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Five Ideas To Jumpstart Your Content Marketing

Now that you've figured out who you're targeting and the purpose of your content marketing, where do you start? A good first step is to look at the assets that you already have and turn them into content you can use right away. Turn marketing materials and documents that you've developed in the past into marketing content for the future. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking.   

Use a Case Study To Build a White Paper
Did you create a case study a few years ago that you don't use any longer because the technology is outdated? You probably still provide services that solve the same business problem described in that case study, but with the latest technology. Use the case study as a framework for a white paper -- just remove the specific company information and update the solution descriptions. State the business problem, describe the solution, explain the benefits and end with how your organization understands how to solve issues like the one described.

Seminar Content Becomes an E-Book
Have you held a seminar or webinar in the past year? What did you do with the slide deck that you created for your presentations? Add explanatory text and screenshots to the slides to make an attractive and interesting e-book. Don't forget to include a call to action, like a free consultation or certificate for free hours, on the last page. Offer the e-book on your Web site, through Pinpoint, in your e-mail signature line and e-newsletter.

Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose Blog Posts
Do you have a blog on your Web site that has great material about a specific technology topic or business problem but not many visitors? Turn those posts into an e-book or report. With a compelling title -- "Five Crucial Decisions When Moving to the Cloud" -- and a nice table of contents, you can create a professional-looking document with valuable information. 

Don Carnevale, director of marketing at BroadPoint Technologies in Bethesda, M.D., combines blogging with e-newsletters to deliver relevant information to a broad audience. Don explains, "We have a consulting team with diverse industry and product expertise contributing posts to the BroadPoint blog. To help our customers and prospects focus on the content that matters to them, we send a monthly e-newsletter that highlights several blog posts with links to the full articles on our Web site. The newsletter reminds readers each month of the breadth of our expertise and they can choose to dig into the subjects that are relevant to their roles and organizations." 

Screencasts from Demos
Consultants are often more comfortable showing rather than writing -- and videos and screencasts may be their perfect medium. Jing, by Techsmith, is a free screen-recording tool that will get you started quickly. Remember that with screencasts, just like any other content, you don't want to show just the product. Help your consultant build a story with the screencast, which can be as simple as a day in the life of an office manager. 

Checklists from Proposals
Checklists can be a quick way to get your team started on content development. Have your project managers developed project questionnaires and checklists that they use for business process review or implementation guides? While you don't want to give away hard-earned intellectual property, you can pare down the lists to include questions that will help prospects identify weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. Keep the lists short to get your prospects' attention and give them a reason to call you for more. 

There are no rules in content marketing. Be creative and think about how you can give your prospects a peek into your expertise. 

Have you found a unique way to turn your company's professional services documents into marketing material? Please let me know and let's share the knowledge!

This is the third installment in our series on content marketing. Check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Posted by Barb Levisay on March 02, 2011