One little 7-letter word that makes marketers and business owners alike cringe a bit. We know we need new, fresh, content to attract prospects. The old world of outbound, hunt-down-a-prospect marketing isn’t working any more. But creating new content takes time, skill, patience and for many of us, brings us right back to the memories we have of writing essays in high school. Content Marketing is the new way of the marketing world.
The key for getting past this, is to really think about how you repurpose, re-use, re-cycle your content everywhere. Writing something and just using it one time in one place, is a painful and expensive way to burn out your content creation energy.
Figuring out how to repurpose is especially critical for those businesses that sell products or services with long purchase cycles (6 months or longer). Moving those prospects through the process of Know, Like, Trust, Try and Buy has to have a continual application of useful and engaging content. If left to their own process, most salespeople will just call once a month to see if someone is ready to buy. But that doesn’t add value to the process – it just bothers the prospect. Marketing can and should take a nurturing approach that allows a prospect to consume your value-added content in a way most meaningful to them.
We all learn in one (or more) of three ways – visual (seeing), auditory (listening) or kinesthetic (touching, experiencing). By thinking about how you present your content to people in each of these ways, you enhance your chance of driving engagement as well.
So now, with our content, we want to repurpose it in a way that allows us to stretch out the use of it over time, and in a way that gives people different ways to interact with the content.
Here’s a real-life example of how we do this. For this example, I am going to pretend that I am a company that sells and installs accounting systems for businesses. And I know that many of my ideal clients and potential clients are very focused on making sure their cash-flow is in good shape. So I am going to spend some of my marketing cycles talking about how my business helps our clients improve cash flow.
To start off the year, in January I am going to send out a newsletter to my prospective customers. The main article in the newsletter is titled “10 ways to improve your cash flow this year”. After I send out the newsletter, I am also going to:
- Post the article on my website
- Tweet that is on my website
- Post it as a note on my company Facebook page
- Submit for publication to eZines.
- Use each one of the 10 reasons as one individual blog post – giving me my next 10 blog posts without working too hard – and I will tweet about it each time I post the blog post.
In that newsletter, I am also going to mention that I am doing a web-seminar in February on this topic. The seminar will be on 10 ways to improve your cash flow. And to promote the web-seminar, we will send out email invitations to our list; we’ll post the info on Facebook and in LinkedIN groups; we’ll tweet about it and of course, we’ll list on our web site.
When we do the web-seminar on improving cash flow, we’ll record it and put the recording on our website for replay (with registration of course) and we’ll post a shortened version of it on YouTube. We’ll also post the slide deck on Slideshare. And with each of those actions, we’ll tweet and update statuses on LinkedIN and Facebook.
At the end of the webinar, we’ll invite those who may be interested in taking part, to have us come in and do a cash flow review and analysis for them. This is a service we do for free to give the prospect a chance to try us out and see how we work/work with us. We’ll also also promote this through the month of March with emails to our prospects, tweets and updates to LinkedIN, Facebook and other social sites we participate in.
Phew! We just took one concept – cash flow – and one core piece of content – our newsletter article on 10 ways to improve it – and re-used it many, many times…
- The newsletter
- Newsletter article on our website
- Newsletter article submitted to others
- The webinar (and a few invites to it)
- The cash flow review offer
- 10 blog posts on cash flow
- Slide deck posted on slideshare
- Video posted on YouTube
- Video on our website
- And lots and lots of status updates/tweets on our social sites
And we gave prospects a ways to digest it visually (reading in the newsletter), though listening (the webinar) and kinesthetically (with the cash flow review).
So, looking back at all that, you can now safely say that If it took you 4 hours to write and research your article on 10 ways to improve cash flow, you definitely got a good return on your time investment.
One final thought. Almost any business can approach content creation and distribution this way. You’ve just got to really understand what the problems are, that you solve for your customers. And then put on your thinking cap (or call for help) and get creative about getting your message out there.