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Join Our Research Team at DMA 2014
Oct 21, 2009
How To

Reformat, Reuse, Recycle: 5 Strategies to Stretch your Marketing Content

SUMMARY: Your marketing content library can be an incredible resource in lean economic times. You have opportunities to repurpose, reformat and reuse that content for new lead generation campaigns.

We’ve collected five examples of clever content repurposing strategies that B2B marketers shared with us over the years. Includes tips on generating audio and video from text and finding new content for nurturing emails.
Tight budgets require marketers to stretch every dollar they spend. Fortunately, few investments are as elastic as the content you create for lead-gen campaigns.

Every white paper, webinar, client case study, video, podcast or other piece of content you create can work for multiple campaigns. The process can be as easy as recording your webinars, then using links to archived versions in lead-nurturing campaigns. Or, it might require a bit more work, such as by developing a Q&A podcast with the author of a white paper.

The key is to examine your marketing content and find the best opportunities to repurpose and reuse what’s already available. Here are five examples from past Sherpa case studies to inspire you:

Strategy #1. Use past media coverage as content in nurturing emails

Staying in touch with prospects in your nurturing funnel doesn’t necessarily mean developing a new white paper, case study or other piece of content every time you want to send an email.

You can build friendly, low-pressure, lead-nurturing emails simply by sharing a link to media coverage you’ve generated from public relations efforts:

- Executive interviews or bylined articles in trade publications typically cover relevant industry topics that demonstrate your industry leadership.

- Sharing an article you believe prospects would find interesting gives them a break from repeated calls to register for content or provide contact information.

For example, Matt Barker, Director, Marketing, TeleHealth Services, made the most of his team’s PR strategy by recycling bylined articles they had previously written for trade publications.

Barker and his team used nurturing emails to follow up on a direct mail campaign touting one of the company’s health information products. The first nurturing message offered a recap of the product line the DM campaign had been promoting, but also included a link to a bylined article citing the value of those products in a healthcare setting.

The result: A 12.5% open rate on the email -- a key step in a campaign that generated more than 20 warm leads for the sales team. One deal from those leads would be enough to cover the entire cost of the program.

Strategy #2. Create podcasts from in-person speaking engagements

Here’s a quick, low-hassle approach to creating podcasts: Record and edit any public speaking engagements by company executives, or by clients describing your products or services.

Michael Williams, Marketing Director, Global Management Technologies Corp. made the most of his speaking gig at a major industry event. He obtained permission to record the presentation (using an inexpensive digital recorder) and turned the raw audio into a podcast using free digital editing software.

Through promotion via email and PPC ads, the podcast was heard by more than nine times as many people as there were in attendance at the event. Additionally:
o 16.7% of the podcast listeners were deemed sales-ready leads
o Those additional leads reduced the average cost-per-lead from the trade show by 71%

Strategy #3. Supplement white papers with audio highlights

White papers can also be a source for new audio content. Interviewing an expert author on the paper’s top findings, providing an audio summary of key takeaways, or simply excerpting a portion of the paper are all ways to turn text content into a podcast.

When Paul Dunay was a marketer at the management consulting firm BearingPoint, his team developed podcasts to use as related offers for their financial services white papers:

- The team wrote and recorded six- to eight-minute audio summaries of the white papers.

- They used active titles, such as "How to Avoid the Seven Pitfalls of..."

- They added podcast offers on the white paper download page to serve as content previews.

- They promoted the podcasts by emailing their house list and posting them to audio sites like iTunes.

The results:
o Conversion rates tripled when podcasts were added to the white paper landing page
o Podcast listeners were just as qualified as other leads
o 18% of listeners downloaded more than one podcast

Strategy #4. Recycle testimonials and case studies for advertising campaigns

It takes a lot of time and effort to find clients willing to share their testimonials. It then takes your team just as much effort to shape those stories into suitable case studies for your marketing campaigns.

Why not use as many channels as possible to drive prospects to that collateral?

Here’s one approach: Angela Sanders, Director, U.S. Marketing Operations, Aon, recruited several clients to share their success stories for use in the company’s booth at an annual trade show.

To prepare for the event, the team developed:
o Video testimonials from the clients
o Case studies that provided in-depth descriptions of the client/company relationship

The event was a huge success for Sanders and her team. But afterwards, they realized the marketing collateral could form the basis of a new print advertising campaign:

- They created a series of client-focused advertisements for one of their regular trade magazine ad placements.

- The ads provided a brief description of how the company helped a particular client, and included a URL for a dedicated website where prospects could view the video testimonials and case studies.

Strategy #5. Turn boring-but-necessary documents into video

Technical specifications and other product details play an important role in the later stages of the buying cycle -- but they can make for pretty dry reading. Breathe new life into old docs by converting them into videos.

Brian Ellefritz, Sr. Manager, Customer Relationship Marketing, Cisco Systems, created five-minute videos of product managers guiding prospects through the company’s two- to three-page product data sheets.

Within six months, video files accounted for 21% of all product data downloads.

Useful links related to this article:

Creative Samples from content repurposing strategies
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/heap/cs/re-purposingstra
egies/index.html


Combine PR, Branding, and Lead-Gen to Market Through the Recession: 6 Steps
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=31301


How to Turn a Trade Show Speech Into a Podcast That Becomes a Lead Machine
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=30093


How to Use a Podcast to Promote a White Paper That Generates New Business Sales Leads
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=23981


Trade Show Strategy Overhaul: 6 Steps to 36% Larger Deal Size
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=31305


How Cisco Doubled Email Registration Conversions by Offering Fewer Sign-up Choices
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=29950
See Also:

Comments about this How To

Dec 18, 2012 - Gerry Cavander of Third Light says:
I thought I’d also mention that many of the same considerations apply to media – images, video and audio. Typically for a blog, website or advertorial I want to ‘reuse’ some accompanying media I’ve used before, but maybe reduced in size to fit the channel, increased in size or cropped to use a detail only. Image management systems are either not used or poorly exploited in many of the departments I’ve worked in where it’s been a real pain to find the image you know you’ve got – typically the file you want is on one person’s machine, with the agency that did the bit of work it was first published with or in a badly kept media library where the tagging is almost non-existent so the search is rubbish. As well as centralising all media into one potentially organised library, media management / image library systems today enable you to reshape media to fit predefined sizes for use in websites and HTML emails, with just one click: change a large image to button size or banner size, for example. And they enable you to displayed the file on a website or in a HTML email without the file being moved - no need to have physical copy on the webserver, it can be served from the media library. So, while creative may introduce an new original, that original can be re-purposed and published on the web by marketeers themselves without studio time or spend. Gerry Cavander thirdlight.com



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