Creating Effective Marketing Content Efficiently

Content Doesn’t have to Cost the Crown Jewels

Introduction to “Content”

You’ve probably heard it before in the modern marketing realm: “Content is King”. Over time, the chorus kept growing louder: Content! Content! Content… so you think to yourself, “The marketing gurus just won’t let this one go.” You know the drill: “Gotta have more content to drive more people to the website”, or blog or whatever.

While it is certainly true that in today’s marketplace prospects gather 65% to 90% of their decision-making information before contacting a salesperson – and the company with the most quality content regarding its product or service has a much better shot at closing the sale or landing the business – creating all this “content” is very difficult and costs the proverbial arm and a leg, right?

Wrong. That’s been proven to be pretty much a myth. In fact, if you use the right methodology it can save or stretch marketing dollars significantly. The purpose of this short article is to help take the mystery out of the whole content creation process and show how it can be implemented in almost any company’s marketing and lead generation plan.

Without going off on a major tangent, keep in mind that content-driven marketing doesn’t necessarily replace traditional marketing methods, but instead adds more arrows to your quiver. And we can all use more and sharper arrows.

The Process

First, let’s define “Content” as it relates to helping potential customers self-educate via your website or other portal – and how it can all flow from just a few key sources. “Content” is:

  • Website or YouTube Videos
  • Thought Leadership Articles
  • Blogs
  • Case Studies
  • White papers
  • Magazine Articles
  • Advertorials
  • Instructional materials
  • eBooks
  • Podcasts and more

So here we go. The first step is to identify 2-3 (or more) experts in your company, the industry at large and even customers or distributors who are willing to be interviewed in depth on camera or audio recording. Interviewees should be asked probing questions that require full explanations. A few punchy short sound bites here and there are OK, but the key is to get them to open up and talk on important topics related to your industry. 30 to 45 minute interviews are good target lengths.

Once the interviews are “in the can” they can be transcribed to text and used as content source material. 2-3 successful in-depth video interviews can provide enough material to generate a ton of quality content in numerous formats and delivery systems – essentially many or all of the items listed above.

The #1 Rule of Content Creation

This is a biggie, so read carefully. If you ignore this advice, proceed at your own risk. Although you may be tempted to fire up the video camera on your smart phone and shoot some interviews, or take on writing a thought leadership article or blog article once a week, DON’T DO IT. The fact of the matter is it probably won’t get done, or get done properly. Leave it to the writers and other professionals who do this stuff day in and day out – as they will provide much more quality and value in both the short and long run.

Why Go Pro?

Professionally-shot video interviews in an office or studio with proper lighting and sound will give you a huge advantage in creating great-looking and sounding YouTube or website videos. Good sound is also essential for a podcast. A professional freelance writer can knock out a quality white paper or case study in a couple of days – and there are plenty to choose from out there.

Re-purpose, Re-purpose, Re-purpose

Naturally, any content gleaned from the interviews can also be repurposed in traditional marketing methods such as print ads, brochures, direct mailers, etc. If you do it right you can base a completely integrated ad campaign on the acquired content that also dovetails with your new and improved educational content library.

Wrap-Up

Content is king, but it can be created efficiently. The hardest part on your end of the content creation process is asking the right people the right questions about the right topics – and capturing it effectively. Once you have the raw material in hand, hand it off to the pros and watch your content library grow.

Need a hand holding the camera steady or asking the right questions? Contact Total Spectrum and we’ll get you started in the right direction toward creating quality content.