Looking for more content to support your marketing efforts? The Savvy Sisters welcome Joe Pulizzi, co-author of Get Content Get Customers, who shows you six places to uncover valuable content.
It amazes me when I talk to b-to-b marketers who say they don't have enough content to support their online efforts. While that may or may not be true, marketers often overlook the most obvious of places when searching for valuable information to share with customers.
Companies churn out miles and miles of content. The trick is in "catching" the content before it gets away.
Here are a few ideas that may assist you in your content "hunting" and distribution activities:
1. Executive Speeches: Do you have any executives or employees that give speeches to outside groups? If so, do two things. First, have someone record their presentation. Even if it's to a small crowd, the footage can be cut up into a video short that positions that employee as an expert (and your company). Second, put the PowerPoint presentation on SlideShare.net and other social media outlets.
Don't be shy to get the word out. Let your followers on Twitter know about it, and post the presentation to your Facebook fan page. Post the event pictures on Flickr.
2. Customer Visits: If a customer comes into the office, get them on video. Ask them what their biggest challenges are and what they are doing to overcome them. All you need is something like the Flip cam and you are ready to publish.
Heck, they need content too. Tell them you'll share the content with them...they will eat it up.
3. White Papers: We've all seen b-to-b organizations develop and promote white papers. Usually they shoot out the update via email and have the download form up and ready to go. They might possibly buy ad space to promote the white paper as well. After a while, interests dies out.
Next time, try placing your white paper on Scribd.com, or your eBook on SlideShare.net. Are you blogging about it? The point is, are you "really" sharing this content with everyone that needs to hear your message? Are you positioning your content for a longer "shelf" life?
Also, try testing out one white paper versus another - one with gated content, one where you give the content away freely. David Meerman Scott has some interesting stats on this.
There is a strong possibility that giving away your content and expertise unconditionally may result in stronger content marketing metrics.
4. Uncharted Social Territory: Have you checked out Google Knol or Squidoo.com? Depending on your industry, you could be the first one there to develop the "Ultimate Guide" to a number of your customers' pain points. Try one and see how it goes. There is a strong possibility that you already have the content to populate in these areas.
5. Your Print Assets: Do you print a newsletter or custom magazine? If so, are you leveraging that content via the web? If you are sending out information in print and nowhere else, you lose the power of the asset. The asset is delivering that content online where it can reach a number and group of people not possible before.
Is there a particular feature in your print custom communications that is successful? Why not try and make a weekly series out of that feature where you can make an impact with your customers on a more consistent basis?
6. Search the Entire Content Process: Depending on what type of content you are creating, you may only be looking at the end content result - the blog post, the white paper, the video, the article.
Instead, try looking at all the interesting content (that your customers would find helpful) that happens "during" the content process. For articles, why not videotape or audio record the interviewees? For videos, take an extra bit of time to get a couple key questions to separate from your key story. Use survey data as full article and blog posts. Heck, even the questions could be a valuable post.
The point is, try thinking a bit different about the content you create and what it can do for your marketing objectives. You are a media company whether you realize it or not. The sooner you start thinking like a publisher, the sooner you will position yourself as an expert resource for your customers.