Get Content First Format Content Later

When you need to get more assets for your content marketing, let contributors participate in the format they prefer, not the format you think you need. Here’s why:

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When you’re doing content marketing, you need to worry about capturing the content first, and the format for that content second.

A lot of times in organizations, especially big B2B companies they’ve determined that they need to create more content than ever. Research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs consistently shows this to be true.

In many cases, to get this new content they need, marketers need to go to employees who are not in marketing and say, “Hey, can you help us create some content?”

In many cases these employees are subject matter experts. They know a lot of stuff that customers and prospects could really benefit from. But what often happens is marketers say, “Hey we’ve got a blog and we need you to write a blog post, and we need you to work on this white paper. We need you to work on this e-book too.”

And then, those subject matter experts are like, “I’m not interested in that. I don’t do that. I’m not a writer. That’s why I became an engineer,” or whatever the circumstances are.

Let People Create Content in the Format THEY Prefer, Not the Format You Think You Need

Here’s my advice. Worry less about the format of the content and worry more about getting the information out of the person’s head. There are lots of different ways that you can create content that eventually turns into writing, that doesn’t necessarily begin with writing.

Writing is intimidating for non-writers. Of all the different forms of content creation, perhaps the scariest is just sitting down with an open document and a blinking cursor, and you’re thinking, “Okay, what do I do now?”

So give subject matter experts another option.

Click image to visit my B2B Predictions for 2015

Click image to visit my B2B Predictions for 2015

Backbone Media has a program going on right now to harvest B2B Content Marketing Predictions for 2015, recognizing that it might be hard for people like me to write a whole guest blog post for them.

What they did instead, quite wisely, is they got people on the phone. We did a telephone interview for three minutes and answered questions in a series of quick clips. Then they took those telephone interviews, turned them into written blog posts (with a transcript) and then stitched them into a video. So it’s essentially an audio clip turned into a video. Then they have a bunch of other redistribution and repackaging elements that accompany each set of predictions.

You Can Do This Today

You could do this. Why couldn’t you go to Bobby the engineer in your organization, who hates to write, and say, “Bobby, just talk into my iPhone for the next thirty minutes and we’ll figure out ways to get blog posts out of it, and then once we have that audio clip, we can make blog posts. We can make infographics. We can make videos. We can make SlideShare presentations. We can make LinkedIn blog posts on your behalf.” Once you have the raw idea, you can do a million things with that idea.

Take a look at the post I wrote last week on this blog about how I do “Jay Today.” Every single one of these videos turns into eight pieces of content (including what you are reading right now. Here’s how we do it, step-by-step).

Find ways to get information out of the heads of the people in your organization first, and worry about the content format later. 

Sprout Social Shoutout

0SxO9g9d_400x400Today’s Sprout Social Shoutout is for my friend Amber Naslund.

Amber is fantastic. She’s now the senior vice president of marketing at Sysomos. And Amber was the co-author of my very first book, “The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social” In many ways, that book holds up better today than when we wrote it, which is kind of exciting.

And Amber is going to be working with my pal Chris Moody from Oracle, on a brand new podcast we’re launching called “Content Pros.” Look for that in January, interviewing content marketing experts once a week. It’s going to be a fantastic podcast.

About Jay Today

This video is f01-sprout-social-logo-MAINrom Jay Today is my near-daily 3-minute video where I talk about social media, content marketing, business and life. JayToday is available on Youtube, iTunes (as a video podcast, and now as an audio podcast too), and at candidio_logo@2x The show is sponsored by Sprout Social (which I use for my social media), and Candidio (a great video editing service).

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