I recently made the mistake of feeding a stray cat at the office. Now it comes back every day expecting more food. Yesterday, there were two cats outside my door. I may have created a monster…
Finding enough content for your marketing might feel like feeding hungry cats. Once you set things in motion, you need a steady stream of content to keep everyone satisfied. How can you possibly keep up? Here are 5 ideas to help you find, repurpose, or create content to feed your need.
1. Develop a strategy.
To accurately assess your content needs, you’ll first need a strategy. Who is your audience? What are their pain points? How can you help them? How often do they need to hear from you? Also consider your organization’s goals. Are you promoting a product or event? Do you need more members? What resources and budget can you dedicate to content marketing? The answers to all these questions will determine how much content you need and what types of content will yield the best results.
2. Mine your existing materials.
The easiest type of content to use is content that already exists. Take a look at your stash of marketing collateral, industry reports, whitepapers, images, infographics, audio or video recordings, and more to see what you might be able to use as-is. Keep in mind, however, that just because it exists doesn’t mean it’s relevant to your target audience. Only choose pieces that are actually useful to your base.
3. Repurpose existing content.
Repurposing content can save you time and effort compared to creating new pieces. Be creative. An infographic can become a video. An interview with an expert can become a podcast. An industry event can become a best practices checklist. We once created a series of short videos for a client using interesting facts from their annual report. Each video contained just one fact that we animated to add interest.
4. Beg or borrow content.
Look to partner organizations as potential sources of content. Their industry reports, infographics, PowerPoint presentations, webinars, or other current information might be relevant to your audience. And don’t be afraid to ask your contacts to be guest contributors to your blog or other publications.
5. Create fresh content.
If you want to maintain your place as an industry influencer, you will need to produce fresh original content at some point. You will likely need a combination of formats to maintain audience interest. Ideas for fresh content: Interview highly engaged members to discuss benefits of your association. Collect testimonials for use on social media posts or videos. Write how-to articles about your products. The possibilities are endless.
Here are just a few additional ideas:
- Case study
- Cartoon or illustration
- FAQ sheet
- Original research
- Summary of original research
- Annual report
- Email newsletter
- Product review
- Chart or graph
- “Day in the Life” article
- Resources list
- Photo collage
- Opinion piece
To help the National Association of Manufacturers promote their product NAM Energy, we developed a content marketing strategy that included a combination of new and existing materials. The NAM already had an energy-related fact sheet we were able to use by adding the NAM Energy branding elements to the document. We also developed an original infographic and three curated member stories that were featured on individual microsites. The result was a 1688% increase in total revenue for the product.
Content marketing works because it builds trust with your audience by offering something they need. It helps you fulfill an unspoken promise that your association is worth their time. With that relationship solidly in place, your audience is much more receptive to your hard sales pitches for products, events, and membership renewals. Find a way to feed the cats in your neighborhood and your association will see serious ROI from your efforts.
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