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Think Outside the Box for Content

Every partner organization has a wealth of knowledge inside the heads of its consulting and technical teams -- knowledge that can provide the basis for valuable marketing content. The problem lies in tapping into that knowledge so that your marketing team can share it with the world.  

Your consultants and developers are creating content every day -- from proposals to system architecture documents to functional designs.  With some editing and imagination, you can transform the documents your technical team is creating to build a steady stream of marketing content.

The first step is to identify the documents that the consulting or development teams create on a regular basis. Second, the marketing team needs to have a clear understanding of the ground rules for use. Customer names, documents covered under non-disclosure and company IP have to be filtered out.

Ideas for Content Transformation
While a technical document may be intimidating for a marketer at first glance, the "Executive Summary" or the "Purpose" sections of the document are usually written in plain English for the non-technical decision maker. Get the technical and marketing teams together to help them understand each other's needs to get the process going. Specific ideas for content sources include:

  • Proposals: The sales and technical teams spend a lot of time working on proposals. A clear definition of the business problem and the recommended solution are the foundation for a great proposal. Combine two or three proposal summaries to create an e-book-like "Three Common Challenges Retailers Can Overcome."

  • System architecture or business process documents: System design documents clarify the technical or business processes that your clients use to run their business. What could be better marketing content than to explain best practices? There will likely be visuals in the form of Visio diagrams that you can use to illustrate your points. Create a series of blog posts titled "Transform Your Business Processes." 

  • Screencasts: Your consultants may have created screencasts to demonstrate common procedures for your internal team or existing clients. If they haven't, ask them to. Jing screen recording software is free and easy to use. Marketing can edit the video down to a couple of minutes to post on the Web site. If the videos cover multiple subjects, split them into individual "bite-sized" pieces. Camtasia makes screencast editing a snap.

  • Sales/marketing presentations: You probably have a stock of PowerPoint presentations, many used only once. Edit down long presentations to one subject and fewer than 10 slides. Add text to graphics that need explanation, .PDF the PowerPoint and you have an e-book that you can use as a call to action for your Web site or newsletter. 

  • Conduct an in-house survey: To build a regular source of content for your Web site, blogs and newsletters, send out a monthly short questionnaire to your consulting and development teams. Ask for high-level information about the projects they are working on. You'll serve the dual purpose of reminding them that the company needs content and you'll get some great ideas to keep the content pipeline full. 

Unlock Your Content
Marketers face a continual challenge of building valuable content to attract prospects. Generally, content is not the problem; unlocking it is. Get creative to find and use the assets that the technical teams are producing each day.

How do you gather content from your technical teams? Please comment below or let me know so we can share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on October 11, 2012


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