Because they’re so generous with their ideas, all three were a big help to me before I knew them. And because they know so much about online marketing, I made an effort to come to know them. Now that I do, they’re even more helpful. They’re friends. Tres amigos.
Lee, Ann and Jay cover similar territory in that they’re evangelists for, and teachers of, content marketing and social media. They speak and write much differently than each other, but are on common ground on many topics. One of those topics proves time and again to rank atop your list of content marketing concerns…
The challenge of producing enough content.
Lee Odden of TopRank says content repurposing is an effective way to scale content creation. He introduces four practical reasons:
- Efficiency: Lee explains, “With a modular approach to content that has a specific purpose, audience and use in mind, content repurposing as part of a hub and spoke publishing model can be amazingly effective andop efficient.”
- Short attention span: He claims content consumers get distracted easily and have short attention spans. With additional variations, you inspire interest and shares.
- SEO: Lee wrote a book called “Optimize.” When he says, “Repurposing content means additional SEO assets to attract search traffic on many different variations of a theme” it’s solid advice.
- Personalize: He explains if your product/service targets different vertical markets, you should craft a core message and then customize it for each industry and audience segment.
The key to making content creation easier.
Ann says, “It means treating every piece of content you create not as a ‘one and done,’ but as a critical piece of a larger whole and an important link in a sustainable content ecosystem—a content Circle of Life, if you will. Your goal is to create opportunities to reach more prospects, but using the same source material, repackaged and reimagined.”
In a guest post for Vocus, Ann explains three great ways to reimagine content is to reorganize, rewrite and remix content.
The way to make people care about your content and company.
As you know, Jay Baer is chief fire starter at Convince and Convert and the pen and pundit behind a vital concept he uncovers at length in “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help, Not Hype.”
Jay says, Youtility is marketing upside down. “Instead of marketing that’s needed by companies, Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship between your company and your customers.” He adds, “To win attention these days you must ask the question: ‘How can we help?’”
My turn to get a word in.
The word is eBook.
Our amiga Ann Handley talks about deconstructing substantial content assets and repackaging them into smaller pieces of content. She writes, “Think content chop shop: Slice up that how-to guide or eBook into a series of newsletter articles, blog posts, or other shorter-form, more easily digestible content.”
Think of this strategy as the eBook equation.
Say you poured time and effort into creating a chapterized, list style eBook as I did with “21 Pointers to Sharpen Your Website.” Such a beast could easily become a cheat sheet. 21 individual blog posts. Re-imagined (Ann’s idea again) as guest posts. A slide deck for SlideShare. A Squidoo lens. A webinar.
I did this and it equated to some seriously strong mileage. The equation:
eBook = more impressions + more plays + more productivity
I’m not done yet. Let me toss some more repurposing ideas at you…
- Record a podcast series
- Create a list of do’s and dont’s
- Construct a top three for a short article
- Highlight the uncommon ideas as “secrets”
- Collect and storify feedback from influencers on the ideas
- Publish comments and questions the material invoked
- Create an infographic
- Generate micro-blogs for social networks
- Create a pinboard
How to create eBooks with serious reproductive power.
Often, I see eBooks created in the aftermath of a series of articles or interviews. Sometimes the continuity is there; sometimes it’s not.
I suggest taking the opposite approach. Think of the eBook as “cornerstone” content, but do so while in the planning stage. Plan for your eBook to cast a wide net over a fertile area that traces to one of your strengths. Then outline, research and write it knowing in advance it will foster offspring. Your eBook will father all kinds of magnetic content.
I have a confession to make.
You know what I’m about to say, don’t you?
That’s right. I’ve written about this topic before. I did an article and presentation for SlideShare titled “The eBook is the Stud in Your Content Marketing Stable.”
Being a regular contributor to Convince and Convert, I wondered if creating eBooks with repurposing plans in mind had ever been covered. An onsite search revealed it hadn’t. I double-checked with our editor Jess Ostroff. She said “go for it.”
Then came the re-imagining process. How could I write something new and fresh for you from a (not so) old favorite? The thought occurred to me to set the stage with three amigos known to be respected content marketing strategists.
This is how content marketing is supposed to work. We all face similar challenges producing a steady stream of useful content with limited resources. Repurposing is the answer. Give it a go, amigo (y amiga).