79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the most common cause of this poor performance. MarketingSherpa
Growing up, my mom had a knack for getting the most out of our family’s meals. Tonight’s turkey dinner turned into tomorrow’s sandwich for lunch followed by tomorrow night’s soup. Each of the meals used the same basic ingredients, yet each was perfect for the occasion. Content marketing is a lot like cooking—you need to know when to spin up different versions and repurpose content.
Marketers know that lead nurturing is important, yet many still struggle to move beyond basic nurturing to more advanced nurture strategies. The one item holding them back—content. “We just don’t have enough content to develop a nurture journey,” is a story I frequently hear when speaking with fellow marketers and clients.
Today, I’ll discuss a few strategies to propel you over the content hump by reusing what you already have. You just may be a little further along than you think.
Your Content Inventory
Like many great chefs, content marketers need to know what assets they have available. Usually, this is the “oh %&*#*^” moment when you look at your eBooks and whitepapers, and realize that you don’t have nearly enough content. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it seems. You are going to become the king or queen of content repurposing when we are done.
As part of the process, inventory all of your assets–I am talking about EVERYTHING as if you were cleaning out your house for a yard sale. Here is a link to a content inventory template you can use to help find the gaps.
What’s On the Content Menu?
Recently, I went through the below process with a client resulting in 50+ pieces of persona-based content getting delivered throughout the nurture journey. Let’s get cooking.
Content Bonus: 3X extra emails per asset
82% of prospects say content targeted to their industry is more valuable. MarketingSherpa
While reading the below menu items, think about slightly altering the messaging to create different versions. The key is to sprinkle relevant information throughout the piece to give it the industry or persona flavor.
All of a sudden, one Best Practices article turns into five by adjusting the subject line and adding in a few industry or personal specific stats.
Of course, you can totally revamp the content, but that takes time. Judge what works best for your organization.
The Meat and Potatoes Content
Content Bonus: 2X extra emails per asset
Most marketers think of case studies, white papers and eBooks as their standard nurturing content. There is something about a PDF that equates to value. Many of the assets are 3+ pages, which makes the content ripe for cutting up into bite-size chunks.
Bring out the knife and chop them up. For example, if your case study promotes results, use those in the subject line. Write a few paragraphs on the actual results in a short email to your audience. Separately, break out the case study to promote the actual usage. Now you have doubled your content from just one piece.
The longer the piece, the better. We recently broke out our Six Steps to Transform Your Lifecycle into a Revenue Machine into two blog posts and six nurture emails.
The point is don’t just rely on the asset itself.
Famous Chef – Video
Content Bonus: 2X+ extra emails
Like the celebrity chef, get your products on video. If your company has anything on YouTube, grab it and promote the video in a nurture email. Studies show that 96% of B2B organizations use video to some extent in their marketing campaigns. Mill for Business.
You likely paid big bucks for the company explainer video so put it to work as part of your early stage content. Spread other video content throughout the journey. Don’t be afraid to bring in some humor to mix up some of the corporate messaging.
Pasta – Blogs
Content Bonus: 5-10X extra emails
Like the ziti sitting in your cabinet, every company has a blog. I love reusing blog content because blog posts are easy pickings for repurposing. We use much of our blog content for RevEngine Marketing’s own nurturing and recommend that our clients do the same.
Assuming your company posts twice a month, this gives you at least twenty plus articles yearly from where to grab content. Just copy/paste excerpts from the top posts, write an intro, and you suddenly added 5-10 new emails without creating anything brand new.
Tonight’s Specials – Grabbers
Content Bonus: 5+ Emails
Grabbers might not be in your regular inventory but they can be powerful to help move a prospect along the sales cycle. A grabber is a powerful stat or series of stats that grabs attention. Try sprinkling a few of these short and sweet emails into your nurturing mix.
For example, when I was working in data security in a past life, I might use a grabber intro like, “Did you know that the average cost of a data breach is $5.9 million? Here are a couple of other stats you might find useful.” And then I’d list out ten or so stats.
The Persona Flavor: Mix in industry stats to provide more relevance. For example, for the health care spin, the following might make a good twist.
Did you know that Community Health Systems said information on 4.5 million patients was stolen in a cyberattack that may have originated in China? (Lowcards)
Sprinkles on Top – Infographic
Content Bonus: 3+ extra emails
40% of people respond better to visual information than text. Zabisco.
Sprinkles make ice cream a little better. Have some great stats you are using across your site or in presentations? Turn them into an infographic. Not only are you repurposing your content, but you are improving the asset itself as Infographics generally perform better.
Hamburger Helper – Q&A
Content Bonus: 3-5X extra emails
There is nothing like a little Q&A to get prospects engaged. This content sometimes exists in Marketing but more likely lives in Support or Sales. Go to your Support and Sales teams and find out the top 3-5 questions that prospects and customers keep asking.
Build these questions within the nurture journey where appropriate—one question per email to keep the reader focused. Use the detailed product related ones as late stage content when prospects are further along in the buying cycle. We recently worked with a client who also integrated this content into an onboarding email series to cut down on support costs.
Salt and Pepper – Webinars
Content Bonus: 12X+ extra emails yearly
This is another asset that is easy to blend into the repurpose mix. Most businesses conduct 1-2 live webinars a month. Grab the recording, write an excerpt, and point to it. It’s as easy as that and gains you twelve or more extra emails yearly.
Enhance your prospects’ journey by reusing all the great stuff you already have. Yes, it’s better to provide some content rather than no content, but creating a relevant experience is what takes organizations to the next level.
Good luck in the kitchen.
Originally published on Relevance.com