Michael Gerard

Become a Content Marketing Fox

By: Michael Gerard | June 17, 2015 | 

Content Marketing FoxBy Michael Gerard

According to a survey by Curata, more than three quarters of content marketers plan to boost their content marketing investment in the coming year.

It’s not a unique story; we’ve been hearing this for a few years now.

But, with increased budget comes increased responsibility and expectations.

How can you make best use of this newfound money?

We have a name for content marketers that are the most savvy with their content marketing budgets: FOXES.

These quick-thinking, adaptable content creators use the best tools and tactics to stay ahead of the pack.

There are many ways to stretch your budget and improve content marketing ROI, but our research shows the foxes of content marketing are laser focused on these three key areas.

Content Marketing Audit

A content marketing audit can be immensely helpful in determining what content you have, don’t have, and must develop now.

However, a third of content marketers have never completed a content audit.

If you aren’t already completing audits, here are a few more compelling reasons to start:

  • Avoid investing in content that’s too similar to what you’ve already published.
  • Identify and replace outdated content.
  • Improve the quality of your existing content, including ensuring that you have great content for each persona and buying stage.

The first step is to identity where all that existing lives.

  • Gather all of your content from Google Drive, SharePoint, EverNote, or your own internal content management system.
  • Compile information about all of your content pieces into a central spreadsheet or system.
  • Identify gaps in your content strategy and opportunities for freshening up old content.

Here are two resources for completing an audit:

Reuse and Repurpose Content

Rather than creating all new content from scratch, look for ways to reuse and repurpose content you’ve already created.

Twenty-nine percent of those we identified as content marketing foxes have a specific process in place to ensure optimal content reuse and repurposing.

The Content Marketing Pyramid can serve as a framework for reusing and repurposing content in different formats and lengths.

For instance, you might create a gated eBook that sits at the top of your pyramid, then break it down into shorter blog posts for more digestible, un-gated content.

Or you can build the pyramid from the bottom up and develop a white paper or eBook inspired by a series of popular blog posts or based on a webinar.

Use an editorial calendar to schedule out these pyramids to be deployed over a several month period and you will get greater use out of original content.

Complement with Curated Content

The ideal content marketing mix includes 25 percent curated content, rounded out by 65 percent created content and 10 percent syndicated content.

Content curation involves a few simple steps:

  • Discovering relevant content from credible sources;
  • Contextualizing that content for readers; and
  • Sharing it with a specific audience.

The beauty of curated content is that it allows your organization to publish a steady flow of content without the time and resources required to create all of that content from scratch.

It’s also appealing to your readers because it provides additional points-of-view and takes the focus away from you and your sales objectives (although good curation can certainly complement those sales objectives).

For more tips and strategies on improving your content marketing, download the 2015 Content Marketing Tactics & Technology Planner, an eBook that’s packed with leading-edge practices for the best content marketers.

Now it’s your turn…what tips do you have to become a content marketing fox?

About Michael Gerard

Michael is the CMO of Curata. He has more than 25 years of marketing and sales experience, having successfully launched and sustained three start-up ventures as well as having driven innovative customer creation strategies for large technology organizations.

  • Audits are so important! Sometimes you can unearth some really valuable stuff that’s just hidden away. 

    Another thing audits can help do is make you realize how much better you need to be at tracking your own content as it’s created. I know I worked for a company once where we wanted to repurpose content, including a lot of great graphic content, but we could not track down master files. Pretty frustrating.

  • MichaelGerard

    Agreed Eleanor.  Tracking down content across your organization is, in most cases, a very daunting task.  If you have a sales enablement team, then they may have already done some of this work for you; however, that would account for only part of your content marketing inventory.  Thanks for the comment.

  • What do you think some of the biggest wastes of money are right now that content marketers are investing in?

  • MichaelGerard

    LauraPetrolino Great question Laura.  My thoughts . . . 

    #1:  Many content marketers struggle with identifying what content works and doesn’t work.  Address this problem to ID what is and isn’t a waste of money.  Here are some content marketing metrics and a framework to help: http://bit.ly/MetricsEbook

    #2:  Not reusing and repurposing existing content.  You’ve just created a great ebook.  Before going off and creating the next one, ensure that you’ve reused and repurposed as much content as possible from the first one.  (e.g., infographics, blog posts, videos, webinars, syndicated content, curated content, etc.)  Tap into agencies and other external resources to help out with this.

    #3:  Market your marketing:  The best content marketers align with their marketing ops, demand generation and social media teams to help with content promotion. (e.g., 39% of companies with 10,000+ page views for their business blog send out a newsletter at least weekly)

  • AndyPreisler

    Gerard, Do you use some visualization tools to build up the whole content marketing plan?
    If you do, would you recommend something for this purpose?

  • MichaelGerard

    AndyPreisler Hi Andy.  Several years ago we used Excel, Google Spreadsheets, Google Analytics, Marketo, SF.com and other systems in order to develop, produce and analyze our content marketing activities.  It was a tedious process with questionable results, and visualizing the entire process was difficult.

    Today, we rely on one system for all of this – our Curata content marketing platform. To prevent this response from being one big Curata ad, please do check out this content marketing tools map to see other software vendors in our space:  http://bit.ly/mtoolsmap

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  • michaelgerard

    roxannsouci thanks for the share!

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