Delivering engaging, relevant content is the name of the game right now in marketing. Interestingly enough, as marketers center their efforts and investment on content-driven activities, most struggle with content creation. According to a 2015 study by Content Marketing Institute, 54 percent of B2B marketers and 50 percent of B2C marketers cited “producing engaging content” as a top challenge. This has been a consistent trend for the past five years.
Like many aspects of marketing, content isn’t typically something you win with right away. A test and measure approach will help you understand what topics and content types resonate most with your audience. There is so much great information out there on building for the buyer journey, writing for buyer personas and developing content for specific channels. Do your homework and get smart about content creation. When you start to see results from your efforts, follow these three easy steps to expand your success by building on what works.
1. Look to leverage.
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You’ll want to leverage your best performing content. For long form pieces such as white papers or brochures, consider pulling out sound bites to use as the foundation for social media graphics. You can use these posts to drive back to your document and expand its engagement. If you are developing video assets and webinars, a great way to leverage those is to take short clips from your assets and use them as part of a social video strategy. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchap all enable video posting, and billions of people are watching every day.
According to a 2016 survey by the Web Marketing Video Council, 61 percent of businesses are using video as a marketing tool. The previous year, 66 percent of those businesses were not using video at all. There is no doubt that companies are quickly embracing video as part of their marketing strategies, and with good reason -- 72 percent of businesses using video say it has increased website conversion rates and 75 percent of all internet traffic is expected to come from video.
Another smart way to leverage your content is to think about developing your content with a modular approach from the start. For example, at Yeager we now build all of our client’s infographics in a modular style that allows sections of the piece to easily be repurposed for social sharing.
2. Get creative about recreating.
Recreating content is all about changing up the format. It’s a chance to get creative and have some fun with your existing assets. For example, if you had a solid blog post that engaged readers, consider how aspects of the blog could be reimagined as a podcast. Perhaps you could interview one or more experts on the topic and go deeper on the issues, attracting a new, broader audience with minimal effort. The same approach will work if you have a podcast or webcast already recorded. Consider writing a blog from the podcast or webcast content that may be appealing to your subscribers.
You can also recreate your content by taking written forms of content and turning them into more graphical, top-of-the-funnel style assets. Distill the key messages into core ideas and consider creating an infographic or ebook format.
I mentioned earlier about building modular infographics. These elements are not only great for social media, but they can create a solid foundation for an ebook that can be built out with less effort than starting from scratch. We’ve also had clients use these graphics for event signage, as part of presentations and in other creative ways.
3. Be a builder.
Building on your existing content assets is a great way to extend the value of a topic. Start with your best performing blog posts, and think about how you can expand on those topics. Going deeper into one or more aspects of the topic, providing updated information and statistics or demonstrating a use case, are all great ways to accomplish this. You may find a post by someone else that has a different perspective on your topics -- write about it and defend your position. Also consider refuting your original post. Maybe your thoughts have changed -- and that is perfectly fine. Talk about your original post, why you now think differently and provide reasons for your new perspective. These types of posts can be content gold!
By leveraging the content your audience loves, getting creative about recreating your content and building on strong topics, any company can get the most out of their content investment and grow their reach. Whether you’re a savvy marketer just looking to get more from your existing material or a company that is starting from scratch, following these three principles will help you create the great content that drives audience engagement.