Over the past few years, content marketing has grown to become a top priority for many companies when setting out their overall marketing strategy. Everyone knows it’s important to keep pumping out fresh and exciting content to engage the consumer, but does our content need to be brand new every single time? I’m exploring some of the ways that you can make the most from a single piece of content and add as much value as possible, while keeping your marketing budgets in check.
Think outside the box
As content marketers, our ideation process should involve thinking outside the box – remember that there is no such thing as a bad idea. It’s important to delve deeper into each idea and figure out if and how it can be adapted to get maximum reach and engagement. This process should help to separate the wheat from the chaff, with the most adaptable ideas being at the forefront of campaign concepts.
A great example is Old Spice, who for years were seen as a stagnant brand for the older generation. However, bring in some ‘out of the box’ thinking and a stand out campaign – and voila, you have a successful rebrand ready to take on the younger market.
This campaign for Old Spice was launched during the Super Bowl weekend, but not during the Super Bowl so it wasn’t competing directly with Unilever’s prime spot. It started with some teaser videos on YouTube and Facebook, before launching the commercial 24 hours before the Super Bowl. The mixture of the new brand image and careful launch timing meant it received over 10 million YouTube views for the initial commercial, which led to a unit sales increase of 60% in just three months.
Stretch your content to the max
Once you have your idea, you’ll need to think about how it can be adapted to suit a variety of media. Remember, we want to stretch this one piece of content as far as we can. To some, a blog is just a blog, but to a creative mind it can become so much more.
Let’s say you have a general blog post about dementia that will be hosted on the company website as an information source. Why use up all the content for this topic in one blog post? It would be a great idea to split this into a series of short blogs for your website, create an infographic for each one and then share them on social media, or perhaps create a thought leadership piece for trade magazines. But why stop there? Why not create an additional list post about ‘top ten tools to help a person living with dementia’, or even a series of short videos explaining the differing symptoms in an easy-to-view format?
It’s imperative that your content is adapted to suit each of these mediums in their formatting too. For example an email newsletter would need to be much shorter than a blog post, and a social media post would need to have a slightly more informal tone of voice.
Sport England’s ‘This girl can’ campaign is a prime example of taking one piece of content and seeding it out in a number of ways, from inspirational stories and blog posts, to videos and a defined social media look and feel.
One size doesn’t fit all
It’s important to ensure your content is right for your audience but also to keep it adaptable to suit a new audience should the need arise. Lego is a great example of a company evolving its strategy and marketing efforts to reach a new audience.
When Lego first started making bricks, its target audience was solely children, but over the years it realised that there was an additional market, in adults and the parents of its main audience. After realising this, the company made significant changes to engage an adult audience through both its product and marketing strategy.
Lego started manufacturing large and intricate sets which appealed to a new audience and would often be tricky for adults to complete (just check out the Star Wars kits!). Its marketing also evolved to meet the rising popularity of digital media and the ‘always-on’ culture. This meant it couldn’t rely on TV advertising and children’s magazines like it had previously; it needed to embrace social media and the online world, which it continues to do.
You don’t need to use the same topic to make your content adaptable to new audiences. Take GoPro for example – they were renowned for appealing to the extreme sports market using adrenaline pumping videos to market their company. This was until they decided to adapt their video content to suit a new audience, cue the firefighter saving a kitten video.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
As marketers, we are constantly looking for the next best thing and to stay ahead of the curve, but do we always need a shiny new idea? If you created a piece of content that performed extremely well for a campaign, it’s perfectly ok to repurpose it and use it again. Absolut vodka did it for 25 years with its ‘bottles in the wild’ campaign! After all, the proof is in the pudding.
It’s important to think about how you measured the success of it before – did it gain lots of PR coverage or gather several backlinks? Once you have looked at the metrics for how it was successful, you need to look at why it was successful – was it the striking imagery, the simplicity or maybe even the tone of voice? Once you have gathered this information, it should make it much easier to adapt and pull out the parts that worked ready for your new campaign.
You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel for annual campaigns either. Perhaps there is a certain time of the year when your sector is particularly topical, and you know you need to drive sales in this period. If your content during this time worked before, don’t be afraid to use it again.
Why repurpose content?
How we repurpose content is great, but it’s imperative to know why it’s important to do so.
Repurposing content has a number of benefits:
- Reach more potential customers
- Gain a wider awareness of your brand and offer
- Boost SEO by gaining backlinks
- Increase engagement
However, one of the best reasons to repurpose your content is to save time, energy and resource. Efficiency is critical in marketing and what better way to gain some time back than to save it in the first place? By repurposing content, you are cutting back on the hours of quantitative brainstorming and research sessions and are therefore giving your employees more time to focus on the quality of their campaigns.
When you’re planning your next marketing campaign, have a think about some of your successful work from the past and how you can recycle it to create something even better. If you have any questions, drop us a message.