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Generating ideas for your content marketing

We’ll always preach quality over quantity, but even with a strong focus on quality, sometimes coming up with the right content can be a challenge. Here are a few tips for making that part of your content marketing process easier. Chances are, you’ve got great content at your fingertips. You just need to see what you’re looking at …

Your Outbox is a Goldmine
On any given day, our outboxes contain the answers to some of the most pressing questions on your clients’ and prospects’ minds. As you answer those questions, you’re creating exactly the kind of content that will appeal to your target audience. Make note of what you have in your outbox. The questions and thoughts that come up over and over are obviously great content choices. But the outliers shouldn’t be ignored, either. The more off-beat queries can lead you to create whole new categories of content designed to appeal to particular audience segments or industry verticals.

Mine Your Client Presentations
More gold! Typically, the “base” deck will be filled with the kind of content that you might cover by converting your outbox messages into content, so there may be overlap there, but there will also be individual slides that are industry specific. These might need some adaptation to make them more broadly applicable if they’ve been fine-tuned specifically for the prospect, but they make for excellent content for the industry-specific landing pages I mentioned above.

It’s also important to look at your presentations; if you’re doing things right, your slide decks aren’t just bullet points on pretty backgrounds. The charts, graphs, and other visual content can be adapted to be great additions to your content library.

Webinar/Seminar Decks and Scripts
Paydirt again! There are two ways you can use the content in these decks. First, the entire deck can be uploaded to sites like Slideshare, which is great for expanding your reach with that site’s audience and which can have SEO benefits as well. You can use individual elements in exactly the same way as discussed above for client presentations.

Walk Prospects Through the Buying Cycle
With all your content, not just your newly discussed trove of content, be sure you are adapting so that you have items of interest to prospects at all points along the buying journey.

The same basic content and the same answers to questions prospects ask can be turned into content of interest to early or later stage buyers simply by the depth and detail you provide. Prospects in the early stages of content consumption are likely to be more interested in summaries or abstracts. Buyers further along the journey are probably on the lookout for case studies or white papers.

Early stage content can also be resources and guides to help your prospects in their research. Not all of that information even needs to be on your site. In fact, you’ll win credibility points if there are additional resources available for them. Yes, that will take them away from your site, but if you’re providing them with real value, they’ll be back. (Especially if the external resource links open in a  new window/tab. But you knew that …)

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Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on Biznology.com, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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