Industrial marketers should consider making a dedicated effort in 2011 to re-use marketing content across different channels, in various formats, and for new audiences. Re-using content can save you time and money in content creation because it is faster, cheaper and easier than starting from scratch.
Re-using content has other advantages as well. You can re-purpose content to match audience preferences: for example, create videos for people who are visual in nature, or break up a lengthy white paper into a series of easy-to-understand articles. In addition, if the core of the content remains intact, you will be able to deliver a consistent message to your audience. Clarity goes a long way in today’s crowded and noisy industrial marketplace.
Examples of re-using content
• Segment the content of a white paper into a series of blog posts, podcasts, or articles
• Create videos or podcasts from in-person speaking events
• Recycle case studies and testimonials in e-mail marketing or advertising programs
• Convert the content of dry, technical specification sheets into interviews with product managers, using video or text
• Re-use content from print collateral on your website
• Upload presentations to slideshare sites or create webinars from the content
Don’t Just Re-use…Re-purpose
It’s important to keep in mind that content isn’t simply re-used, it is also re-purposed. The difference between the two is that when you re-purpose content, you first analyze how the content fits its intended alternative purpose, and then make changes as needed.
For example, if you plan to convert a technical white paper into a podcast, you don’t want to simply read the paper and record the voice. It will likely be too long and too dry, and any charts, graphs or diagrams cannot be used in the podcast. A better approach might be to summarize the key points of the paper and to let your audience know where they can find the full white paper online.
As another example, if you are re-using white paper content in blog posts, you’ll want to change the tone to the more conversational nature of blogging and shorten longer sections to better appeal to an audience that reads blogs.
Re-purpose for Different Audience Needs
One effective way to re-use content is to revise the information for different audiences to address their specific needs in the buying process. For example, decision makers in the buying process tend to focus on one of three concerns: economic, analytical or technical. The economic buyer wants to know about return on investment in their purchase; the analytical buyer must understand how the product will solve their problem; the technical buyer needs evidence that the product will work in its intended environment. You can re-purpose a product brochure or web page to deliver a customized message for each of these audiences, while still maintaining a consistent overall story about your product.
Re-use in Multiple Locations
Sometimes re-using content is simply a matter of publishing or drawing attention to it in multiple locations. A press release distributed over a wire service should also be posted to your website and through social media channels such as Twitter and your company blog. You can also promote the press release through e-newsletters and other industrial web sites where your company has an online presence.
Plan Upfront for Re-using Content
Don’t let re-using content be an afterthought you address only after an original piece of content is created. Instead, plan ahead each time you produce new content and determine how the content can be re-used and what will be required to re-purpose it for each use. Depending on your company, you may need to get a team of people involved: marketers, public relations staff, social media experts, graphic designers, web masters.
A little effort upfront will save time and expense over the long run and provide you with a richer library of content that can be published across different channels, helping you reach a broader audience of potential customers.