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Smart Marketing: Repurposing Content

Time is a precious commodity, which is why one huge benefit—maybe the hugest—of repurposing content is the time it can save you in the content creation process.

If you invest heavily in content creation, you should be thinking how many different ways it can be promoted. Generally, companies spend lopsided portions of their budgets on content creation and far too little time actually promoting the content that they create.  And there are so many ways to utilize it.

Repurposing a piece of content can be a great way to breathe new life into old work. You went to all the trouble to research, craft, and promote the content in the first place—you have to make sure that you get as much out of it as you can. 

When you repurpose a piece of content you’re doing one of two things (or both): changing the format of the content, and/or changing the target audience for the content.

Why Is Content Repurposing Important?

The #1 benefit of repurposing content is that it makes content MUCH easier to scale.

In other words: you don’t need to write every post, shoot every video and design every infographic from scratch.

Instead, you can use a piece of new content as the basis for press releases, articles, posts, videos, social media posts, webinars and more.

There are many benefits in addition to the time management and efficiency of repurposing content.  Some include.

  • Get an SEO boost. Multiple pieces of content around the same topic can generate additional opportunities to target a desired keyword.
  • Reach a new audience. In many cases, your original piece of content may have only been seen by one group of customers or influencers.
  • Reinforce your message. The more the message gets out, the better audiences understand what your company is doing.
  • Gain extra authority with multiple viewings. 

With so many resource and time demands, it is smart to repurpose valuable content.  You’ll be amazed with the results of morphing good content to attract a new audience.

Sales Collateral Success Tips: 4 Questions to Ask Before You Write

So you are finally ready to write that piece of marketing material that your sales department has been begging you to write for months. You know all the marketing mumbo jumbo about how your product or solution is better than any other thing out there. You know all the industry jargon and buzz words to include. You “know” because you read all the industry pubs and you keep tuned into the sales department – gathering feedback from the executive team and their people with feet on the street, who talk to sales prospects day in and day out.  And they’ve told you what to write… and what sales needs to close the deal easier, faster and for more dollars.

But if you take a step back for just a moment, you might just find out, what you don’t know is of the most critical importance. At times we all get so close to the products and services that we represent, that we are guilty of “drinking the company Kool-Aid.” Meaning we lose perspective of who we are marketing to and what our potential buyers actually think and need.

Understanding the answers to the following 4 questions and the impacts to your sales collateral strategy and messaging can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your marketing materials. Ask these questions before you write any sales copy to arm yourself for success.

  1. Who is the intended audience? Consider whether your sales targets come from a business or technical orientation, and know the titles and job responsibilities of your prospective buyers. Understanding the persona of your perspective buyers (their goals, concerns, preferences and decision process) is critical to the development of engaging collateral. Avoid the “one piece will appeal to all” approach even if your buyers vary greatly from industry to industry or company to company. If necessary, write targeted collateral for each audience to maximize the effectiveness.
  2. What problem is your reader trying to solve? All too often sales collateral is written from the perspective of the vendor with little or no understanding of the business or technical issues the reader is trying to solve. If at all possible, talk to actual customers and ask them to explain the problem and how your product/service solves the problem. You may be surprised in the differences between your vocabulary and your customers’. Using their descriptions and terminology will make your collateral more impactful.
  3. When in the sales cycle will the collateral be used? The interests and attention span of your target buyer will vary greatly throughout the sales cycle. Let the stage define the depth of content and focus of the collateral. Early in the information gathering stage, keep the piece short and high-level with industry relevant and vendor neutral analysis of the topic. During the evaluation stage, supply your readers with more depth and useful product/service specific information that can help support the their decision process.
  4. Why should the reader spend his/her valuable time reading your collateral? Your prospective buyers are busy people, who suffer from complete information overload. To be worthy of their time, your collateral must offer something of value that cannot be easily accessed from other sources. Become familiar with content offered by competitors, analysts and media within the industry you serve. Strive to offer something with unique perspectives and value.

Content is King

Amid the Roar of Social Network Spam, Good Content Still Rules

Tweet, tweet, tweet. Social media sites and associated spam are growing in volume every day as new-bees jump on the social networking bandwagon in hopes of growing their network and making a splash – or at least being heard.

The point is that we now have a very powerful platform to connect and express ourselves in ways that weren’t possible just five years ago. However, while we have this new distribution mechanism, these new channels don’t necessarily mean opportunity. It is still the potential to share ideas that matter which brings us a further opportunity.

From a business perspective, a large network is of no value unless the members of your network see value in what you bring to the table. By consistently providing value and conversing on a level of transparency and trust, the network will respond. Your network will grow, it will be much easier to spread content (with your name attached) and ultimately, bring in more customers.

Really, this is no different than the days of marketing and PR 1.0. Just because you could write a press release every week and blast it to a large network of media contacts did not guarantee anyone was listening. In fact it was strategic – and still is strategic – to release a steady stream of newsworthy announcements in a digestible timeframe. Otherwise, your communications will be seen as white noise and you’ll be labeled as one who provides little value no matter how many tweets and blogs you can churn out.

A person of few words is often still considered the wisest – and often the most respected.
The real goal, in my estimation, is to develop trust, build relationships, and earn the attention of people in our circles of interest. That’s what matters. Without providing value, internet channels are worthless.

Some key items to remember as you venture into the brave new world of social media and networking:

  • Develop a strategic and targeted list of contacts, blogs, communities and networks. These relationships should be nurtured at all costs – even in this crazy high-tech world, people are always behind the technology. It’s still easier to attract bees with honey than vinegar. 😉
  • Cultivate compelling content, always. Customer case studies and real world scenarios that tie to current events without stretching the truth are always more influential.
  • Spray and pray tactics (as I have heard recently, LOL) are a good back-up approach but should never replace targeted communications and lead generation efforts.

The bottomline is that you need a strategy that incorporates a blend of the old and new but always leverages compelling ideas and content for best results.

Speak the Language of Customers

To effectively market a new product, you must be able to name it and frame it in terms that resonate with your target audience. Potential customers will not buy what they cannot name or understand.

All too often we see technology vendors define their positioning behind closed doors, then cross their fingers and hope the message spreads like wild fire. The end result can be disappointing if not catastrophic.

Positioning exists in people’s minds, not in your words. If you want the market to understand your value proposition, you must frame a position in words that actually exist in other people’s minds.

Too much time spent with your founder and developers can desensitize you and make you believe those acronyms and techno-terms are commonplace, but don’t be deceived. If your friends and family have trouble articulating to others what your products does and why anyone should care, then you may need to rethink your positioning.

So where is a B-to-B tech marketer to find the words to describe the coolest invention since sliced bread? Try listening to prospective customers. Tune into their conversations to find out how they are describing the challenges they face and products – benefits and features – that are relevant to the solution you provide. Then integrate that language into your marketing materials.

Tactical Tips for Learning the Language of Customers

  1. Find the bloggers that are writing about your topic area. Subscribe to their feed, read their stuff and the comments they receive regularly.
  2. Join LinkedIn and industry groups that cater to the market segment you intend to serve. Tune out the vendor rhetoric and focus on user posts and comments.
  3. Use your network to find people who match the profile of your prospective buyers. Ask for 15 minutes of their time to discuss the market issues. Try not to let your viewpoint influence the conversation…just listen.
  4. Monitor discussion boards and forums to understand the real strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Drinking too much of the company Kool-Aid can be harmful to the health of your marketing messages. A dose of reality will help ground you.
  5. Research keywords that are in use by your target demographics. Tools like Google AdWords Keyword Tool or WordTracker can help you research the popularity of keywords that may be used to categorize your products and services. Be leery of keywords that yield little or no results.

Your press releases, collateral, email campaigns and even product packaging can all benefit from the language used by real life tech buyers. With your new market-aware messaging in place, your founder may miss those special terms that he/she coined, but your prospective customers just might thank you with a shortened sales cycle.