There has been a lot of chatter recently regarding the topic of content marketing. In its most simplistic form, content marketing literally means taking your content and marketing it. Sounds easy enough, right? If you have the right strategy in place, and have properly identified your objectives and key success metrics, then yes. It is easy. But if you haven’t, you will find yourself in a vicious cycle, with insufficient content to fill the engine.
So, here are some tips to help you succeed with your content marketing program.
- Know your objectives. Are you trying to generate new leads or nurture your pipeline to convert leads into opportunities into sales?
- Know your audience. Remember, everyone ingests content differently. While one person devours a technical whitepaper, his/her colleague may prefer to watch a webinar. Having the right content, for the right persona is critical in nurturing the prospect so that they convert into a lead.
- Identify existing content/assets. This includes: whitepapers, webinars, case studies, podcasts, online calculators, videos, etc.
- Fill the content gaps. If you are heavy in one type of content (i.e. whitepapers), but light on others (i.e. case studies), start filling the gaps. Your goal should be to have at least 2 pieces of content for each type of asset
- Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose. Can you repurpose any of your existing content? Some ideas for this include: Have the author of a whitepaper record it and turn it into a podcast. Take a case study and turn it into a webinar. Convert a webinar into a whitepaper.
- Know how your content is being consumed. Are you posting it on 3rd party sites and collecting the download leads? Do visitors need to complete a lead form in order to download it from your site? Datasheets are typically “freebies”, but the more sophisticated content, such as whitepapers and webinars, are typically caged. In other words, they can’t be downloaded unless the recipient provides some basic information.
- Ensure your content is well-written and well delivered. Times are tough and we are all trying to make do with the resources at hand. But if you’re sacrificing well-crafted content that stays on message and engages your audience, then you are, (pardon the expression), being penny wise and pound foolish. Invest in the resources to craft a beautifully-written document and you will be able to repurpose it (see point #5) for a variety of secondary deliverables
- Cross-Sell. When someone downloads a whitepaper, thank them and send them a link to a pre-recorded webinar of the same topic. Did they sign up for a webinar? Send them a case study. Try to have at least 3 pieces of content that focus on the same topic, in different formats so that your audience can consume it at various stages of the buying cycle. (see #2)
- Use your content to feed your social media engine. Pull out stats and tweet them. Then link to the source asset (webinar, whitepaper, etc.) Take the Q&A from a webinar and turn it into an FAQ.
Good luck. And remember, if your content isn’t delivering, perhaps it’s as simple as changing the title. It’s amazing how something as simple as that can make the difference between a successful campaign and a dud. Be bold and test different titles, subject lines, and even audiences. And don’t be afraid to dust off content from a couple of years ago. If 70% of it is still relevant, it is far simpler to update the other 30% than to start from scratch.