I’d like to open up my discussion into creating content with a quote that resonated with me. Per Pam Didner; “All content production processes should create content with a purpose and an audience in mind(2015)”. All too often businesses create content based on what they think the audience wants/needs to hear. In order to create compelling content, the content creation team needs to dig into their buyer personas and figure out exactly what THEY want to hear. This should not be an assumption, but based on solid research and information gathering.
Content marketing 101: Ask the audience directly
One method that I used in the past to find what the audience wanted to hear was to ask them directly. I even went so far in one case to volunteer to work the live web chat a few nights a week for six months in order to get into the “customer’s head” and determine what they wanted to know, what questions they had, and where their pain points lay. While this started off as a random experiment, it provided me with a high level of knowledge about the customer and in turn I was able to create content that was read, and increased traffic and engagement.
Poll for common customer questions
Another process that I found useful was to make use of the sales team and poll them for common questions that their customers would ask. I would take this information and write content in a blog or FAQ format that would directly help answer these questions. When I approached the sales team with the idea I explained the direct benefit to their jobs and was easily able to get not only their buy in but a number of volunteers to write content pieces answering some of the questions.
As a result of these two scenarios, a common tool in my toolbox when I’m brainstorming topics and ideas for compelling content is to take my inquiry directly to the consumer of the content. In the end, actually understand what they want to know, don’t just assume.
Great examples of repurposing content!
Moving onto a couple of amazing examples of brands that effectively use the RRR approach in their content marketing efforts, the choice was easy. While these two brands are in the marketing/content industry, I hold firm that their RRR efforts are rather innovative despite the expectation of a leader in the industry.
The first example comes from Buffer, in 2015 the brand decided to go a month without writing any new content. For someone who knows how much content this brand puts out, this is no small feat. Instead of producing new content, they took existing content and applied the RRR approach. So how did they apply the RRR approach during the experiment? Per Kevan Lee: “Instead of new content, we’d repurpose our evergreen content and update old blog posts. We’d create resources like slideshares and ebooks and email courses. We’d republish popular posts that could use a bit of a refresh(2015)”.
What was the result you ask? Well, while their overall traffic dipped by 4%, their average session duration and new sessions increased slightly. In the end, I think this is a positive outcome for a month without any new content…especially in July, when traffic can be a tad fickle.
Take it to the whiteboard!
The second example is one that I am especially a fan of since I just love whiteboard presentations and videos. This comes fresh from our friends at Moz, and they call it “Whiteboard Fridays”. Every Friday, visitors can expect a whiteboard presentation on various topics related to marketing, digital and SEO. While these presentations are great on their own accord, Moz takes them one step further. Essentially, after the presentation is done, Moz is far from done with the recorded video session. They use these for blog post topics along with video transcriptions, as well as making use of them to solidify other pieces of content(Moz, n.d.). While the traffic stats on these efforts have not been released by Moz, these efforts surely are primed to increase organic traffic and conversions.
Agius, A. (n.d.). 12 Great Examples That Prove the Power of Repurposing Content. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/examples-repurposing-content
Didner, P. (2015). Global content marketing: How to create great content, reach more customers, and build a worldwide marketing strategy that works. Mc Graw-Hill.
Lee, W. B., & More, M. K. (2015, August 13). The Best Blog Strategies We Found, From a Month Without New Posts. Retrieved from https://blog.bufferapp.com/blog-strategies
Whiteboard Friday. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://moz.com/blog/category/whiteboard-friday