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October 31, 2012

1 Topic, 8 Pieces of Content for Marketing

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If you’re creating content for business, you know you don’t have the luxury of creating when the “mood strikes.” In the content marketing world, we have an obligation to create relevant and useful content on an ongoing basis. So, with a content production schedule that needs to be consistent, plus the abundance of channels we have at our fingertips, we must find ways to maximize our content ideas.This is where the idea of producing several types of content from one idea is very, very useful.

Mother and Baby Ducks

Get creative and make many resources from one single idea.

What I’m talking about here is taking one concept and expanding it into several mediums, like blog posts, video, infographics, ebooks and more. And using various channels to feature them in.

Let’s get to it!

Step 1: Finding a Topic

Sometimes the first step is the hardest — the idea part. Especially when you’re not inspired by something you’re doing or if you don’t have a lot of data about the type of content your audience is looking for. Aside from using data from your search marketing, there are more unique, off-the-wall places you can go to find inspiration for topics related to what you do day-to-day.

Here’s just a couple:

  • Notes from business meetings.
  • Your resume (past experience sparks ideas).
  • Project files (these can be a treasure trove of ideas).
  • E-mails.
  • Casual conversations at work.
  • Common questions you hear a lot.
  • Common questions sales gets asked.
  • Sitting in on client calls.
  • LinkedIn groups or Quora – see what sort of topics people in your field care about.

Step 2: Start with the Concept and Expand to the Content

All of us have tools within our content development toolbox that we’re a bit more comfortable using than others (for example blog posts versus infographics). For the purposes of this, we’ll start with a blog post.

Say you work at a local pet adoption nonprofit, and you find one of the most commonly asked questions is about the adoption process for dogs, and how to best ensure a home is a proper fit to the pet. For this fictional company, we’re going to take that concept and create the following content development plan to leverage our content idea across mediums:

  1. Create a blog post: 
The first piece of content could be a blog post on the topic of dog adoption that will live on the organization’s blog. When creating a post on this topic, you’d do some keyword research and be sure to weave in key phrases into the content naturally,  and also fill in the Head section (if you’re a beginner to optimization Yoast’s WordPress plugin can very helpful). Do a quick analysis of the types of content that are out there on that topic when you perform a search with that keyword. And when you’re writing the content, be sure to give the topic as much time as it needs so that you are providing value to the user, taking care to offer something unique and different from the other results for that topic.
  2. Write a guest article or blog
: The second piece of content can be a longer version of the blog post, re-purposed for a pet owner niche magazine. Make sure it is a completely new, original piece of content on the topic (a new angle for the audience of the publication or blog). As a guest blogger, you’d want to look for reputable sites in industries related to pet care. It’s important for your brand and your site that you are only associating with the best of the best online. Whether you decide to be a guest blogger or a guest author in a publication — or both — you will gain visibility and drive people back to your site.
  3. Be interviewed: 
The next piece of content would have you pitch the idea of the topic to a local community newspaper, a niche publication or you could sign up for HARO online to be an expert source on the topic of dog adoption and dog ownership. You might also be able to scan the published article, PDF it, optimize it and add it your site to be featured for public relations and search purposes. Make sure that you always credit the original source — and if the interview is online, link appropriately to it (just be sure it’s a reputable site or you may want to add a rel=”nofollow” to the link).
  4. Create a video: 
Next, you could create a short video that you can upload to YouTube on the topic, making sure all the main points are covered about the dog adoption process (not too lengthy, though. Try to aim for three minutes or less to keep people’s attention, unless it’s very engaging). This video can be as simple as you in front of a camera, talking through the points (make sure you have good lighting and audio quality at the very least). Optimize the video as best you can so it’s easier for a user to find when searching for a related topic, and think of other areas you can feature the video online (outside of YouTube) where it will be useful to your audience.
  5. Use Pinterest: 
Here, you can get visually creative. Pets are naturally attractive for users to look at, so you could create individual boards in your Pinterest account for different types of dog breeds. Each breed can have a collage of images that best represents the type of lifestyle that is best for that type of breed, along with tips for owning them. For example, pictures could represent levels of activity, space needed in the home, obedience level, etc. You can also optimize your Pinterest activities for search.
  6. Make an Infographic: 
Consider ways you can tell this adoption story in yet another visual. Gather facts from credible sources about dog adoption or pet ownership — maybe in this case it’s about individual breeds again or the value dogs bring to a human’s life. Be sure to fact check. Treat the infographic like you would any other piece of content; it has to be factual, based on data and also tell a story visually. But it doesn’t stop there. Your infographic needs a marketing strategy around it, and optimizing it is the start of gaining visibility.
  7. Produce an eBook: 
After creating all the other types of content, think about how you can leverage them into one place with an ebook. You can take some or all of these pieces and combine it with useful information around the topic to make it into a downloadable resource for potential pet owners on your site. This is a great traffic and lead generator. There are lots of different ways to format and offer an ebook to your audience. iBook is one of them — check it out.
  8. Build a new category on your website: 
Do you have enough information to create a new section on the website about the dog adoption process? Are people searching for this information online? What are the keywords people are using when they try to find information about it? Do some digging and see if a new section is warranted that will pull that traffic into your site. Don’t forget to include the other pieces of relevant content you’ve created for those pages, such as embedding the videos and infographics and linking to the blog posts and Pinterests boards on the topic (and vice versa).

Remember, once you have the content development strategy, you need robust marketing plans to make sure all your great content doesn’t go unnoticed. Just because you build it, does not mean they will come — so treat each type of content as its own mini-campaign to gain the most visibility for it, and track it to be sure you know how it’s contributing to your overall content marketing and search marketing strategy.

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3 responses to “1 Topic, 8 Pieces of Content for Marketing”

  1. Timothy Carter writes:

    I think most people miss the most important part of this post and I’m glad you left it for last…

    “…you need robust marketing plans to make sure all your great content doesn’t go unnoticed. Just because you build it, does not mean they will come — so treat each type of content as its own mini-campaign to gain the most visibility for it…”

    All the time/money invested in creating great content to share, the actions afterwards is where companies see the success or failure of that “investment”.

  2. Jessica Lee writes:

    Hey, Timothy! Thanks for your comment. I agree with you no doubt. It’s a complete cycle. Visibility is super important, but I think the steps we take before we get there is equally as important. If we don’t have content that is furthering the business goals and speaking to the audience, then visibility isn’t going to do as much.

  3. Nick Simard writes:

    Perfect method for writing guest post as well. I dont understand how one can produce an eBook? When there are variety of topics? how to link them and bring them in one flow or chapters.



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