One of the biggest concerns facing companies when it comes to their content marketing is how to create enough content to be effective, especially when faced with limitations in personnel equipped to handle such tasks. Growing your content marketing team by taking on another salary can be expensive, not only due to the addition of the salary itself, but also the cost of recruiting, interviewing, and making sure you are selecting the right candidate.
While conundrums like this can bring about tension headaches, some simple solutions can help ease the pain of dealing with such issues. Here are a few ideas to help you increase your production of quality content that connects with your target audience, while avoiding breaking the bank to expand your team.
Give your old content a new life
You invested so much time and so many resources, not to mention valuable marketing dollars, into all that content you created. It’s a shame to see it grow old and go to waste. What you may not realize is that a lot of pieces of old content hiding out on your laptop could be once again the talk of the town if you just spend a little time brushing them off and giving them a makeover.
Consider that eBook that your audience downloaded 1,000 times a year ago. Instead of toiling away for hours to come up with a whole new piece of content, why not create a 2.0 version? While it already was downloaded by many, there are a lot more than 1,000 people in your target market. So fix up that eBook and target those who missed out the first time. If you do it well, even people who downloaded the original version can benefit from the new one. Just follow these steps and you’ll have that eBook shiny and looking like new in no time:
- Thoroughly review all text to ensure that everything is up-to-date.
- Update anything that isn’t current by replacing stats and other insights with more current information.
- Replace any visual examples.
- Add a few anecdotes to enhance the content and insert current quotes from experts.
- Create a new cover, change up the headers, footers, and page numbers, and alter the color scheme a bit.
Once you’ve completed these steps properly, that eBook or whatever type of content is being revitalized is ready to roll back out. Now you have a new piece of content to strengthen your connection to your audience.
If you’ve done your job right, your customers are talking about your company. Focus on the fans who advocate your brand and chat about your products or services on social media.
Conduct some social media listening activities and find out who’s talking about you the most. Find out who is influencing the conversation about your brand. Then reach out to the ones who make the most positive comments and ask if they’re interested in creating some content for you.
Content generated by your target audience’s peers is considered more trustworthy and reliable than content clearly created by the company. It’s also likely that your advocates will be more than happy to put together a video, article, or other type of content free of charge. Your brand’s recognition of them, along with the ability to have their content consumed by your audience, often is enough.
Another angle for getting more user-generated content is to hold a contest. Ask your fans to put together videos focused on a positive experience they had with your brand. Post the top three videos on your website for a specified period. You could ask fans to vote for their favorite. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is the time to sift through all the videos.
There are different schools of thought on content curation, and I urge you to approach this one with care, but there is certainly value in it if done properly. I am not recommending that you simply post the first paragraph or two with a link to the original article. I don’t see a lot of value in that. The problem is twofold:
- Google doesn’t give any SEO value to the keywords or other elements from these types of posts.
- A lot of readers will click on the link, go to the third-party website, and never return to yours.
There are a lot of great examples of content curation, but you might want to consider this tried-and-true example.
- Take the most important part of an article and place it in the middle of the page.
- Bookend it with your original lead explaining why you thought it was right, wrong, informative, totally pointless, or whatever. At the end, write a conclusion about how the reader can apply the content to his or her own work.
- Link to other content on your own website from your original text in the bookends.
While you still need to cite and link to the original source of the excerpt, your reader is more likely to return to follow up on your commentary about the article. Google will also recognize the original text on the page. It’s a simple way to create content quickly and it eliminates some of the pitfalls that come along with curation.
If you’re feeling ambitious and looking to create large amounts of content, you might need to consider other ways to extend your resources. Hiring an agency will cost you, but it may be more efficient and less expensive than adding a salaried employee. Agencies allow you to:
- Expand your resources temporarily. You can scale back when the content creation is complete or the workload diminishes.
- Save the time and money to train your own team by bringing in a group of experts who can hit the ground running with minimal guidance.
- Relinquish management of large projects. Quality agencies have the experience to step in and manage them smoothly, freeing up your time to work on all the other things piling up on your desk.
So whether you choose to try a few of the in-house tricks or hire an agency, this blueprint shows how to ramp up your content creation without bringing on unnecessary salaried team members.
If you have comments or other suggestions, I would love to read them in the comments.
Want to learn more about how to boost your content marketing without creating new content? Check out the CMWorld 2014 sessions available through our Video on Demand portal and make plans today to attend Content Marketing World 2015.
Cover image by reynermedia, Flickr commons, via pixabay.com