10 Ways to Repurpose Your B2B Content Online
As B2B marketers, you have probably attended enough webinars to know that content should be a crucial part of your online marketing mix – for several reasons. As a refresher: It is increasingly important for SEO (search engine optimization); it’s a necessary component for lead generation; and it can be both a persuasive and educational tool to help explain the benefits of your product or service. What most marketers quickly discover is that creating good content is time-consuming and there is never enough of it (time or content, that is!). So, how do you meet the demand for new content without completely sacrificing other critical job functions?
If budget allows, the easy answer is to outsource content creation. But that’s a trick answer. Outsourcing takes time and effort to manage, too. Not to mention, several quality pieces of content can eat away at any discretionary marketing funds you may have available. If your resources are tight, your only option may be creating content for yourself. Either way, you’re still stuck trying to figure out how to get the most out of the content you have available.
Here’s the good news: If you’re a bit thrifty, you can stretch a solid piece of content fairly far, whether it was developed in-house or outsourced.
TIP: When limited by budget or time, consider focusing on creating one, well-written piece of content per month. (You can change the frequency of this goal, depending on how much fresh content you need or want.) Once you have one, quality piece, you can deconstruct, and otherwise re-purpose it.
Of course, it still takes time and effort to stretch a good piece of content, but it can go a lot faster than starting from scratch each time.
Take the example of a case study. Turning a simple customer testimonial into a written case study is relatively painless, and fairly inexpensive, if you decide to contract out for the work. Let’s say you have a 750-word customer reference and you’ve uploaded it to your website for the world to see. Now what? Is that really as much as you can get from that one, glorious customer review? Of course not!
Here are 10 other ways you can work with your B2B content to get more from it:
#1 Blog: Write a short blog based on the details in the case study, pulling out short segments to feature in the blog post. When interviewing customers for a case study, there are often lots of extra details you get but could not fit into the 750-word case study. A blog gives you the opportunity to share that “extra” information or elaborate on a particular part of the case study (such as giving more details about a certain feature only briefly mentioned in the case study). You can also do a quick overview of the customer testimonial in the blog post and then link to the posted case study to read the rest of the details.
#2 SlideShare: Create a PowerPoint presentation or PDF, based on your case study. It provides the perfect opportunity to share your content on the website, SlideShare. It’s easy to pull some of the stronger customer quotes from your case study into PowerPoint slides, coupled with large, attractive photos and then intermingle those with slides that focus on the benefits of your product or service. Again, be sure to add a call to action in the final slide and offer a free download of the complete case study, for example. Once your presentation is created, just post to SlideShare.
#3 LinkedIn Answers: A very quick and easy way to stretch your content is to take a key component of the case study and turn it into a question that can be posted in LinkedIn Answers or in LinkedIn Groups. For example, perhaps the customer used your product to solve a common business problem. Highlight that problem and post it as a question, such as: “How does your business deal with Problem X? Have you struggled to find a solution for it?” Then, offer additional details about how you have a customer who had a similar problem and mention that they used your Product X to help solve it; and explain that you want to hear how others have addressed the same or similar business challenge. Warning: Do not post the question as if you are another business owner asking for help, and then later post the link to your own case study as one of the answers. This is misleading and will cause future distrust of your brand. Instead, be upfront about having a product that solves the problem.
#4 Tweet: Talk about easy! Pull out a series of short customer quotes, proof points, or other nuggets of interest from your case study and post to Twitter over a three or four-day period. When possible, it’s best to use information that spotlights the customer first, and your product or company, second. Additionally, if you or your company already host a weekly Twitter Chat, then highlighting your case study is a great topic for the chat.
#5 Facebook Poll: Similar to the LinkedIn strategy, you can create a polling question based on a scenario from the case study and post it to your Facebook Page. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a question centered around your specific product or service, but rather issues that relate to your industry or the problems you solve for businesses. Just be sure to tie it into the case study. For example, maybe you are an HR placement firm. So, the question could be something like: “Our customer, “X” shared their top frustrations when trying to recruit college graduates. Which of these recruiting challenges do you struggle with most?”
#6 Emails: If you send nurturing emails to your list of prospective customers (or even to existing customers), case studies are a great source for short snippets of content. You can pull out an excerpt from the case study; highlight the customer featured in your case study; or discuss the challenge the customer faced. If you are segmenting your email lists (by business size, industry, buyer personas, etc), case studies are a great opportunity to fold in custom content targeted to the customer type similar to the one featured in the case study. Remember to link back to the full case study on your website, using that as a call to action within the email.
#7 Pinterest: If you use Pinterest, an easy way to stretch content is to “pin” related images of it onto one of your boards. In fact, you may want to create a “customer appreciation” board where you feature photos of your customers’ logos and then link back to the case study. Or, you can create a “customer testimonial” board that features all of your case studies.
#8 Infographic: While case studies are a great written piece of content, you can take various components (or important points) from them and use graphics/images to illustrate those key points. Infographics are one way to pull out specific industry stats, business challenges, product features and other points illustrated in a case study and transition them into a visual story.
#9 Webinars and Google+ Hangouts: Invite your customer (featured in the case study) to join you for an informational session about their company, the challenges they had and how your company helped provide a solution. Use the case study as the guideline for what to cover and then offer additional background or perspective from the points of view of both you and the customer. This can be done as a Webinar or using the Google+ Hangout feature.
#10 Video: Similarly, video is a great way to give life to a written case study. Ideally, it is nice to hear directly from the customer and feature them in a video. But, that can become a bit more difficult to coordinate and sometimes add to the expense. An alternate solution is to have someone from your company tell the customer’s story and then talk directly to how your product or service solved their business problem. This doesn’t have to be a high-end production. Just get on camera and tell your story, then post it to your YouTube account.
You can also post the video version to your blog, on your Facebook page, Tweet it….well, you get the idea. The cycle starts all over again and you’ve stretched your single case study even further!
Some of these things you may do already. But, if you make a point to do all of these things, each time you create a quality piece of content (whether it’s a case study, a white paper, or other type of content), you can easily multiply the reach it gets for your business. What’s your best tip for re-purposing content? Leave a comment and let us know.