I was fortunate to work with Holly at a previous stop in our careers. I always appreciated the way she went about her business and how she thought about designing helpful content for that audience she was serving. In her contribution to the Modern Day Marketer's Guide to Turning Down the Volume Game and Turning Up Quality Content she suggests marketers put a pause on becoming just another content factory and provides some recommendations on how to be more engaging. You can follow Holly on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Stop Creating Content for Content's Sake and Start Engaging Audiences with Creativity and Resourcefulness
VP of Marketing, Casted
Content creation has, to many, become a numbers and velocity game. Too many brands think churning out more and more content will help them stand out in a crowded market, expand their reach, and lead to more conversions.
But it does just the opposite.
When we put pressure on our teams to churn and burn content, we’re not only burning out our content creators and stripping them of their creativity, but we’re not giving our content the proper amplification and attention it deserves.
We’ve become obsessed with content performance metrics, but most of the time, we put too much pressure on a singular piece of content to perform with minimal or little effort focused on helping it perform. Instead of focusing on maximizing the possible results, we push out content daily, tweet about it once, and wonder why our content keeps falling flat.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
It’s time to stop creating content for content’s sake and let marketer’s do what they do best: engage audiences with creativity and resourcefulness.
Put your audience first.
First things first, stop focusing on what you want to tell your audience and start listening to (and understanding) what they want to hear. When you put the focus on your audience and align your strategy and content to them, it more easily unlocks topics, themes, pain points that you can address to help your audience.
Center your content around the experts.
Stop asking your content creators and marketers to be the expert at everything your company does. Instead, give them the power to access the experts in your company, industry, and beyond to capture expertise that can be distilled into your content. As a long-time content creator, I can tell you what a relief it is to start with expertise, whether that be an informal conversation or very formal interview, and distill that down into content.
Think outside of the written content box.
When you think about most B2B marketing content strategies, you might notice one thing: most center around a blog of written content. But why? Sure written content is great for SEO and a format that some people prefer over others, but why would you focus your entire strategy on one outcome and one learning preference? It’s no secret that audio and video are great options to engage with your audience in new ways. And, even better, they lend themselves to having a bigger ROE (return on effort) because you can reuse, repurpose, and retool them across channels.
Scared about getting started with other formats? Audio and video don’t have to be scary. In fact, you’re already likely doing some activities (like webinars and interviews of customers) that can actually be repurposed into other audio and video formats. Take a customer interview for example. If you’re already going to be chatting with a customer live, why not take the extra step to record that conversation? You could use clips of the conversation to create a narrative podcast, use the full interview to launch a customer success podcast, or even create a fun customer case study video. There are lots of ways to lean into other formats and channels that don’t have to be overly complicated.
Refresh, reuse, repurpose.
Not everything has to be net new. And good news… most of the content you’re creating (especially if you follow the 3 tips above this) can be reused, repurposed, and refreshed to use across channels, formats, and timelines. We’ve become obsessed with creating all new content for every campaign or initiative we run. But what if, instead, you took a look at what content existed, identified what content can be refreshed or repurposed, and what gaps exist. You’ll get more value out of every piece of content, and you’ll also create better net new content because you’re not recreating the wheel, you’re only filling gaps that exist in your strategy.
By forcing our marketers to focus on more and more new content, we’re stripping them of their creativity and burning them out. Content shouldn’t be a quantity game, it should always be a quality game. But in order to do that, the way we create content has to change. It can’t be about churning out blog posts. It has to be about creating genuinely good content that focuses on what our audience wants.
When we focus on our audience and we look for ways to unburden the content marketer and creator, we’re giving our team the chance to lean into their creativity and in turn, create better, more effective marketing. And guess what? When we let our team focus on creating high quality content and campaigns, instead of focusing on quantity, we see better results because we’re actually delivering content that’s worthy of our audience’s time and attention.
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