Maximising content marketing: How to make your content work harder

9th May 2013

Ingrid Froelich explains how marketers can maximise the use of content for successful audience engagement.

Many organisations put tremendous effort into creating well-written, cleverly designed content. Often this content is developed for specific target audiences and distribution channels. Producing a resonant blog post, article, brochure, podcast, or campaign site can be a fantastic way of connecting with audiences, but this content can be undervalued if it’s used for just a single channel.

To make content work harder and smarter, you need to focus on strategy rather than just tactics and examine business objectives, target audiences and the customer touch points that matter most. Given today's customers' one-web experience (PC/smartphone/tablet), you can give content a new lease of life by considering multiple distributions and formats  from the beginning.

This entails employing a strategic content view, which considers all the different paths and formats possible. After an initial strategy is in place, consider the ways in which you can create multi-purposed, adaptive content. The ideal scenario is that content must be created with the intent of adaptability for different use. This process should then be managed within a web content management system that renders this content for multiple devices and channels.

  • Take it apart - A lengthy whitepaper, presentation or brochure could get a new lease of life if you break it down into smaller chunks. A series of articles or posts may well engage audiences who have limited time and wouldn't otherwise commit to your carefully crafted 10-page tome. You can also breathe new life into a corporate-branded piece by adding opinions, recent developments and multiple perspectives (e.g. a blog, article or even post on a discussion board). This allows you to build more than just text, but to create a story that benefits from your perspective over time as well as interaction with your community.
  • Remix it - Let's say that you've created content that includes a series of opinion pieces by major influencers, some product content, a video and a few position pieces. Consider how you can do a remix. Examine if this same content would make for a fantastic deck for SlideShare, a new article that brings together the best, brightest and most successful elements, or even an email campaign.
  • Put it together - Sometimes a summary of your core ideas can have great impact. Microsites, ebooks, slides or blog summaries, with links to individual pieces of content, can pull great content together. This lets you take advantage of the different pieces of your content and ensures that your 'big idea' - the essence of your brand messaging - still comes out loud and clear.
  • Add value - Have you come across some engaging related content from an influencer? Bring their perspective into the conversation and give them credit. This not only reinforces your content value, it also adds timely relevance to your content and maybe even opens the door for you to directly interact with them. Who knows, it could even change your perspective and offer some fresh viewpoints.
  • Make some eye candy - Your investments in graphic design and visuals can get a new lease on life. See how you can bring together different media through montage that pairs with your articles or videos ("Top Ten" or "New Trends"). It could also be that the time you spent creating a fantastic rough draft overview can result in some really impressive supportive graphics or infographic. That seed of brilliance that steered your original content may well translate into a high impact visual too.
  • Promote it - You can extend marking outreach to the communities you participate in (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.) by repurposing your content. This gives you greater opportunities for engagement and interaction while reinforcing your consistent marketing message.

Ingrid Froelich is senior marcom writer at SDL Web Content Management Solutions.

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