Seventy-nine percent of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the most common cause of this poor performance.
Growing up, my mom had a knack for getting the most out of our family’s meals. Tonight’s turkey dinner turned into tomorrow’s sandwich for lunch followed by tomorrow night’s soup. Each of the meals used the same basic ingredients, yet each was perfect for the occasion. Content marketing is a lot like cooking: You need to understand when (and how) to spin up different versions and repurpose content.
Marketers know that lead nurturing is important, yet many still struggle to move beyond basic nurturing to more advanced nurture strategies. The one thing holding them back? Content. “We just don’t have enough content to develop a nurture journey,” is a story I frequently hear when speaking with fellow marketers and clients.
Here are a few strategies to propel you over the content hump by reusing what you already have. You just may be a little further along than you think.
Your Content Inventory
Like many great chefs, content marketers need to know what they have already available in the kitchen. Usually, this is the “Oh, $#*!” moment when you look at your eBooks and whitepapers, and realize that you don’t have nearly enough content. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it seems. You’ll soon be the king or queen of content repurposing.
As part of the process, inventory all of your assets. I mean everything, as if you were cleaning out your house for a yard sale. Here is a link to a content inventory template you can use to help find the gaps.
Recently, I went through this process with a client resulting in more than 50 persona-based content pieces for utilization throughout the nurture journey. Let’s get cooking.
The Seasoning: Personas
Eighty-two percent of prospects say content targeted to their industry is more valuable.
While reading the below menu items, think about slightly altering the messaging of each to create different versions. The key is to sprinkle relevant information throughout the piece to give it industry or persona flavor.
All of a sudden, one best practices article turns into five by adjusting the subject line and adding in a few industry-specific stats. Of course, you can totally revamp the content, but that takes time. Judge what works best for your organization.
1. The Meat & Potatoes – Bottom of Funnel Content
Most marketers think of case studies, white papers and eBooks as their standard nurturing content. There is something about a PDF that equates to value. Many of the assets are three or more pages, which makes the content ripe for cutting up into bite-size chunks.
Bring out the knife and chop them up. For example, if your case study promotes results, use those in the subject line. Write a few paragraphs on the actual results in a short email to your audience. Separately, break out the case study to promote the actual usage. Now you have doubled your content from just one piece.
The longer the piece, the better. We recently broke out our “Six Steps to Transform Your Lifecycle into a Revenue Machine” article into two blog posts and six nurture emails.
The point is: don’t just rely on the asset itself.
2. Famous Chef – Video
Like the celebrity chef, get your products on video. If your company has anything on YouTube, grab it and promote the video in a nurture email. Studies show that adding a video to an introductory company email increases click-through rate by 96 percent.
You likely paid a pretty penny to produce the company explainer video, so put that investment to work as part of your early stage content. Spread other video content throughout the journey. When appropriate, don’t be afraid to bring in some humor to mix up some of the corporate messaging.
3. Pasta – Blogs
Like the ziti sitting in your cabinet, every company has a blog. I love reusing blog posts because they are easy pickings for content repurposing. We use much of RevEngine’s blog content for our own nurturing and recommend that our clients do the same.
Assuming your company posts twice a month, this gives you at least twenty articles annually from which to grab content. Copy and paste excerpts from the best performing posts, write an intro and suddenly you’ve added five to ten new emails without creating anything brand new.
4. Tonight’s Specials – Grabbers
Grabbers might not be in your regular inventory, but they can be powerful to help move a prospect along the sales cycle. A grabber is a powerful stat or series of stats that grab attention. Try sprinkling a few of these short and sweet emails into your nurturing mix.
For example, when I was working in data security in a past life, I might use a grabber intro such as, “Did you know that the average cost of a data breach is $5.9 million? Here are a couple of other stats you might find useful.” This may seem small or insignificant, but it still provides value for the reader by continuing to build their knowledge base of factual, industry-specific facts.
While most restaurants won’t allow substitutes for their daily specials, you should be willing to make content alterations that cater to a niche whenever possible. Mix in industry stats to provide even more relevance. For example, for the health care spin, the following might make a good twist:
Did you know that Community Health Systems announced that information on 4.5 million patients was stolen in a cyber attack that may have originated in China?
5. Sprinkles on Top – Infographics
Forty percent of people respond better to visual information than text.
Sprinkles make ice cream even better than it already is. Have some great stats you are using across your site or in presentations? Turn them into an infographic. Not only are you repurposing the content, but you are improving the asset itself, as infographics generally perform better than written texts.
6. Hamburger Helper – Q&A
There is nothing like a little Q&A to get prospects engaged. This content sometimes exists in Marketing, but more likely lives in Support or Sales. Talk with your Support and Sales teams to find out the top three to five questions that prospects and customers keep asking.
Build these questions within the nurture journey where appropriate and address one question per email to keep the reader focused. Use the detailed, product-related questions as late stage content when prospects are further along in the buying cycle. We recently worked with a client who integrated this content into an on-boarding email series to cut down on support costs.
7. Dessert – Webinars
This is another asset that is easy to blend into the repurpose mix. Most businesses conduct one or two live webinars a month. Grab the recording, write an excerpt and link to it.
Enhance your prospects’ journey by reusing all the great stuff you already have. Yes, it’s better to provide some content rather than no content, but creating a relevant experience is what will really take an organization to the next level.
Good luck in the kitchen.