In my last post, I discussed how to stand out with a content marketing strategy. Now we’ll talk about what happens at scale. Because once your strategy hits and you've created a stand-out in the industry, the opportunities to increase exposure will rise. People and press will want to know your organization’s takes on other hot topics and on other ways your organization can solve industry problems.
But researching, writing, refining, and getting these pieces to market can take a lot of time and money. So while being the go-to industry resource is absolutely the position to be in, you also need to consider scaling your content.
DRIVING YOUR CONTENT'S VALUE
Scaling content means getting more value out of the initial investment, like taking a keystone piece and repurposing it into other forms, thus getting more benefit for incremental investment. Why do this? Not only to gain additional returns on your initial costs, but also to cater to different learning styles and different points of the funnel.
Virgin Pulse, for example, released a State of the Well-Being Industry survey report in 2015. The report presented influential data about where the industry was heading in a detailed and informative way. But not everyone would take the time to read the report in its entirety, so a press release summarized key findings, a slideshare was created, blogs were written about it, press picked it up (some featured the infographic created from the findings), and the content was synthesized into webinars, ebooks, tip sheets, portions of sales presentations, and more.
For Virgin Pulse, this meant getting a lot of traction and extra value from investment in one piece. It also meant hitting prospects at different points in a buyer's journey. Personally, I've seen abbreviated pieces like ebooks, tip sheets, and webinars work well at the top of the funnel. They hit prospects with information in the way they want to consume it, and in the time they have (i.e. not much, if they don’t know much about you or the problem you’re helping solve).
(DON'T) ABIDE BY THE RULES
But once buyers start researching and consuming content, really thoughtful pieces like white papers, survey reports, in-depth blog posts, and similar pieces work well in the middle of the funnel. When a prospect is in the middle of the funnel, they want to learn more in-depth information, and they’ll start to want to know specifically how your organization will solve their problem.
This said, there are no hard and fast rules here. At one of my previous companies, a thoroughly researched and well-written report was the all-time top of funnel lead generator. So see what works for you and your organization, but always think about how you can get more value out of your content investments by scaling them. Doing so is simply a smart use of time, money, and resources.
Modern, high-functioning marketing teams are nothing if not publishing shops, but startups need to be smart about bandwidth. Scaling content means using resources and optimally spending to get a greater return, while also helping increasing the assistance given to prospects with different learning style and time constraints.
Shawn LaVana is passionate about helping marketers market better. He leads the marketing team at TempAlert, having previously scaled high-growth startups including Virgin Pulse and ShapeUp. Follow him on Twitter: @shawnlavana