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Using Microsoft Ready-to-Go To Get Content Ideas

You've sent out a companywide e-mail requesting content and article ideas for your monthly newsletter, and...crickets.

Don't worry. There is a ton of content that you can use on Microsoft's Ready-to-Go Web site. It may not be labeled "newsletter content" but it's there.

However, while the new and improved Ready-to-Go marketing tools site really is a huge improvement over the previous site (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my series, "Why Microsoft 'Ready-to-Go' Is Worth a New Look"), it can still be a little overwhelming if you don't use it regularly. Here are some tips to help you find content that will feed your newsletter for months to come.

Telesales Guides
The telesales guides may the single best place to find material that is cut-and-paste-ready for your newsletter. A search on "telesales" turned up 38 results on subjects from Office 365 to Lync to Dynamics. Some include FAQ sections that are perfect for a newsletter article or blog post. Since they are written from a benefits-positioning perspective, all of them have messaging that you can easily transform into a story.

FAQs
While there aren't as many documents titled "FAQ," these are often long lists that you can dole out in small pieces. Add a continuing series of "Common Customer Questions" to your newsletter. Mix up questions across product lines to stimulate cross-sell opportunities.

Competitive Guides
Use the competitive guides to answer your customer's questions about other products up front. By initiating the discussion, your customers will appreciate your willingness to bring up the "other guys." The content in the Ready-to-Go competitive guides gives you the material to present the Microsoft benefit perspective succinctly.

Whitepapers and Reports
In response to requests from partner marketers, Microsoft is increasing the number of current whitepapers and reports available on Ready-to-Go. (Hint: Search for "whitepaper," not "white paper.") For your newsletter article, borrow text from the Executive Summary to tell your reader what's in the whitepaper and why they should be interested. 

Post the whitepaper to your Web site or landing page and include the link in the article. (In my opinion, you should not require them to fill out a form to download the document, but that is a whole other blog post in itself.) If you use Constant Contact or other e-mail marketing service, you will be able to see who clicked the link to download the whitepaper.

So, when you are feeling all alone looking at that blank document that needs to become an interesting newsletter, go to Ready-to-Go. Your marketing friends at Microsoft are there to help you out.

Have you found creative ways to use Ready-to-Go content? Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on November 10, 2011 at 11:57 AM