Q&A from the Marketing Cloud's webinar, Unforgettable: Creating Memorable Content that Drives Demand, originally presented July 13, 2011. View the on-demand Webinar.
Bulldog Solutions Director of Content Strategy Chris Yeich and Dr. Carmen Taran, founder of Rexi Media, spoke on a live Marketing Cloud webinar earlier this month, "Unforgettable: Creating Memorable Content that Drives Demand." They addressed one of the biggest BtoB marketing headaches: How to fill the increasing demand for high-quality content and how to optimize the mileage and impact of existing content. They also addressed best practices for creating visual content your prospects will never forget.
Below are a few choice questions and answers from the Q&A held at the end of the event, as well as a few bonus questions that Chris Yeich answered for us after the event.
Question: As our culture becomes more video-centric, is there a balance between using video versus still images?
Dr. Carmen Taran, Founder, Rexi Media: The media format definitely depends on your audiences, and many, many other variables. One isn't necessarily better than the other. But just be cautious—whether you're using still images or video, the same principles still stand. How can I take the brain off of something that it predicts and put it on something that it doesn't predict? Because that's when getting attention is guaranteed. The brain goes to great lengths not to miss anything. Give people unpredictability, get them to pay attention, and that immediately increases the likelihood of recall.
|Bonus Questions Answered After the Event |
Question: How long does a content assessment usually take?
Chris Yeich, Director of Content Strategy, Bulldog Solutions: Typically, for a content assessment of up to 35 assets that involves categorization of each asset (by buyer's journey stage, audience persona, content type, and content recency), gap analysis, demand-gen or lead nurture asset mapping, and recommendations on next steps, turnaround time is 40-50 work hours. Ultimately, it depends on how many assets you want to have assessed, and how deep you want to go in the analysis.
Bulldog Solutions also offers a free Content Diagnostic service to measure your organization's content capabilities around seven key areas: Strategy, Metrics, Thought Leadership Content, Solutions Content, Validation Content, Multi-Modal Content and Content Infrastructure. We encourage you to take this short test (http://bulldogsolutions.com/contentdiagnostic) to start you off so that you can see how you rank in these areas as compared to industry best practices.
From there, the logical next step is a formal content assessment, which again provides you with a strategic plan on how to maximize the efficacy of your existing (and new) content so that it can be used in a variety of meaningful ways—not just posted on your website.
Question: When you talk about "repurposing content," can you give me some examples of how to do that?
Chris Yeich: Sure thing. The main point here is to maximize the value of each piece of content you produce—right from the start. That means you should plan to repurpose in some way each asset you create. You can also do the same for existing assets in your library. The reasons for repurposing content are many, starting with getting the most out of your investment in content creation.
So, for example, if you're going to create a six-page educational thought leadership white paper, don't just have it be a stand-alone asset. Plan on segmenting the information to be presented in distinct chapters. This strategy will enable you to easily slice and dice chunks of information into other forms of content, such as a series of one-page briefs that could be used for a lead nurture campaign. Or you could take each segment of content from the white paper and use it as a script for a series of audio podcasts. Or use those segments as newsletter content fodder. Or use verbiage from subject matter experts quoted within the white paper as teasers on your website, in email promotions, or in blogs or on Twitter—all of which will serve to drive people to download that asset.
Another powerful example is to repurpose content from a 60-minute webinar. This type of asset is chock-full of content that can be easily repurposed into several different asset types if you plan on segmenting upfront.
Say you have one of your organization's subject matter experts speaking alongside an industry analyst, a journalist and an end user. Since you're going to be recording the webinar, segment portions of the event into a series of podcasts or blogs. Use the end-user commentary as the basis for a customer testimonial. Leverage the third-party objectivity of the analyst and journalist as the basis for a thought leadership white paper or series of shorter briefs. And if you have the ability to use video cameras to record the event, you can replay the event on monitors at a tradeshow or conference where your company is exhibiting, or post-produce the video into a series that can be hosted online.
For any of the above strategies, you could consider gating the highest-value repurposed assets and make them available through a registration-based site, and thus collect leads and grow your database of prospects for your sales team to engage.
Question: What is your philosophy regarding the excess of content out on the web? In some cases, we are reluctant to create more content that just seems to be a regurgitation of what everyone else is already doing. Should we do it anyway?
Chris Yeich: Yes, you absolutely should. I agree that there's a glut of content out there on the web, and sometimes it's hard to wade through all of it to find what's most relevant. But that should by no means prevent you from creating content. The trick is to make it compelling. The more memorable you can make something, the better.
I'd also advise to really think about thought leadership content. It will position you not just as a provider of products and services but also as a "go-to" person—a consultant-type role you can play with your customers, who will come back to you again and again. That thought leadership will differentiate your content from all the other types of content out there on the web.
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Original Q&A has been edited for clarity and consolidation.
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