Pop quiz: Your boss just discovered a treasure trove of white papers and PowerPoint sales presentations and asks you to repurpose them for online marketing. Immediately you run through a list of your digital marketing 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?
Curating your own 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 your content marketing strategy. It 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 the organization going and how will we get there?” It is defined in terms of the value provided to existing and prospective customers, rather than the products or services sold.
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 context of important 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 and great execution beats a great strategy and mediocre execution every time. The goal is to deliver a consistent, integrated content marketing strategy throughout 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-sensitive. Your objectives will also cover four specific areas:
- Financial – revenue, expenses, operating income, etc.
- Strategic – initiatives derived from financial objectives
- Marketing – what actions you want the customer to take to deliver the strategic objectives
- 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 online marketing.
A content strategy for your online marketing mix
With this grounding you can make informed decisions for choosing which online platforms will deliver your objectives:
Email: one-to-one personal relationship-building with customers and prospects
Social media: engagement and building awareness
Blog: establish thought leadership and build trust and authority
Website: drive inbound traffic, leads and conversions
White papers: generate leads
Video: build brand awareness and extend reach through viral sharing
Paid search advertising: branding and lead generation
Checklist for curating content
Now that you’ve established your marketing objectives and the best online platforms 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 require 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.
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 online marketing decisions.
SOUND OFF: Tell me what you think. How are you doing with curating your content for online marketing? How are you prioritizing your online marketing mix? What would you add to the checklist?
Related article: 4 Easy steps to an awesome social media content plan