Content marketing is becoming one of the #1 methods for organizations to reach new customers, clients, and donors online. In order to produce high-quality content across channels (i.e. social media, blogs, ebooks, etc.), you need to create a repository of content marketing collateral you can draw from. This process can be time-consuming and difficult to stay on top of.
In order to help you streamline your content marketing process, especially if you’re a smaller organization, we recommend focusing on three main areas: reusable content, curated content, and branded content.
What Is Content Marketing Collateral?
If you’re not familiar with the term “marketing collateral,” it refers to all the media you have to produce in order to engage in marketing. As for what “content marketing” is, we have a 3-part post that answers that question.
Content marketing collateral can include any or all of the following:
- Textual content written in long-form (an ebook) or short-form (a tweet)
- Graphical content such as photos, logos, diagrams, and illustrations
- Video footage of interviews, tours, events, etc.
- Content feeds from influencers within your industry
It may sound overwhelming to think about producing all these types of content. And it can be, if you don’t have a good plan in place. To help you get started, below we provide three tips for creating great content marketing collateral without becoming overwhelmed.
Tip #1: Develop Reusable Content
The first thing you need to think about when developing content marketing collateral is what you can reuse. You don’t want to start each week, month, or quarter from scratch. When you sit down to do content development, you should have a lot of resources at your disposal to help you produce good content as efficiently as possible.
Templates are one of the most important sources of reusable content. You should develop templates for all the channels you plan to distribute content to: blogs, social media, webpages, etc. Then, when you sit down to write, you have a starting place rather than an intimidating blank page staring back at you.
These templates should be flexible enough to allow you creative freedom, but rigid enough to take the thinking out of content development. You don’t want to be worried about discovering keywords, finding reliable sources, or culling together case studies when you’re doing content development. This information should be prepared ahead of time so that content development simply becomes a matter of repurposing existing collateral.
Your template should also include any graphical elements you need to brand your content, such as images, logos, or illustrations. You need a ready supply of these so that you’re not scrambling at the last minute to find the right visual.
Tip #2: Curate Relevant, Non-Competitive Content
A lot of smaller organizations, in particular, fear using content from other sources. They often feel that it will push prospective customers, clients, or donors towards a competitor. It’s very difficult for smaller organizations to develop significant amounts of content every single week, month, and quarter, however, meaning that what they can’t develop on their own needs to come from somewhere.
You don’t want any channel you’re trying to develop a following on to run dry. If you’re trying to build traction on Twitter and can only develop 10 tweets a week, for instance, and really should be tweeting at least 3-5 times a day, those other 11-25 tweets need to come from somewhere.
To find content to curate, look to influencers who are non-competitors. Content from people who are well respected within your particular industry, but who aren’t in direct competition for the particular types of customers, clients, and donors you’re seeking, can be valuable sources for curated content.
Tip #3: Brand Your Content as Distinctive
It’s also important that your content marketing collateral stand out from the crowd of other content. You want to develop a style, voice, and tone that matches your brand and is appealing to customers. This can include using custom-made visuals, color schemes, and illustrations that are eye-catching, funny, and impactful. If this is a bit beyond your reach, consider buying a license for a good stock photo site or working with a designer to develop some reusable templates for you that include your logo, a range of illustrations, and a complimentary color scheme.
For written content or video, try to embrace a style that is unique to your organization. Think about your target customer, client, or donor. What do they find appealing? What will keep them engaged? Develop content that is focused on their needs and values, rather than your own. Tailor your content for specific types of people you want to attract.
Finally, you need to develop some specifications so your brand is consistent across channels. If you’re using zany, off-the-wall visuals on social media, but your website is all earthy colors and down-to-business language, it’s going to create dissonance in your brand. You want your audience to feel like all your content, no matter where they encounter it, comes from the same source. This will encourage them to keep coming back to you for more great content.
Content Marketing Collateral Doesn’t Grow on Trees
The main thing to keep in mind about content marketing collateral is that you don’t want to skimp on it. If you find yourself sitting down in front of Twitter, your blog, and other channels last-minute and trying to hurriedly cobble together some content, your efforts won’t be sustainable. You need to carve out time and be methodical. You also need to prepare your entire campaign for success by making sure you have all your collateral lined up before you ever sit down to capture footage, write content, or post updates.