How remixing can fix content marketing’s $1 billion problem

by Adam WeinrothCMOAug 26, 2015

Those little kinks in your content marketing process add up.  

All together, they become a $1 billion behemoth of waste, to be exact. According to a recent study sponsored by Kapost and conducted by the researchers at Gleanster, inefficiencies in B2B content marketing efforts are gobbling up close to $1 billion each year.

To combat this wasteful monster, we’ve gathered tips for remixing your content and squeeze the most mileage out of content marketing efforts.

1. Run your operation like a Taco Bell kitchen

A well-oiled, content-marketing machine is a lot like a Taco Bell kitchen. Both crank out addictive, delicious content via a seamless process.

Because while the menu at Taco Bell is overwhelmingly diverse (you can have a little bit of anything—as long as it’s Mexican food), the secret sauce for success is this: the vast menu is all constructed from the same, simple ingredients.

That, and the sauce.

The sauce

Whatever the customer craves—a small snack or a comprehensive party pack—at Taco Bell the same people, using the same resources, arrange the same ingredients into the ideal item for each taste.

tacobellkitchen

Smart content marketers adopt a similar process into a practical content mindset:

  • Investing to cultivate a steady source of reliable, staple ingredients.
  • Tailoring each ingredient to the unique tastes of a well-honed target audience.
  • Deploying the same process, talent and tools to mix and match those ingredients (themes, ideas, topics, even specific evergreen pieces) into a diverse, tasty menu of content.
  • Give customers the exact piece of content they crave, when (and where) they crave it.

2. Start your dive into modularity with social 

Unbeknownst, you’ve been strengthening your remix muscle every time you discover, curate and distribute the staple ingredients (relevant stats, insightful graphics, powerful quotes, important news and practical resources) to your audience via social media. Now it’s time to flex your modular muscles.

A simple place to start:

  • Review your social channels weekly to unearth a compelling, connected narrative.
  • Weave the chosen modular pieces (what you shared with your existing content library) with your chosen angle into a bigger piece, for example:
    • blog post (the easiest)
    • podcast
    • short video
    • SlideShare
    • infographic
    • any, or all, of the above
  • Flavor the new content combo with your unique voice and perspective to ensure freshness.
  • Tailor to your audience’s specific tastes to ensure your simple-to-produce weekly recaps become can’t-miss resources.

As your modular process matures, increased flexibility will unlock ever-greater efficiency throughout your content curation and creation cycles.

Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, puts it this way:

“Curation of micro-content is easy, provides useful information to your target audience and can fit within a social content workflow designed to roll up to a larger content project.”

A visualization of Odden’s micro-to-macro, modular approach to content creation. (Source: TopRank Online Marketing)

3. Boring can be beautiful

As unsexy as it sounds—and it sounds about as sexy as a Taco Bell kitchen—efficient content marketers rely on good, ole-fashioned email newsletters to nurture valuable, long-lasting relationships.

A standing-order from your best customers, the newsletter leverages trust into the valuable ability to choose exactly what your customers should consume. As a result, employ your newsletter as a strategic mashup of your best content to ensure your audience remains engaged with your brand through compelling content.

A recent newsletter from Contently gives subscribers a quick recap of the best content from the past week.
A recent newsletter from Contently gives subscribers a quick recap of the best content from the past week.

4. Working overtime

As you invest to feed your audience’s insatiable appetite for video (and for that matter, increasingly audio), don’t forget about other channels.  An interesting interview with an industry expert can easily pull triple duty as a podcast, chopped up into short videos, or transcribed to become a great blog post.

Conversely, the modular approach leverages your existing workflow (and content) to jumpstart that podcast or video series you’ve wanted to start, but haven’t found the time, or budget, to produce.

5. Extend the lifespan of live events

For as valuable as a well-orchestrated (and well-attended) event or webinar can be, their unique characteristic as a live, fleeting moment can limit their effectiveness, and efficiency.  

Extend the value of your investment when producing events by repackaging the resulting content into resources (SlideShares; short, shareable videos, in-depth ebooks or guides; follow-up posts that answer the most-asked questions) that will live long and prosper.

6. Not-so-hidden treasures

Struggling to publish infographics, whitepapers or ebooks?

Review and revisit your most successful blog posts—those that have earned the most social shares, driven outsized subscriber growth, and converted the most leads (or ultimately customers)—and reuse the content as the basis for a guaranteed-hit resource. By combining the forces of your most successful efforts in the past, you squeeze additional value from your best performers while delivering an invaluable resource your target audience is guaranteed to love.

Conclusion

ContentRepurposingAddressesBiggestConcerns
source: Kapost/Gleanster study

Now, for the good news.

In the same study, the seven biggest content marketing challenges uncovered are all directly addressed by strengthening your ability to repurpose and remix your content.

So get to remixing.

Adam is Chief Marketing Officer of OneSpot. Follow him on Twitter @aweinroth.