goes into the development of a piece of content can be stretched over time, and the meat of the content put to good use through different methods over an indeterminate period of time. That’s something that should look really good on your monthly reports.