Content Marketing

Avoid creative burnout: Make your content work harder

By September 1, 2015 No Comments

As a marketer, do you ever feel the pressure to continually produce original, up to the minute content? Do you find yourself regularly racking your brains for new topics or angles to feed an ever hungry content calendar? Do you believe that more is more when it comes to content?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then I have some news that will ease the weight from your shoulders and help you to see your content creation strategy in a whole new light.

Drowning in content

Content is a relatively new player in the story of marketing but, boy, has it proved popular since its arrival on the scene. More and more organisations are opening their eyes to the value of useful, relevant content as a tool for boosting awareness, enhancing reputations, generating leads, driving sales, attracting the best candidates, maintaining positive work environments…the list goes on and on.

That’s great in principle. It means that businesses have recognised the need to communicate openly and honestly on the subjects that matter to the people they want to reach, whether that’s customers, staff or potential employees.

The downside is that what was once a steady flow has become a veritable deluge. As more companies cotton on to the power of strong content, it gets harder and harder to stand out and win attention. A report released last year by Forrester suggested that while supply is increasing, demand has remained static, with around 50% of content produced by businesses going unused.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the flood and feel like the only way to stay afloat is to produce a constant flow of original material containing fresh and topical insights.

Make every idea count

That’s all well and good, but there are smarter ways to stay on top in the world of content and free up your mind to focus on the bigger picture.

Rather than generating a ton of new material each day, week or month, you should make each great idea go as far as possible. You’ve spent time creating something you believe is useful and worthy of attention, so you want to get the most mileage out of it.

This may feel uncomfortable to start with. You need to put aside the thought that new is always better, along with any concerns you may have about your audience becoming bored or disengaged unless you’re constantly tantalising them with new, shiny things. If the subject is of genuine interest then there will be numerous opportunities to present the same information at different times, in different formats and across different channels in order to engage the maximum number of people.

Repurpose and refresh

These two words should be your marketing mantra.

Repurposing content is the art of turning one topic, opinion or piece of advice into multiple pieces of content. If a subject is interesting enough to form the basis of a blog then it could also be turned into a video, or a webinar, or an ebook, or a podcast – or even all four of them.

It’s no secret that people consume information in different ways. While some enjoy reading long form articles, others prefer to watch a short video or take part in a webinar where they can get involved and ask questions. Covering the same topic in different formats extends the promotional timeline for each creative concept and ensures your thoughts, opinions and expert guidance are easily and widely accessible.

Don’t be put off if the first element you produce isn’t wildly successful. Let’s say you’ve created a video but views remain low despite your best promotional efforts. Try repurposing it into another format and see how it performs. You might find that it does much better as ebook or a series of blog posts. Remember, if the underlying theme is relevant and targeted then you can be confident it will be of interest. It’s a case of finding the right format at the right time.

Refreshing your content is even easier. This is where you take an older piece of successful work and update it with new data or insights to make it timely. This not only reinvigorates your historical material and maintains your status as a thought leader who’s on top of their game, but also creates an opportunity for re-promotion, reminding previous viewers of your stand point and potentially reaching a whole new audience who may have missed it the first time.

This approach can be applied to every format, including blogs. While duplicate content is best avoided – unless syndicated correctly – updated content ticks all the boxes in terms of Google’s algorithm. As long as the changes are noticeable enough, you’ll be rewarded for freshness rather than penalised for duplication.

Reworking your marketing materials in this way is much less demanding on your time and creative capacity than constantly thinking of new topics, and a better use of your precious resources.

Try something new

As a marketer you’re bound to have a comfort zone when it comes to content creation. Perhaps you can whip up an insightful blog without blinking, or you’re more at home designing a sharp infographic. On the other hand, there are probably certain formats that feel quite unfamiliar or beyond your capabilities. Don’t be put off. That’s the time to look for an expert partner who can help you take your first steps into that new territory and evolve your strategy.

So next time you produce a piece of content you’re proud of, think about other ways to present the same information, and don’t forget to come back to the topic later down the line to see if it can be given a new lease of life – leaving you with a clear head to come up with your next big idea.

About Southerly

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