Diving into social media and mobile media can be quite daunting for B2Bs. After all, it's an entirely new way of marketing, communicating, engaging and selling. The tools may be easy, but the environment is complex. One-way messaging habits are now ineffective as new media calls for two-way and multi-way communication with our audience, consequently a lot of content needs to be created to reach this target audience.
However, don't let this discourage you. Fact is, your vast archives of data can be "recycled" in new ways across text, audio and video that foster new conversations and spread your ideas to new audiences on a broader scale. But how, you ask?
Use this 3-point framework to help you think differently about the content you've already created, as well as your efforts moving forward:
#1 REPURPOSE existing content.
Start with information-gathering and assessment through:
- Audit - Conduct an audit of all the thought leadership your company has created-especially content created in the last 2-3 years. Whether the content was delivered through an article, white paper, Webinar, PowerPoint presentation, speech, case study or any other format, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you aggregate ALL applicable content for your audit.
- Organize - Pinpoint and categorize the various themes, topics, challenges, benefits, key messages, methodologies and "hot buttons" that you have gathered. And make sure you're focusing only on the content that is still timely, as some content is "evergreen" but other content may be obsolete.
#2: REPACKAGE your content in entirely NEW ways through text, audio and video.
From your findings in step #1, start mapping out how the content can be 'repackaged' into new formats across these new tools, channels and platforms. The possibilities are near limitless. For example:
- Position papers can become a series of blog posts to be read, or a bunch of informative audio podcasts your audience can listen to during daily commutes.
- White papers can translate into a series of forum topics and discussions.
- Video tapes of speeches by your company's subject experts can become a series of online videos.
- Categories, themes and challenges addressed in your content can give rise to a LinkedIn Group... or a community that you build.
- PowerPoint presentations can become an online slideshow perfect to view on screens both large (laptop) and small (smartphone). You can even overlay the audio onto the slides so that the presentation is that much more dynamic and personal.
- Industry trends and news can become a stream of mobile SMS alerts that your audience can subscribe to and remain informed of industry developments instantly.
- Case studies can become a "best practice series" delivered through a set of Webinars where users can post questions via Twitter and Facebook with your team answering them in real time.
- Findings from a recent study you commissioned can become a set of tweets, status updates and wall postings... that redirect to a blog post, podcast, or video.
#3: REFINE content for SEO and provide the best experience possible for audiences across VARIOUS environments.
- Optimize content for search engines. The content that you'll repurpose and repackage should be refined to include the universe of keywords that will help your site rank highly in search engine results. SEO could be a post all its own, but just be mindful that you're not only marketing your content to your audience but also optimizing for the search engines that pull your audience to you.
- Optimize content for multiple environments. The best practices of social-media content are vastly different from the best practices of mobile-media content-because the devices from which your audience views your content are completely different. Just pull up the same Web content on a laptop and a smartphone and you'll understand exactly what I mean. Optimizing for screens both large and small requires more effort, but it's worth going the extra mile. For more detail, I recommend that you review this post on refining content for mobile environments.
All that said, the benefit of recycling your thought leadership is far from just a way to more easily dive into social media and mobile media. At its core, this practice is an argument rooted in ROI. Why? Because you are MAXIMIZING the investments you've ALREADY made-as creating all that smart content took your team a lot of time. Plus, it didn't come cheap to your budget. So you want your content to have as many legs across as many media as possible.
And now you can repurpose, repackage and refine your thought-leadership content as far as these tools and your imagination will take you.