Your digital content strategy doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. One of the most persistent fallacies in content marketing is the belief that a website always needs a ‘steady stream of new content’ in order to educate, inspire, and motivate customers to take action via a content marketing campaign.
While it is true that frequent website updates appeals to Google’s search engine algorithm, that does not mean continually searching for new ideas and creating brand-new, from scratch content each time you wish to publish. To create a digital content strategy, you need one solid idea that supports your marketing goals and appeals to your target market.
Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle Your Best Ideas
Reuse, repurpose, and recycle applies to content marketing as well as to thrifty living. Here’s how “thrifty content marketing” can transform your approach – and significantly reduce your workload.
One Idea Can Generate Multiple Marketing Pieces for a digital content strategy
Most ideas can generate more than one content marketing piece. In fact, one idea can usually generate at least four or five.
One large topic often has multiple smaller topics hidden within it like gems in a mine waiting to be picked apart from the rock.
Let’s take a recent topic I that came my way through my bank’s weekly email to their business customers: How to Boost Business Credit. The original article published by the bankfocused on the steps a small business could take to improve its credit rating and, by extension, borrow more to fuel business growth. It was a well-written 500–700-word article, but that was it – it was one article.
It could easily have been seven different content marketing projects, each appealing to the same audience but shared through multiple marketing channels.
As a small business banking customer, it’s easy for me to slip into the mindset of their target market. This makes it an idea sample to show you what I mean by one idea fueling multiple content pieces to achieve the client’s objectives.
One Idea – SEVEN Content Marketing Pieces
Using the method my team at Seven Oaks Consulting and I use with our B2B content marketing clients, one idea can be spun into multiple content marketing pieces for a digital content strategy. One idea can be used to generate multiple content pieces along the content marketing continuum, helping to generate awareness, support customer education, and nurture the connection into a lead for business credit.
The Seven Oaks Consulting Content Marketing Process
We consider the persona, or target market, for the client’s services, asking ourselves, “Where do they go for content? Which social media platforms do they visit? How do they prefer to consume information: video, audio, or text?”
Next, we look at the tactics available to the client. Some client have multiple touchpoints established with their target market: a blog, a website, social media channels, emails. We leverage these touchpoints and may suggest additional ones for content amplification.
For the content creation process, the bank has several steps to generate a lead for its credit (loans) services:
Education comes first because most small business owners desire to learn more about the entire credit process. And, because credit is a complex and often new subject for business owners, the educational phase is crucial to the lead process. The bank wants their potential loan applicants to understand the process well before they apply for the loan. This helps the bank by saving time with customers and helps customers find the right credit source.
Awareness moves people from education (this is what business credit is all about) to “Bank XYZ offers such services.” It is moving people from the understanding of the topic into understand that Bank XYZ offers the service.
Lastly, motivation comes into the picture – motivating customers to take action and apply with Bank XYZ for credit and loans.
From our one idea, I’ve generated seven content types:
- Microblogging/social posts
- Multiple blog posts – small business credit, credit cards for small businesses, how businesses can check their credit rating, how credit ratings for businesses are calculated, what can help or hurt your credit rating etc.
- Infographics showcasing any of the ideas from the blog posts
- Case studies showing how the bank’s consultants helped small businesses improve their credit, fight credit fraud, or obtain credit
- A video of a bank manager explaining how the bank makes their credit decisions, key concepts in small business credit, etc.
- A gated white paper or longer position paper on small business credit: what businesses need to know/do
- Newsletter content based on the blog posts
Of course, the actual content deliverables depend on the desired budget, staff availability, and timeframe. Perhaps the bank wants to create all the pieces with their own marketing team. The list of suggested content pieces must be pared down to encompass the team’s strengths and bandwidth. Also, if the bank managers aren’t comfortable going on camera, the seventh idea needs to be adapted or changed. And of course, if clients don’t wish to be identified in a case study, that can limit the ability to create them.
These 7 content types can now be divided into each phase of the content marketing process:
- Blog Posts
- White Paper
- Social Media Posts
- Case Studies
- Social Media Posts
Come up with one topic per month or quarter, then work it to the best of your ability. It will generate more momentum through repetition of concept and ideas. This momentum typically outweighs whatever organic SEO boost a site gets from adding unique ideas by building content clusters. Linking among similar topics on the site boosts organic SEO better than generating dozens of new ideas in the same amount of time.
With this method, executed by professionals such as my team at Seven Oaks Consulting, you can accomplish the following marketing goals:
- Build and sustain organic SEO traffic
- Build awareness for your company as an expert in a topic
- Educate potential customers
- Nurture customer relationships
- Augment and support paid lead generation campaigns
- Generate leads
Content marketing takes considerable time and effort to do right. Generating fresh ideas is one of the most challenging aspects of the content marketing process. But who says you need to have a fresh idea every day, month, or week? One idea can generate multiple creative concepts that supports marketing goals and sustains the lead generation pipeline for many B2B businesses.
Jeanne Grunert, president of Seven Oaks Consulting, is an award-winning direct and digital marketer with over 20 years of senior marketing leadership experience. She’s passionate about mentoring marketing managers and providing exceptional content marketing programs and services to Seven Oaks clients. Jeanne holds an M.S. (awarded with distinction) in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University and frequently lectures on content marketing, search engine optimization, and project management techniques.J