Content Marketing

5 Content Marketing Assets You Forgot You Had

Stan 100x100 5 Content Marketing Assets You Forgot You Hadbadge guest post FLATTER 5 Content Marketing Assets You Forgot You HadStanford Smith obsesses about how to get small business blogs noticed and promoted at Pushing Social, except when he’s chasing large mouth bass!

It’s usually a look of pure terror.

I’m sitting across the desk from a professional and confident marketing executive. We’ve discussed the benefits of social business. He is on board with making the changes needed to create a culture that embraces customer collaboration and is ready to get started, but we have one thing left to cover…his content marketing plan.

Specifically, how to produce interesting content and how to publish it on a regular basis.

That’s where that look of terror comes in.

He fears that his business doesn’t have anything to say that would interest consumers. His fear deepens when he realizes the need to publish relevant (even epic) content on a regular basis.

Fortunately, producing amazing content marketing isn’t as daunting as many think.

In fact, most businesses are sitting on a treasure trove of entertaining and relevant content that their prospects and customers would love.

They just need to find unlock it.

Here are five places to look:

Testimonials and Case Studies

Have you created a process for identifying satisfied customers and recording their stories? Customers love to see the experiences of others who have considered doing business with you. These testimonials and case studies add credibility to your value proposition.

One testimonial can turn into a formal case study, a video for YouTube, and add practical depth to a whitepaper. Gather your customer-facing staff and identify current “fans” and create a process for capturing their stories.

Stats Are Sexy

Many businesses collect data that their customers would find extremely valuable. B2B companies are particularly suited for finding and producing statistically based content. The best way to get started is to create a survey and distribute it to your customer base. Take the survey results and create an insightful special report or whitepaper. Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report is an excellent example.

You can expand the reach of your reports by turning them into presentations for SlideShare and creating a simple video for YouTube.

Turn Your Customers into Stars

Every business has a marque customer that is a reliable source of recommendations and referrals. Turn this customer into a celebrity. Create a content series that promotes the customer’s business and their use of your product.

Cast your customer as the hero and your product as the trusty sidekick. Add staying power to your promotion by creating a series of blog posts supported by Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn promotion. Don’t be surprised if your customer makes your content the centerpiece of their marketing attracting additional prospects for free.

Day-to-Day Business

37Signals, the creator of Basecamp, recently released a major upgrade to its popular collaboration software.

During their release promotion, they published several videos documenting the development of the software. These videos were supported by blog videos and quick visual sketches of user interfaces. The additional content was a hit with tech startups and small business owners who admire 37Signals’ culture and marketing savvy. Of course, these same folks were in Basecamp’s target audience too!

You can do the same in your business. Grab a camera and record key brainstorming sessions, one-off interviews with team members, and impromptu celebrations. Your fans will love the insider’s glimpse, and you’ll attract new customers as well.

Employees

Your employees are prolific content creators. Customer service personnel create customer satisfaction stories on a daily basis. Your sales team has a gold mine of field-tested value proposition tales at the fingertips. Take a moment to ask and you’ll be shocked how many bloggers, Twitter addicts, and Facebook mavens you have at your disposal.

As always, harness this creative energy with social media policies and incentives that educate and empower your employees while protecting your brand.

Time to Go Hunting

Spend some time talking with your employees, sales team, and customers before you write your company off as being too boring or tight-lipped to produce great content. You’ll be surprised by how much content is sitting right at your fingertips.

  • http://hoop.la/ rosemaryoneill

    We’ve had a lot of fun doing text-based interviews with our customers, but how do we coax the camera-shy to do a video? The few times I’ve brought up the idea, it has terrorized the subject (I don’t have the proper equipment, I don’t look good, I’m afraid I’ll say something silly).  Any tips?

    • Stanford

       @rosemaryoneill Good question Rosemary.  I suggest switching gears and using a screencast video format that uses screenshots and powerpoint slides to make your case.  These videos are easier to produce, require either Camtasia (PC), Screenflow (MAC), Powerpoint (PC), Keynote (MAC), and a decent microphone to capture audio.
       
      This format can be scripted so that the client doesn’t have to worry about saying something “silly”.  In fact, this format may be best for getting your feet wet with this process.
       

    • TheDarklit

       @rosemaryoneill As Stanford said, screencasts are great! Once I got comfortable using them I loved it. Camtasia is the program I use. Well worth it for high quality professional looking videos. And as far as equipment goes, you already have a computer, and if you are using a modern laptop it may have a mic built right in. If not they are cheap enough – less than 20 bucks. The trick is (like Nike says) just do it! :)

  • Juan DCAutoGeek Barnett

    I bet that same marketing executive will also have that same look of terror when sitting in front of the decisions makers of the company. These 5 tips will without a doubt produce appealing nuggets o’ content, captivating your listeners and generating responses like “Wow! I didn’t know that” or “Cooooool.”
     
    The major obstacle, only second to cultivating the content, is getting it past the risk-adverse gatekeepers know only as corporate leadership. As pointed out in this week’s episode of Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation – ‘businesses have a fear factor when it comes to releasing information’. It’s this fear factor that can be a larger impediment to good content.
     
    For this post to be more-perfect, rather than saying the marketing executive has decided to do social business, maybe declare that the company’s leadership made the decision. Semantics I know, but a very important aspect of being social nonetheless. As always, great info.

  • Juan DCAutoGeek Barnett

    I bet that same marketing executive will have that same look of terror when sitting in front of the company’s decision makers.
     
    These 5 tips will without a doubt produce appealing nuggets o’ content, captivating your listeners and generating responses like “Wow! I didn’t know that” or “Cooooool.” The major obstacle, only second to cultivating the content, is getting it past the risk-adverse gatekeepers know only as corporate leadership.
     
    As pointed out in this week’s episode of Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation – ‘businesses have a fear factor when it comes to releasing information’.  It’s this fear factor that can be a larger impediment to good content.
     
    So for this post to be more-perfect, rather than saying the marketing executive has decided to do social business, maybe declare that the company’s leadership made the decision.
     
    Semantics I know, but a very important aspect of culture conversion. As always, great info.

  • Juan DCAutoGeek Barnett

    I bet that same marketing executive will have that same look of terror when sitting in front of the company’s decision makers.
    These 5 tips will without a doubt produce appealing nuggets o’ content, captivating your listeners and generating responses like “Wow! I didn’t know that” or “Cooooool.” The major obstacle, only second to cultivating the content, is getting it past the risk-adverse gatekeepers know only as corporate leadership.
    As pointed out in this week’s episode of Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation – ‘businesses have a fear factor when it comes to releasing information’.  It’s this fear factor that can be a larger impediment to good content.
    So for this post to be more-perfect, rather than saying the marketing executive has decided to do social business, maybe declare that the company’s leadership made the decision.
    Semantics I know, but a very important aspect of culture conversion. As always, great info.

  • http://flybluekite.com/ lauraclick

    Hey look – it’s pushingsocial ! So good to see you here, Stan. Great tips. You’re right – businesses freak out about producing content, but tend to forget how much great stuff they already have available. Presentations would be another one to add to the list. I also encourage clients to look in their email. After all, how many times have they emailed someone with answers to a question or tips on how to do something. When you take the time to look, you’ll find all sorts of good stuff.
     
    See you in a few days! :)

    • Stanford

       @lauraclick  pushingsocial Yep, hear I am.  Jay was kind enough to bring my brand of “riff raff” to the C&C shores :)

  • http://www.brittanybotti.com/ brittanybotti

    Great post! I covered some of the same points in a blog I wrote recently, about how people are really at the heart of a good content strategy (you can read it here if interested: http://www.socialbrandu.net/the-secret-source-of-unlimited-content/). People love to be recognized & known, and they love a good story. Keeping those things in mind can help lead you to great content.  

  • TheDarklit

    This is really a hot topic. People know they need blogs, but are nervous about where the content will come from, I deal with it every week. Unless they are just pushing an ebook and don’t have an actual business behind them, these suggestions are a great to unplug a flood of content!

    • Stanford

       @TheDarklit I find that people “wake up” and realize they are sitting on a pile of content once they start thinking about it!  Thanks for the comment!

  • Branding and Advertising

    you have done a great work ………. its really working and important for us. so please keep sharing ….
    http://www.mp09digital.com

  • http://www.shortcutblogging.com/ daveyoung

    Repurposing blog content is the way to feed the Social Machine. You’re right…creating it in the first place is the toughest part. That’s why we help those execs and owners get their stories out of their heads in into a text-based format. Most don’t have the time or the talent to write a weekly post. Most DO, however, have the talent to tell the stories of their brand. We can help them generate 1,500 word weekly posts by spending an hour per month in a friendly conversation. They love it.
     
    Now, they’ve got the expert fodder to re-purpose into ebooks, white papers, case studies, books, tweets, pins, links and more.

  • yoursocialfans

    YourSocialFans.com can help you attract thousands of followers that you can keep informed about any of your product or service offerings instantly. By bringing you a targeted crowd of buyers all you need to do is give them an offer they can’t refuse! Branding is also another successful tool Twitter can provide for your business. As more and more people become followers of your page it builds trust in them and they are more likely to buy from you than your competitor, because they have been following the brand and it’s a brand they trust.

  • ambrking

    Thanks for sharing. Content marketing is one way to convince prospect why they must work with you.

  • http://www.indusbpo.com/ IndusBPO

    thanks for sharing………