When it comes to making your mark with content marketing, what’s more important—quality or quantity?
The answer is a resounding “Both.”
Today, everyone’s a content marketer. To get seen, you need to create enough content and promote it in enough locations. To get attention, the content had better be good.
What’s a marketer with a limited budget and a small staff to do?
Here are five ways marketers are creating content that’s both good and ubiquitous enough to get noticed and have an impact.
1. Produce High-Quality Capstone Pieces
Marketers are strategically investing in high-quality pieces that I call Capstone pieces. “We’d much rather do a high-quality piece we can market in several different ways than 10 different white papers,” noted Alison Munn, Senior Social Media Marketing Manager at BMC.
This capstone piece might be white paper or eBook that offers thought leadership or handy “How to” information. Some of the best pieces I’ve seen combine useful information with whimsical artwork and a sense of humor.
2. Reuse Bigger Pieces Like Crazy
Marketers then reuse the content as many ways as they can. Based on their capstone content, they might produce a series of blog posts, videos, infographics, webinars, podcasts, tweets, and the like. Explained Greg White, Director of Product Marketing at CommVault. “Overall, we’re producing more content, but it’s coming from fewer pieces. Instead of standalone pieces, there’s a lot of cross pollination.”
3. Add Visual Elements
Adding interesting visual elements can give whatever content you’re able to product much more of an impact.
Observed one marketer, “You rarely see any postings on Google+ without a photo. Twitter is getting more and more into that as well. We might embed a SlideShare or pictures into a tweet. When we want to share a link to a written case study, we share a picture to catch their eye. And our case studies with the most views are videos. We have innovation awards once a year and we did videos of all this year’s winners.”
4. Support All Phases of the Buying Process
Marketers charged with creating content are becoming much more customer-focused about what they create. Instead of putting out a steady stream of content, they’re thinking about what their customers really need to help with their buying decision.
Commvault is a case in point. Not long ago, the company created lots of white papers for large numbers of topics.
But over the past year, White and his team have been focusing in on the buyer’s progression for each of his products’ top three buyer personas and what they need at each stage of the buying cycle. Said White, “We eliminate anything that doesn’t have a place in the natural progression.”
Once they determine what types of messages are necessary, White’s team creates a content map of the types of content they need to get there. They then determine what existing content they might be able to use. Said White, “We figure out what we can leverage so we don’t need to reinvent the wheel and then determine what gaps exist.”
White pays careful attention to how content can move the buyer from one stage to the next. One tactic CommVault uses to get the right content to the right person is a quiz designed to get the prospect into the content flow. Said White, “A quiz is fun and it’s got value. Everyone wants to know what the end result is. Based on the answer to the quiz, we can then put the prospect into the appropriate lead-nurturing tracks.”
5. Think about Themes
Another way of making content more strategic is by building a series of content all around a single theme. For example, Martin Johnson, Senior Director of Marketing and Demand Generation at Elastica, defines a theme and then builds as many activities as possible around that construct. Johnson says, “In a recent campaign, we wanted to raise the visibility for one of our solutions and the application security market as a whole. So we did a white paper/eBook on the topic, did a related webcast with a contributing analyst, and promoted it over social media. Overall we do a set of proven activities that are broad enough to get exposure but not so many that we have to scramble to produce materials. Our campaign was quite successful. Our product promotion had 370 registrants for the webinar, 180 people attended. The eBook generated 500-600 leads—all of solid quality.”
Yes, you do need a lot of high quality content to make an impact on the market. And the way to do that is to create content in a strategic manner so that each piece is as effective as possible, and then repurpose your content like crazy.