We're pleased to present this guest post by Jim Burns of Avitage. Read on for insights into how one B2B company mindfully repurposes its content.
The concept of re-purposing content is maturing. If you're ready to take your content process to the next level, you could realize significant opportunities if you leverage your time, effort, resources and content.
In their book, Content Rules, Ann Handley and CC Chapman invite us to:
"reimagine, don't recycle. Recycling is an afterthought; good content is intentionally reimagined, at its inception, for various platforms and formats."
Great concept, but like most things, execution can be a challenge -- unless you have the right mindset and methodology.
Re-imagining in Action
Our client, Building Engines, delivers services, including a SaaS application, used by commercial real estate owners and property managers to manage tenant relationships and property operations.
During a live breakfast event, Building Engines invited industry leaders to speak to their customers and prospects about a new and compelling topic. This activity required significant time and financial investment to plan, promote and execute.
(Building Engines' photo)
Scott Sidman, head of sales and marketing, knew that the 50 plus people he would ultimately reach with the event would justify the cost and effort. But his belief in the principles of "thinking and creating content like a publisher" led him to realize that he was involved in something more than running an event; he was really creating and delivering content.
Scott and his marketing staff conducted a re-imagining exercise to determine how they could leverage the event and the content they might "acquire" from it. The first step in thinking like a publisher is a mindset and process for planning.
A Multi-Purpose Publishing Process
As a result, Building Engines decided on the following actions:
- Acquire (capture) the panel discussions on video. This included short, sidebar interviews with individual panelists. A key trait of publishers is constant acquisition, even if they are not entirely sure how they will use the source content.
- Transcribe the audio into a text file. This gave them source content they could edit into additional content (below). It also made the video editing a faster and easier. Publishers use different resources for different tasks in the content creation, management and delivery process.
- Edit and tag the transcripts with themes and keywords. A little effort to tag content as they edited it made it easier to find and retrieve segments later. This included highlighting possible quotes. Publishers maintain a library of tagged source content.
- Edit the video into a 20-minute webinar as well as short video snippets. Modularity is a key technique that provides flexibility to use the content for multiple purposes. Publishers value content as re-usable assets, and prepare them accordingly.
- Schedule and promote a webinar with an email campaign containing a short video teaser. Links to an event page provided additional video "teasers" to motivate people to register. This activity and subsequent automated nurturing emails were tracked using their marketing automation system. Publishers use multiple formats and delivery methods, and realized the importance of tracking and measuring all activities.
- See the event as a partnership opportunity. Building Engines decided to promote the webinar as the first in a "series" of topical webinars, including a follow-on webinar featuring an interested partner. Publishing is a collaborative process.
- Extend the life of the content. A microsite was created that will be a dynamic and constantly evolving education and content curation site for the topic. A previously created whitepaper on the topic was posted to the microsite to extend the life and reach of this content asset. A publisher aggregates content for convenient access and consumption.
- Give the content away. Edited video versions, related specifically to each panelist, were created and delivered as a "thank you" for each panelist. These elements were also organized on a microsite designed and hosted for each expert. Publishers know the importance of amplifying distribution and promotion of their original program through third parties.
- Extend the reach of the content into different channels. Press releases presenting sub-topic insights from the event were distributed, typically featuring individual panel experts. The press releases each contained a short video segment along with links to the event and expert microsites. Publishers know the importance of "merchandising their messages" with compelling ideas and convenient consumption methods.
- Reuse the content as blog fodder. Article and blog topics were extracted from the source transcript and assigned to different individuals for writing. New content will continue to come online, in whole or in part, from this event for months to come. Publishers know content is a continuous game.
- Distribute content to the sales team in a useful format. Video segments that are suitable for sales to use with prospects are organized and deployed to make it fast and convenient for sales people to send to customers. Publishers enable "new producers" to distribute content.
I expect that when I check back, Building Engines may well have re-imagined additional ways to leverage their event. They have the mindset -- and the source assets -- to make this possible.
About the author: Jim Burns is the Founder and CEO of Avitage, which helps B2B marketing and sales organizations establish and operate a "continuous content publishing engine" to create, manage and deliver content. By enabling a publishing rather than a traditional point production approach, Avitage helps companies generate the volume and quality of relevant content required to fuel lead gen and nurture and sales enablement initiatives. Visit Jim’s blog or connect with him on LinkedIn.