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make your content marketing smarter, better, and easier

How to make your content marketing smarter, better, and easier

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the 80/20 rule. It’s been said as creators we should spend 80% effort creating vs. 20% consuming content. And according to Derek Halpern, we should be devoting 20% effort to creating new content vs. 80% promoting it.

So, exactly how much new content is that? 🤪

My friend Wayne and I were chatting about how I struggle with my own content creation. Does this sound familiar? I have so many competing priorities that I often feel stress when making time to sit down and create new content. I never want to hit publish just for the sake of it. I don’t want to add to the overwhelming amount of noise in our lives. I want to create good and valuable content which sometimes is an obstacle in and of itself because I put it off and stress about it. As he and I talked, he said something brilliant that really struck me…

Reducing friction around the activity is key. Yes! 💥 

To me, reducing friction means working smarter, not harder. Creating repeatable, sustainable systems rather than reinventing every single time. Choosing a medium that suits you rather than struggling with something that doesn’t.  This might take different forms for different people. Maybe you find having conversations much easier than straight-up writing. Do that. (recognize, too, that interviews can be written, not just podcasts/videos!)  Maybe you have set a pace that is not right for you. Commit to a pace you can sustain.  Maybe you are better at curation than creation. So do that.  The point is to find ways to reduce friction to make things smarter, better, easier, and SUSTAINABLE. This will help you get it done, feel more inspired, be more productive, and less stressed. All of which contributes to better results.

This concept of sustainability and reducing friction really resonates with me. The idea of producing a really strong piece of content even just once a month, to me, has more value than more frequent shallow content for the sake of staying front of mind. Especially considering that we should be spending 80% of effort on PROMOTING the content we have already created.

Using this single strong piece of content as an example, here are ways you might reduce friction to make the process of creating it and promoting is smarter, better, and easier.

A linear process makes everything easier, repeatable, sustainable

Creating content

  • Keep a running list of ideas as you have them. I don’t care where, whatever works for you (Evernote, Google doc, Notes app on phone, paper notebook, Asana – doesn’t matter. The best one is the one you use.)
  • Schedule time on your calendar. Don’t wait until you have a “free moment.” Those never come.
  • Use a framework and outline your idea (read more in How to Be a More Consistent Content Creator)
  • Expand your outline as a draft, take a break, edit your draft.  If it is an interview or something that involves other people, plan it out, do your research to ensure the best possible outcome. I often find preparation is the most important ingredient.

Repurposing and promoting content

I don’t know about you, but I only have so much time to divvy up in the first place. And reality is that it takes far less effort to repurpose content in different formats than to create new content. Content creation can be very time consuming. I strive to be efficient and find as many ways as possible to repurpose content I have created, be it for myself or a client. So once I’ve created the one valuable piece of content (my 20% effort), I can turn my focus to all the ways I can get more mileage out of it.

Let’s say you do a live webinar or seminar with multiple speakers. This single event can yield a vast amount of marketing opportunities by simply repurposing your now existing content.

Create Podcasts and blog posts to support and promote it

  • As the speakers are preparing their content for the event, record interviews with each.
  • Create a blog post for each one summarizing the conversation, including the audio recording, and a pdf transcript of the full episode.
  • You can use these to promote the event, and they will live on as evergreen content on your site, on each speaker’s site and in podcast directories. 

Create and distribute press releases

To help promote the live event, put out a press release about the event through various web services and also published it on your site and social media. 

Repurpose presentation slides

Assuming you and your speakers use Powerpoint presentations for the event, some of the slides can be repurposed for social media in the form of shareable images/memes. Others make for good text posts linking back to related blog posts, videos, webinars, etc.

Retool the presentation making it suitable for  Slideshare and/or Scribd. Here the slideshow would be a stand-alone marketing and the viewer will not have the benefit of hearing the speaker. Each slide should include one key point. Add an introduction slide and a closing slide with your contact information and upload it to Slideshare and Scribd, and be sure tag it appropriately.

Audio/video replay

Record the live event (audio and video) and create a video of each speaker’s presentation. You can also edit-in the speaker’s slides along with video of them presenting. You can Provide an audio-only version for those that prefer to listen on the go. In addition, each episode can be featured in its own blog post. These could also be used as lead magnets on websites.

Another option would be to publish these to services like Youtube and Vimeo – expanding your reach. You could still drive lead capture with a call to action and link back to your site for something further.

Repurpose content as a webinar

By combining the slides with each speaker’s audio track or a new voice-over we can offer it as an on-demand webinar or series of webinars (one featuring each presenter). Further, these can be posted on Youtube and Vimeo to expand their reach. They could also be used as lead magnets on websites.

Whitepapers and ebooks

Repurpose content and images as ebooks or whitepapers. These could be used as lead magnets on websites. They could also be placed on AmazonScribdGumroad, and more.

Infographics and videographics

Some presentation content may make great infographics.  Start with a statistic, graph or chart and graphically enhance it. There are free tools that may help such as CanvaPiktochart or Infogram. Of course, hiring a professional is always a good option.  Feature your inforgraphics in your blog and on social media.

Videographics are similar to infographics only animated. In fact, you could simply animate your infographic. One of the simplest ways to do this is with Keynote or Powerpoint. Add animation and voice over and save the finished piece as a video file. Upload your videographic to sites such as Youtube and Vimeo and share it on social media. You can also feature it in a blog post on your own site.

Repost content on Medium, LinkedIn and Quora

Anyone can sign up for a free Medium account and start publishing stand-alone posts or contributing to collections of curated stories. You can also curate a collection of your own.

LinkedIn also allows anyone to publish their content as articles and you can even embed audio and video.

Quora is a social answers site where you can repurpose content either in replies to questions or as posts in your own blog.

Repurpose content as an online course

This can be super simple — email autoresponder courses allow a user to sign up and then through an email service such as Mailchimp, ConvertKit, or ActiveCampaing you drip your content slowly to your readers, building trust over time. Another option, of course, is to offer it as a more traditional video-based course.

Do you have other ideas for how to get more mileage from your content? Please share in the comments below.

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