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How to Get More From Every Piece of Content You Produce

This post is sponsored by Viewbix – Easily add apps and calls to action to your video.

Content creation must involve strategy. That’s the part that you must understand or its production is little more than a chore.

Repurpose content

photo credit: markyweiss

For some time now I’ve been preaching the idea of a “total body of work” approach to content for marketing purposes.

Waking up each day and deciding what you might blog about is not a sustainable content strategy – even though many a blogger makes it look so.

The publishing that we must do today requires us to think like, well, a publisher. We must develop a clear set of topics or chapters that make up the foundation content for trust building and SEO impact. We must determine a monthly theme and schedule for addressing each chapter. We must commit to regularly scheduled features.

And, perhaps most importantly, we must develop a mentality that habitually urges us to consider every word we publish or plan to publish as part of a giant Erector set or content that can be used and reused in many ways.

Every press release, blog post, video, article and presentation must have intended uses beyond its obvious initial outlay and it must be an interchangeable element in the total body of work.

It’s simply too costly to produce content with any other view.

I once had a conversation with Josh Waitzkin, eight-time National Chess Champion and author of the Art of Learning and he told me that he got to the point where he no longer saw a game as it was because to him the game always looked as though it was going to be many moves ahead.

I think that’s how content must be viewed – not as something just for today, but for moves ahead.

The process starts with questioning that must evolve into an unconscious way of thinking.

  • How could I expand this blog post as a series of posts?
  • How could I rework this content into other formats?
  • What would make this content worth paying for?
  • How could this content be reworked for real-time consumption?
  • What did I learn while creating this presentation?
  • How could I package this content to share it with a different market?
  • If I were writing a book would this content belong in that book?
  • What content have I already written that could form the basis of an eBook?
  • How can I share this content in a way that helps me learn?

Below are five content development habits that you must employ in the creation of your content strategy and production of your body of work.

New medium

I’m often asked to present a specific topic to a group. As I create or develop my thoughts for a series of slides I write a blog post or two from my research, record a screencast of the presentation, upload my slides to Slideshare and have the video transcribed into text.

There is very little additional work on my part to create four and five pieces of content from the act of discovering what to include in a 90-minute talk.

New form

I’ve produced dozens of eBooks over the last few years and 100% of the content for these compilations has been drawn from my blog posts. Now, understand that this doesn’t happen by some form of chance.

I plan and write my blog posts with these eBooks in mind. This requires a longer view of both blog post topics and the chosen topics for eBooks, but when you understand that this long view is required, it’s actually quite freeing.

Getting in the habit of creating an editorial calendar in advance, with your cornerstone topics always in mind, can be a great aid.

New purpose

One of the most puzzling aspects of content is consumption – meaning how people choose to get, read, listen, watch or otherwise digest it.

Understanding that people have distinct preferences in this category opens the door to an interesting aspect of repurposing.

I have a podcast that’s free to subscribe to, but hundreds of people have paid $2.99 to download the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast app (iTunes link) from iTunes because of the added control it gives them.

I have a great deal of content that is available on my site for the taking, yet people are eager to pay $3.99 on Amazon for the package that gives them the content in the form that is delivered to their Kindle reader.

New time frame

This one is a bit mind bending for some, but you have to think about real-time and long-term in the same context.

I tweet as I write something that I think is poignant and again as I write things that seem confusing. People consume this content in a far different manner than, say, a full blog post, but the engagement is incredibly instructional.

Social media is the ultimate real-time content package and this is how you tap it.

New audience

My blog readers and my newsletter subscribers are two very different groups. Sure, there’s some cross over, but some people prefer email newsletters and some won’t read anything that’s not in their RSS reader.

When you understand this fact you can begin to explore the various methods of reaching people in their preferred environment.

Giving away content in the form of a free Amazon eBook is a great way to reach new audiences. Creating workshops and making them available as a Udemy course is a great way to reach new audiences. Reworking your ten all time best blog posts and offering them as guest posts on other blogs is a great way to reach new audiences.

Once you start to think in this vein you’ll never look at a blog post or PowerPoint deck in the same way.

viewbixThis post is sponsored by Viewbix – Easily add apps and calls to action to your video.

7 Ways to Increase Engagement on Your Website

It can be a chore to drive traffic to your website. So, once you do gain a click through organic search, a referral or an ad, you need to you do what you can to keep them there long enough for them to dig in and see what you’ve got.

website engagement

photo credit: theunquietlibrary

Below are a handful of tactics that can help visitors find what they are looking for, consume more content and enjoy a more engaged experience overall.

1. Click to

There are a variety of actions and associated tools related to helping people get or do what they want. Click to call, chat or schedule tools give people the ability to ask a quick question, ring you up to check stock, download a free session, or schedule an appointment without the need to pick up the phone. We use Olark for chat on your site and tools such Schedulicity and Genbook are worth a look for click to functionality.

2. Site search

Oftentimes someone tells a friend to go to your site to get what they want, but it’s not obvious when all they have is the home page. Adding search functionality to your site has become a fairly common and useful practice. You can use Google Custom Search or the WordPress search widget.

3. Video

The video format is a great way to increase engagement as you can entertain, surprise and build trust in ways that text rarely can. Using lots of short little videos on your site can be a great way to introduce core concepts, demonstrate how to use products and display client success stories. Adding functionality and calls to action to your video can make them even more engaging. Today’s post sponsor, Viewbix, has a great tool for that.

4. Related content

Once someone finds a piece of content on your site that offers information they are looking for it’s a great practice to use tools that can suggest additional related content. This is one of the best ways to keep people digging and clicking around your site. I’ve used the WordPress Contextual Related Content Plugin for some time and find it works well. It automatically places five related blog posts at the end of each post I write.

5. Smart content

Let’s say you sell big smelly diesel trucks as well as super green hybrid city delivery vehicles. Would it be safe to say that the prospective buyers of those two vehicles might be looking for very different things? Using technology like Getsmartcontent your site can display content based on a variety of factors, such as what someone typed into a search to find you site. Tailoring content to specific segments is a great way to increase engagement.

6. Guided tour

If your website caters to many needs it can be very engaging to present your visitors with options that lead them deeper and deeper into the precise information they are looking for. Using a tool like SurveyFunnel allows you to present your visitors with a series of questions and let the answers determine where they end up or what they subscribe to.

7. Advice and feedback

Asking for feedback and advice is not only a great way to increase engagement it’s a great way to learn how to get better. If someone comes to your site and doesn’t find what they are looking for wouldn’t it be great to understand what went wrong? Consider using a tool like 4Q, which offers up a little four-question survey to people leaving your site.

Measuring engagement

Once you employ a few tools it’s time to learn if you’ve improved engagement. Using Google Analytics Goals is a great way to see the impact. Analytics measures averages of many things, including time on site and page views per user. These two measures are a nice way to get a glimpse at engagement levels.

One way to track increases is to look at your current averages for these two metrics and create goals for each that are slightly above your current average. This will start to show increases, but it will also allow you to drill down and see where your increases are coming from – social, SEO or referral.

Increased engagement leads to increased awareness and trust and both of these can eventually lead to much greater conversion.

viewbixThis post is sponsored by Viewbix – Easily add apps and calls to action to your video.

Weekend Favs January Twenty One

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr.

Image Steve-h via Flickr CC

Good stuff I found this week:
Viewbix – Tool that allows you to add interactive calls to action to your videos. Also makes it easy add branding to YouTube and Vimeo hosted videos.

Manilla – Get your bills, statements and balances instantly organized in one secure place online. Easy way to manage all of your accounts, subscriptions and loyalty programs.

Instant Flip Book – Convert Your Catalogs, Brochures, Annual Reports and Other Documents Into a Flash Page Flip book you can embed on any web page.