Producing and distributing enough content to keep audiences engaged with your brand is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes dedicated resources, time, and discipline to execute an effective strategy, but there are a number of ways to streamline your efforts and make the content you create work even harder for you at minimal cost.
Here a few inexpensive tips:
1. Subtract the Sales Pitch
Content marketing may require different tools and a different mindset than direct marketing, but that doesn’t mean the two can’t play together. Use some direct marketing materials you’ve already created and subtract the sales pitch to isolate the relevant, engaging messages for the casual consumer.
You can turn a press release announcing a new product into a blog post addressing the problem your product attempts to solve and educating consumers on other solutions or points of consideration they should be aware of. Take a pitch deck, remove the hard-sell, and turn it into a webinar with useful information for consumers independent of your product. That’s the difference between providing value and extracting it from consumers.
2. Multimedia is Multipurpose
In addition to providing a more engaging experience for consumers, multimedia assets can greatly increase the flexibility of your content execution. An Instagram photo can live in a blog post, which in turn can become an appealing thumbnail in your Facebook update.
Video is one of the most flexible assets you can develop. You can embed videos on your YouTube channel into articles and blog posts, turn them into thumbnails on Facebook, link to them on Twitter, adapt them into podcasts on SoundCloud. Each of these channels present sharing opportunities as well, and by extension further repurposing. One video on a YouTube can live multiple places at once, not just
within your own content map but others as well.
3. Use Hyperlinks
One of the easiest – not to mention cheapest – methods of repurposing your content and extending its shelf life is creating hyperlinks back to it later. These links can be placed organically throughout the new content you produce as a way to get readers to engage with related or otherwise contextually relevant content. As a best practice, be sparing with the number of links you use so as to not to distract the reader or encourage too much bouncing.
4. Leverage Recommendations
There’s no better time to engage audiences than when they’re thinking about what to experience next. Whether on yours or other publisher sites, using discovery platforms to recommend more content you’ve produced for consumers to check out next is a great way to keep them engaged and extend the shelf life of your content.
5. Think Outside Yourself
One of the most overlooked tactics in generating good content is consuming it. If you want to put relevant, interesting content in front of consumers, you need to stay on top of what’s relevant and interesting in your industry. Capitalizing on industry “buzz” is a great way to associate your brand with hot topic.
Simply curating content from other sources or otherwise regurgitating other published content is neither useful nor effective for audiences on its own. Use other published content as inspiration, and apply your own unique spin to create a new piece of content demonstrating your perspective.
6. Make an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar might seem like overkill or more trouble than it’s worth but is in fact crucial to planning your content for a number of reasons.
First, it forces you to ask tough questions about the content you publish. Who is the target audience? What kind of content might be useful or entertaining for them? With limited time, what is the priority content and how often should it be created?
The answer to these questions can help guide how many and which channels are appropriate homes for your content. From there, you can set out optimizing your content for those channels with minimal effort.
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Brandon Carter is a Marketing Manager at Outbrain. Outbrain's Amplify DIY platform helps SMBs bolster their content marketing strategies by driving traffic to great content. We recommend SMBs’ content to engaged audiences on premium publisher sites (e.g. CNN) for as little as $10 a day and generate more than 85 billion page views per month.