December 17, 2017

The first rule for repurposing content for digital marketing

content marketing strategy


Setting SMART objectives will keep your content marketing strategy on track.

Pop quiz: Your boss just discovered a treasure trove of white papers and PowerPoint presentations. She asks you to repurpose them for digital marketing. Immediately you run through a list of your options:

  • Email/e-newsletter content
  • Social media and Blog posts
  • Video/multimedia content
  • Landing page conversion offers
  • Website pages
  • Banner advertising/PPC
  • Some others you haven’t thought of yet …

Where do you start?

Repurposing your content

This is an exercise in content curation. But instead of finding, organizing and sharing third party content, you are repurposing your own. Either way, you have to start with a content marketing strategy. That is an extension of your strategic marketing plan.

Your strategy represents the thinking and discipline that precedes successful implementation.  It starts at the organizational level with the questions “where is our organization going and how will we get there?” It is defined in terms of the value provided to your existing and prospective customers, rather than the products or services you sell.

Do you know your objectives?

Being able to recite your business objectives won’t make you a hit at the next dinner party. But having them top of mind is critical to maintaining your marketing focus. When unanticipated events or opportunities arise, you will be able to frame them into the proper context by asking the right questions:

What is our blueprint for action?

How do we know we’re on track?

Keeping the focus on your objectives is what separates strategic executions from random acts of marketing.

Experience shows that a solid strategy with great execution beats a brilliant strategy with mediocre execution every time. The goal is to deliver consistent, integrated content marketing through all channels.  There are two keys to successfully executing your strategy:

  • Develop well-defined objectives
  • Align your content strategy with your objectives

Do you have smart objectives? Well-defined objectives are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Your objectives will also cover four specific areas:

  1. Financial – revenue, expenses, operating income, etc.
  2. Strategic – initiatives derived from financial objectives
  3. Marketing – what actions you want the customer to take to deliver the strategic objectives
  4. Communication – activities/events that will yield the marketing objectives

Your communication objectives will support – and flow from – your financial, strategic and marketing objectives.

With this alignment you are better able to keep your content marketing on strategy. It will give you the guidance you need to make decisions on-the-fly and know you are reaching measurable goals for integrating your digital marketing.

Selecting your digital marketing mix

With this grounding you can make informed decisions for choosing which digital platforms will deliver your objectives:

Email: one-to-one personal relationship-building with customers and prospects

Social media: engagement and brand awareness

Blog: establish thought leadership, trust and authority

Website: drive inbound traffic, leads and conversions

White papers: thought leadership; lead generation

Video: brand awareness and social sharing

Paid search advertising: lead generation

Checklist for repurposing your content

Now that you’ve established your marketing objectives and the marketing mix for achieving them, you need to tailor your content to work for you. Here are some tips for repurposing your content assets:

  • Keep your audience in mind. The new rules of inbound marketing call for content that informs, educates and entertains. You may need to revise overly promotional copy.
  • Format for scanning. With the exception of white papers, online readers expect to scan information quickly. Include headlines that make a promise and are newsy. Insert appropriate calls-to-action.
  • Make it easy to share.
  • Optimize everything for search engines.

Summary

The true value of planning is not in the final plan. It’s in the process of planning. Planning teaches. Marketing consultant and author Harry Beckwith sums it up nicely, “Writing a plan educates you in a way nothing else can.”  The thinking, the distillation and analysis of market information helps you make smarter digital marketing decisions.

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