Listen up soldiers, here’s our mission brief: A steady assault on prospects and customers of quality, engaging content that moves our targets from either a stage of passive interest to purchase, or from customer to evangelist. Simple, right? Wrong!
The reality is with each passing year the demand on marketers to produce content increases as content marketing comes into vogue. Meanwhile cutting through the onslaught of kitten videos and 5 best apps for blah posts to satisfy constantly changing discovery algorithms from search engines and social networks making sure that all along we’re producing content steadily and the content is really damn good is really damn hard. Some argue it’s a fruitless labor. I tend to agree with those who suggest we need be more strategic.
Luckily soldiers, we’re not in the trenches alone. I asked the Content Marketing Academy group on LinkedIn for feedback on some of the most innovative ways they feed content marketing at their organizations and got some great tips you can implement right away.
Find your content cadence
“The monster is hungry, always hungry,” quips Steve Klinetobe, CEO & Creative Director at The Cartoon Agency. Steve looks to feed the content monster by finding a cadence to content production. “A few regularly scheduled ‘properties’ flowing into your stream will create a dependable structure to build you plan around. Of course, the challenge is to recruit contributors who are capable of delivering consistently, but, even one successful property could give your readers the continuity they crave,” says Klinetobe. Steve shares the following examples of serial content:
Examples of serial items for content marketing:
- Curriculum (i.e. 30 Days to Financial freedom)
- Perspective/Experiential (i.e. Around the World on Two-wheels)
- True Opinion (use caution here)
- Engagement (i.e. Weekly Photo Challenge)
As content marketers, often times it’s our job to work as the liaison to the subject matter experts (SME) within our organization and find ways to work to extract their knowledge to produce the content our organizations need. Whether that’s an interview with the SME to capture their knowledge, letting them video blog or have them jot down an outline that we ghostwrite. As content marketers we do whatever makes it the easiest to get the regular cadence that Steve suggests.
The very people you’re trying to recruit more of are a great resource for content. Anna Gunning, Associate Content Director at Cognition jumps off the serial content concept with regular, annual or biannual customer surveys. “Customer surveys catch any new challenges that can be incorporated into the content plan,” says Gunning.
Along with uncovering content ideas, the surveys themselves can be great content pieces when distilled providing insight into your industry and draw media attention to your organization. Gunning points to the benefit of having your serial content scheduled out so that you don’t have the task of coming up with something knew everyday. For example, “a monthly series that’s a Q&A with a customer. You just say – second Tuesday of the month is our customer Q&A – who can we ask this time?”
Third times a charm
Content marketing has the ability to create multiple touches that can greatly increase the success rate of a brand trying to move a prospect to sale or customer to evangelize. Lindsay Lyons, Content Strategy Lead, 1:1 communications at Dell points out that “Adult learning theory says you have to tell someone the same thing 3 times in different ways in order for it to sink in.” For Lindsay, content marketing allows her to succeed in getting the message to target by “varying form factors and serialized content linking to the bigger idea.”
Over to you
What have you done in your organization to innovatively tackle the content creation challenges of your content marketing needs? Leave a reply below.