If you’re not creating at multiple marketing outreach activities with every piece of content you produce, you’re probably leaving much of its value untapped.
That’s because all content — infographic, video, whitepaper, blog post, email, slideshow, you name it — can be broken down and repurposed to fit the voice and intent of different channels.
More Time ≠ More Results
In a coschedule.com survey of more than 1500 marketers from around the world, 49 percent of respondents reported spending three or more hours creating a new piece of content. However, the amount of time spent creating the content didn’t necessarily correlate to its impact against marketing goals. Which can be disheartening for anyone who puts heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into every blog post or infographic.
So how can content creators beat the dismal math that suggests that enormous effort in rarely balances out with results achieved?
Before you even start developing your content, think about three different ways it can be deployed beyond its intended use. Ideally, you’ll come up with more than three, but “Think Three” is more memorable.
Imagine you’re charged with getting the word out about TechnologyAdvice’s B2B marketing services. You’ve decided that an infographic on “8 B2B Marketing Myths Debunked” would be a great tool to put up on your website for visitors to download.
You’ll do an email campaign of course, to drive prospects to a newly created landing page. But how else can you get additional value out of this infographic you and your team will have worked the better part of a week on?
If you do a rundown of every property you currently use to engage with customers and prospects, you’ll find it’s pretty easy to get to 3 uses (and beyond).
Your channel checklist might look like this:
- Customer email list
But you’re not just going to throw up a link to the landing page announcing “hey, download our new infographic.” Instead, you’re going to think about how pieces of the infographic can be shaped to fit each of your channels.
You don’t even necessarily need to come up with exactly how you’ll adapt the content yet. Just know that you’re going to do something across your channels.
So your list might end up looking like this.
- Website – Homepage banner using a key graphic, custom landing page
- Blog – Post with complete infographic and additional commentary if appropriate
- Customer email list – Announcement of infographic’s availability
- LinkedIn – Attention-grabbing post using a key idea from the graphic with link to landing page
- Facebook – Attention-grabbing but more conversational post with link to landing page
- Twitter – Scheduled tweets using key ideas from the graphic with link
- YouTube – A motion slideshow with two or three key points that directs viewers to the landing page
- Instagram – A compelling image from the graphic (the dragon, perhaps) with messaging and a link.
And this list doesn’t even begin to cover all the ways that your content can be used in your digital and search marketing; that’s a subject for another post. But as you can see, you’ve got a lot more possibilities to extend your content’s usefulness than just three.
Build It Up To Break It Down
Assets like infographics are almost purpose-built to be broken down to pieces. In the above example, each Myth can be used as a free-standing graphic unit that’s ready to plug in to just about any channel.
Here’s Myth Number 5 from the Debunked infographic shown above:
Your designer should be able to provide the pieces at the ideal file sizes and resolutions for each channel.
Slideshows and videos aren’t much different. Choose a slide from your presentation that’s got particularly strong graphics, or a high-quality thumbnail from your video that shows compelling or interesting action.
Think about all the different ways your single piece of content could be used, then have a clear plan as to where you want to be able to reach your audience. Going through these exercises before you create makes it much easier to build the content from the ground up to be chopped, chunked, then thoughtfully scattered.
Related Article: Five Tips for Boosting ABM with Content Marketing
Keep Track of Everything
Depending on the size of your operation, web, digital, social, and email marketing may be handled by different people or different departments. While every channel has its own voice, the strategic messaging behind your content must support your brand. And it must be consistent across channels.
This is where collaboration becomes critical. The tools are available to keep everyone (literally) working on the same page. From a custom-built digital asset management system to Sharepoint to a simple Google Doc that is shared throughout the team, making the copy easy to access and comment on is crucial to making sure your messaging remains consistent.
A master copy document with sections and a shared folder of approved graphic assets for each of the channels you intend to use is incredibly useful in this regard. You can also keep track of all of your assets and content plans in a project management software. This way you can get timelines, Gantt charts, collaboration, and communication all in the same place.
Content creation is a fluid thing. When you and your designer realize simultaneously that “debunked” is a better word than “Uncovered” for your “8 B2B Marketing Myths” Infographic, you want to be able to carry that thought through everything. Gather all the various, channel-specific messaging in one place where it can be reviewed and tweaked for consistency and brand appropriateness. Plus a centralized document, actively reviewed, well-proofed and approved by everyone on the team, creates a single source of truth.
Schedule the Scattering
“Hey, what are we planning on putting up on the website/LinkedIn/Facebook this week?”
It’s the question from management that tends to turn Monday morning’s first coffee into a cold cup of WTF. Make sure that you’ve scheduled (and shared!) how and when your chopped content is going to be used. What’s more, by actively scheduling how your stuff will be deployed, you’ll be able to extend the time your content is fresh and relevant.
While there are all sorts of rules of thumb circulating on how often you “should” post, your audiences’ behaviors will be the best guides. Analytics can show your site’s most active times for unique and return visits. Your email suite can show you when your open and click through rates are highest.
Taking into account peak times your audience is online and engaged will guide you as to the best times to publish and appropriately cross-post your content.
Once that schedule is worked out, keep it current and make sure it’s shared throughout your team and well as with key stakeholders.
Whether you’re a one-person content creation and deployment dynamo, helm an internal content group, or work with a remote group of freelancers, your investment in engaging, relevant content is substantial.
That’s why it only makes sense to maximize its usefulness acoss as many channels as you can. Build your content from the ground up knowing that you’re going to tear it apart when you’re done, and you’ll get the most return on your investment.
Web Webster is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, covering technology, marketing, education, and healthcare for companies across the US. He hopes that you only use the power found in these content creators’ secrets for good.