Blogging for business part 4: creating killer content

In last week’s post, we talked about how you could ensure that your content matches the interests of your audience. You can read that post here, or go back to the very beginning of our blogging for business series here.

So far in this series, we’ve talked about the purpose of your blog, getting your schedule in order, and planning content that speaks to your target audience. Now it’s finally time to put pen to paper, to ensure that all of your planning isn’t undone by content that’s not engaging or appropriate for your audience.

Here are HN’s top three things to consider when crafting content for your blog.

1: Set the tone
While your brand’s tone and style guide is there to help give your business a coherent sense of personality (and therefore shouldn’t be ignored), blog posts don’t come from ‘the business’; they’re written by individuals. If your blog sounds like it’s being written by corporate drones, you run the risk of failing to connect with your audience and gain their trust. If your posts communicate the personalities of the people writing them, though, they’ll have immediate credibility – and your audience will respond positively to them. Don’t be afraid of controversy or debate, either – handled properly, both will win respect from your readers.

That said, your blog shouldn’t become a personal platform for your writers to post personal rants or idle musings. It’s still a very good idea to have clear guidelines regarding acceptable subject areas to talk about, and your business messages relating to those areas. Done right, your blog’s tone should complement your corporate materials, while obviously being a more informal and relaxed space.

2: Long or short?
This is a question that’s as hotly contested as the posting frequency debate. Some say that, in the age of Twitter and Vine, longer posts will bore your audience; others point to the fact that search engines are increasingly favouring long content as evidence that longer is better. At HN, we say that your post should be as long as it needs to be. If you’ve made your point in 100 words, why dilute what you’re trying to say to fill some notional wordcount? If you’re 500 words in and there’s more to say, keep going. If your posts are turning into short novels, look at breaking them into multiple parts, but as long as what you’re writing adds value to your point and isn’t just padding, don’t worry about longer content.

3: Get creative with your formats
When you think of a blog, do you think of written copy? Historically blogs have been paragraphs of prose, but there’s no need for things to stay that way. Adding a sprinkling of other formats — infographics, videos, podcasts, cartoons — will add variety to keep your audience engaged. Given that images and videos are more shareable than text alone , sprucing up your blog with visual content formats could help your blog reach a wider audience, too.
What will work best for me?

If some of these tips sound a little vague, it’s because experience has taught us that there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy when it comes to content. It will take some experimenting to see what works for you, and continual finetuning to make sure that your content is still working for your audience. If you keep these three considerations in mind, though, you’re off to a great start.

Any questions?
In our next post, we’ll be talking about how you can foster interaction between you and your blog’s readers. In the meantime, if you’ve got questions on anything we’ve talked about in this blog (or any of out others), then why not leave us a comment, or get in touch with us on social media via the links below?

Blogging for business part 3: connect with your audience

Welcome to part three in our series about blogging for business. In part two, we talked about posting frequency — catch up here . Or, to go back to the beginning of the series, click here.

If you write a personal blog, then as long as you’re getting readers who enjoy what you’re posting and are coming back for more, you probably don’t mind who they are. With business blogging, though, it’s different. You’ve got an objective, and that means you need to attract an audience who are going to help you achieve that objective.

Start with customer insight
It may be gratifying if your blog is getting a lot of attention from athletics coaches or chefs, but if you’re selling managed data centre services then it’s plain that these people aren’t your target audience. It doesn’t matter if some readers aren’t your core audience — and you never know, the junior executives, students or stay-at-home mums reading your blog today may be the IT buyers of tomorrow — but if the majority of your audience aren’t the people who are going to buy your products and services (or who may influence your buyers), you’ll never reach the goals you’ve set for your blog.

That’s why good business blogging starts with customer insight. It’s a bit like dating: you know what you’re looking for; assuming that some good matches are out there, you need to find out what they’re looking for, so that you know what to say. What will make them laugh? What will make them walk away? The more knowledge of your target audience you can bring to your blogging, the better chance you stand of building lasting relationships with them.

If you’re looking for ideas about where and how to gather customer insight, you might enjoy our customer insight ebook.

Your blog as a source of customer insight
As long as you’re reasonably certain that your blog readership matches your target audience, you can use your blog’s analytics to learn more about them and finetune your blogging approach. Which posts attract the most readership (and which the least)? Can you spot patterns that might point to which topics your audience prefers, or to other blog characteristics that are proving to be particularly attractive (short or long copy, for example, or different responses to video vs text)?

If you don’t know which social media platforms your blog readers prefer (or whether they’re using them at all), analytics can help by showing you where your blog readers are coming from. But remember – analytics on existing readers can’t tell you if there’s a massive reservoir of potential customers on a platform or forum where you have no presence; only independent customer research can do that.

Depending on the analytics platform you use, you may also be able to get data on the age, gender and interests of some of your audience (you may need to add code to your blog pages to achieve this). This information can help you confirm that you’re connecting with your target demographic, or even identify a target market for your products and services that you weren’t aware of.

Any questions?
By combining insight about your blog readership with your other customer insight activities, you’ll get a clearer picture of your audience that will help you create content that’s more valuable, relevant and engaging for them. In our next post we’ll get down to the nuts and bolts of blog content creation. In the meantime, if you’ve got any questions about anything we’ve covered in our blogs, feel free to ask them in the comments, tweet us, or message us on LinkedIn — the links are all at the bottom of the page.

Blogging for business part 2: how often should you post?

We’re running a series to help anyone who’s blogging for a business. To see our first post, where we talked about the need to decide what your blog’s objectives are, click here.

There are many mysteries in life: black holes, for example, or the more mundane but no less puzzling question of where missing socks go (we suspect the two might be connected). Here at HN, one of the mysteries we’re most often asked about is: ‘how often should we blog’?

It’s an issue for marketing, PR and brand teams in organisations large and small. Even if responsibility for the content or writing of blogs is shared in the business, it’s usually the job of an individual or small group to ensure that the posts keep coming.

In part two of our ‘blogging for business’ series, we’ll be addressing the issue of blogging frequency, along with the related question of how to maintain your publishing schedule when there sometimes aren’t enough hours in the day to get all your other work done, let alone tend to the company blog.

Consistent regularity is the key to frequency
The most important factor affecting posting frequency is the need for regularity: consistency is the key. Setting a schedule that reflects a rate you can manage alongside your workload, and faithfully sticking to it — say, one post every Tuesday at 10 am — is beneficial to your blog for several reasons:

• It helps your readers know what to expect. Engagement is less likely if readers just don’t know how often to check back for something new. Obviously there is more to engage with if you’re posting more often, but it won’t last if you post daily for two weeks and then nothing for the next two.

• It helps whoever in your organisation is responsible for actually uploading blog content, if that’s not you.

• Search engine spiders like regularly changing content, too; it’s better for search engine optimisation to post once a week for four weeks, than to post daily for four days and then nothing for a month.

By setting up a measured pace that avoids having to rush posts to meet a schedule that’s too much for you, you’ll also find it easier to produce quality content. This, too, will endear you to your readers and to Google’s ranking algorithms.

Why do you blog?
Another factor influencing the frequency with which you publish is the objective of your blog. Are you aiming for lead generation? If so, then you may want a relatively heavy publishing schedule, but with shorter content, to ensure that your audience sees you. If you’re sharing knowledge with an interested audience in order to be recognised as an expert in your industry, then you may want to publish less often but dive into more detail with each post.

Clearly you need to consider your blog’s objective alongside how often you can reasonably manage to post. If your objective calls for daily posting, you’ll need to put in a sound process for getting that done without sacrificing quality. If there’s no way you can post more often than once a month, don’t set an objective for the blog that is doomed to fail with that level of publishing.

How to maintain a steady stream of posts
If you think you’ve got it in you to create a new post every week then, for the first few months at least, we’d recommend posting fortnightly. This will enable you to build up a ‘hopper’ of posts which, if your work schedule suddenly means you can’t spend any time on the blog for a few weeks, can be a real lifesaver. As we’ve said, it’s all about consistency; if your blog ‘goes dark’ for even a few weeks (or months, if you post monthly), your audience may begin to lose interest.

With a hopper of blogs up your sleeve you can schedule posts in advance. This will provide necessary breathing room for busy times, or times when inspiration is thin on the ground. Don’t let the schedule be a dictator, though; be willing to adapt it to respond more immediately to relevant events as they occur (assuming you can make the time to do so).

One way to help fill the hopper and increase the regularity of blogging is to outsource blog writing to an agency, or to guest bloggers such as customers, suppliers or outside experts (there are other benefits to using a guest blogger; keep reading this series to find out what they are).

Any questions?
In our next post we’ll be taking a closer look at understanding your blog audience. In the meantime, if you’ve got questions about how frequently you should publish posts on your blog, why not leave a question in the comments box? Alternatively, drop us a tweet on Twitter, or find us on LinkedIn — the links are at the bottom of the page.

Blogging for business part 1: a tangibly valuable tool

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be talking about an online marketing tool that’s incredibly versatile, engaging, imaginative and practical. It provides tangible value to any organisation’s marketing portfolio, but has a tendency to be misunderstood, misused and overlooked. We are, of course, talking about blogging. Though there are businesses that blog, there are plenty that don’t, and – in our opinion – they’re missing out. Even those who do often can’t give it the attention it deserves as they fit their blogging duties around busy work schedules. In this series we’ll be exploring blogging for business, covering the following topics:

Posting frequency
Connecting with your audience
Content creation
Fostering interaction
Guest blogging

Whether you’re new to the blogosphere, or have been writing for some time now, we aim to give you a few handy tricks and tips that you can use to make your life as a business blogger easier.

Lesson 1: get strategic
As someone in the office quipped the other day, there’s a world of difference between ‘having a blog’ and ‘blogging’. It’s the difference between just chucking out a post each week and crafting a strategic plan to achieve set goals using your blog. Imagine that each blog post is a horse, and that your business is a carriage; if you don’t get them all running in the same direction, they’ll never move your business forward. And the first step in corralling your blog posts (we may be getting mixed up in our metaphors here) is working out where you want them to take you — what the point of your blog is, to be blunt.

What’s your aim?
You can gear your blog towards a wide variety of goals for your business, including:

• Lead generation: turning your readers into leads and then customers with posts that position your services in the context of your target audience’s pain points, with plenty of calls-to-action to promote activity.

• Gathering insight: asking your customers questions, encouraging their participation, and demonstrating that you’re prepared to act on that information to turn your blog into a goldmine of customer insight.

• Positioning: using your blog to demonstrate your company’s expertise, with guest posts from SMEs in your organisation or partner organisations, can help establish your blog as a trusted source of information for your customers.

• Sales enablement: creating a blog for your internal staff, delivering training and notifying them of marketing activity, and help your team get sales-enabled.

You don’t have to pick one and stick with it – you could switch your focus through the year to align with other sales and marketing activities, or even try and achieve two objectives with the same blog (though if you do, then be careful that you don’t dilute the effectiveness of your blog by turning it into a ‘jack of all trades’). Just remember that you do need to have at least one goal to give you enough direction to create engaging content that keeps readers returning week after week. At HN, our blog is designed to provide our audience with the knowledge to help themselves get ahead in the world of B2B marketing, so every post we write has at least one takeaway point that our readers can use. We hope you find it useful!

Any questions?
In our next post, we will be exploring how often you should write a blog post, and how to encourage your readers to read what you write. If you’ve got questions from this blog, why not ask us in the comments section?

Pulling out the crystal ball: HN’s 2015 marketing predictions

Back at the start of 2014, we ran a series of predictions on how the world of B2B marketing would evolve over the coming year. For the most part, we’re pleased to say, our instincts were right on the money — particularly when it came to adapting your content for multiple devices, as 2014 was the first year that more people viewed the internet on a mobile device than a desktop PC. So this year, we thought we’d dust off the old crystal ball and give you our 2015 marketing predictions for the B2B world.

Prediction 1: Wearable technology is set to take off

Of all the technological innovations due this year, wearable technology is one of the most hotly-anticipated by tech geeks and marketers alike. With Google releasing a new model of their Google Glass design and both Apple Watch and Facebook Oculus Rift on the horizon, 2015 looks like it could be the year wearables enter the mainstream.

What does this mean for marketers?
Wearables could represent a whole new channel for marketers to use. They could provide opportunities for audio marketing, or be a valuable source of data into consumer habits. Marketers would be well-advised to keep a close eye on the potential of wearable tech; we know we will be.

Prediction 2: Social media advertising is becoming more intelligent

Although social media will always be about connecting with customers, recently we’ve seen leading social media platforms make an effort to overhaul their advertising platforms. In the last year Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have all developed more intricate advertising tools, and similar features are coming to both Instagram and Pinterest in future.

What does this mean for marketers?
Smart marketers will be creating content that can be easily repurposed for all the major social media platforms. You may also want to revisit your social media strategy to see if new advertising tools can be turned to your advantage.

Prediction 3: Writing matters more than ever

Videos are now used by 70% of marketers and with Instagram, webinars and infographics all on the rise this prediction could seem a little strange. But at HN, we reckon that written copy is going to pay a more important role this coming year than ever before. After all, in the B2B world the need for in-depth information hasn’t gone away. But your copy now has to compete with a barrage of visual content for your audience’s attention.

What does this mean for marketers?
Your written copy will have to work harder to grab the reader’s interest. Using tweets, blogs or LinkedIn posts to grab the reader and interest them in your longer content could be a good tactic.

Prediction 4: It’s worth investing in online ads

Last year in the UK, companies spent a staggering £5.5bn on digital ads and mobile ad spend in particular is experiencing a massive spike . The reason? People are spending more time online than ever before — almost four hours for your average Briton nowadays.

What does it mean for marketers?
Any ads you do put out are going to be seen by a huge audience — which means that they need to be top-notch. Insightful, thoughtful ads that intrigue the reader are the order of the day; avoid in-your-face advertising that people will reject as spam at all costs. Visual content could play a big role in creating adverts that really wow your audience.

Prediction 5: 1-to-1 interaction will become key

Getting to know your prospects on a 1-to-1 basis is the ideal goal for any sales team, but achieving it is becoming harder and harder — 40% of people in this recent survey don’t want to share any of their personal data with businesses.

What it means for marketers
Make no mistake – it’s a real challenge to get enough data to run a truly personalised marketing campaign. If your customers don’t want to share their data, then you might have to get a bit more creative with the data you do have available to you. Web browsing patterns, user statistics, dwell time – all of these can be used to glean insight into your customers. And given that personalised email subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened by recipients, this sort of activity could be just the ticket to unlock those face-to-face meetings that your sales team need.

Whatever 2015 brings, it’s sure to be an exciting time for marketers – especially in the B2B sphere. Do any of our predictions resonate with your plans for the year? Do you have any predictions of your own to share? If so we’d love to hear from you — leave a comment, find us on Twitter or drop us a line at LinkedIn.

Presentation skills: actions speak louder than words

I think we can all agree that when you’re giving a presentation, there are two parts to consider: the slides, and the script. You don’t want to just read what’s on the slides, otherwise your audience may as well have read the presentation at home over a cup of coffee. Instead, you need a script that sparkles, that delivers your message succinctly and keeps your audience’s attention on you – the part of the presentation that they couldn’t have downloaded and read elsewhere.

Ensuring your presentation and message are memorable isn’t just about what you say, but how you say it. If you’ve ever sat in a presentation being given in monotone by someone with all the liveliness of a funeral parlour, you’ll know what we mean. At HN, we’ve written a fair few presentations for our clients, so we’ve put together a few pointers to help you get that crucial animation into your presenting style.

Animate your body
Move around while you’re presenting; get out from behind the lectern. Point at the presentation, if you’re underlining a point. Point at your audience (if it’s appropriate – don’t forget pointing can be rude!). It’ll help keep your audience from tuning you out and just looking at the slides, and that means that the message you’re conveying will be better understood. There’s nothing at all wrong with warming up for a presentation like it’s a jog. Shake your arms about a bit, jump up and down on the spot, and shake your head – anything to get the blood flowing. It’ll make you more comfortable with moving around, and can help you stay more focused for the actual presentation, too.

Animate your voice
The human voice box is a wonderful thing. It can make your voice loud or quiet, high or low, and you should the full range of those capabilities when presenting to an audience. Deliver your script with emotion (write those emotions down when you’re creating the script if you think you might forget!) and, most of all, talk to the people you’re presenting to. It’s tempting to talk over everyone’s heads (especially if you’re on a platform) but imagine if you did that when talking to your friends. They’d find it rude, and so will your audience. Make sure you know the script thoroughly too. Unless you’re a seasoned orator, or possessed of an eidetic memory, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to remember the whole script after looking at it once or twice, especially if someone else wrote it for you. Rehearsing beforehand will help you avoid having your eyes glued to the script, and help you speak more naturally during the presentation as you know what you’re going to say.

Alternatives for the shy?
If those things sound easier said than done, and the thought of moving out from behind the protective comfort of the lectern and looking at your audience fills you with dread, then you may be able to opt for a webinar, where you can deliver your presentation without the audience being right in front of you. In fact, if it’s going to be complicated to get everyone you want to talk to in the same room – perhaps due to geographical constraints – then a webinar might be preferable as you can reach your audience without inconveniencing them. But those opportunities aren’t always there; if you’re talking at an event, for example, it will look very strange if you set up a screen and present to your audience from the next room! If there’s really nothing else for it, then you may just have to grit your teeth, take a deep breath, get out on the stage, and talk. If so, then don’t panic – with proper preparation, and a little courage, you may find your presentation skills surprise you.

Have you got any presentation tips to share with us? Leave a comment or tweet us @hnmarketing and let us know.

Does snackable content leave your audience hungry?

Do we all suffer from an attention deficit?
The human race reportedly now has “the attention span of less than a goldfish”, and long content is about as useful to marketers as a bicycle is to a fish. In today’s permanently connected world, snackable content is regarded as the only type of content that will make it through the barrage of information we experience every day.

But is it really, though?

If our attention spans are so poor, how can I have sat and spent at least 10 minutes on this article already, without wandering away from my desk? How do I regularly drive up to Leeds without getting distracted and missing my junction? How do our customers get through RFP documents, which are often long and complex, without giving up?

The answer is simple: there’s nothing wrong with our attention span. It’s our motivation as consumers of content that’s being affected.

Motivation is the key
Think of it this way: you’ll watch a documentary, or read a book for an evening, because you’re interested in the content you’re consuming, and (especially in the case of fiction) because you’re emotionally invested in it. That interest motivates us to pay attention long after we theoretically should have become distracted and disappeared, and it’s this same motivation (or lack of it) that’s responsible for the rise in snackable content.

By keeping content short, marketers can convey their message to the audience before that audience has lost interest and moved on. There’s no denying that this is a powerful weapon in the marketer’s arsenal, but to say that it’s the only tool that works any more makes the assumption that there’s nothing you can do about your audience’s motivation to pay attention to your organisation. That simply isn’t true. After all, in the B2B world the customer is at some point going to have to sit down and pay attention to someone – they’re spending, in some cases, tens of thousands of pounds on a purchase – so the job of the marketer is to motivate the customer to pay attention to their brand over the competition’s. That’s where snackable content comes in.

Hook, line and sinker
In the same way that the advert for that documentary we were talking about earlier motivated you to sit down and watch the whole thing, snackable content needs to motivate the customer to sit down and take a proper look at your proposition. It’s not about giving them a condensed version of your entire proposition or message, but giving them just enough to pique their interest and pointing them towards your longer content that conveys your message and your proposition in full. A tweet that leads to a webinar; a blog post that links to a white paper; these are examples of how snackable and long-form content can form a powerful one-two punch that entices an unmotivated audience to engage with you.

The trick, as you’ve no doubt guessed, is making that snackable content as juicy and inviting as you can. Though the analogy of a goldfish might not be quite accurate (they have memories of up to three months, according to Wikipedia ), it’s true that your audience are busy people who have information coming at them from all angles. Short content that shines like a diamond is required to get them to notice you – but once they do, don’t feel pressured into saying everything you have to say in a rush. Treat snackable content as a gateway to the wonders of your longer content, and you’ll find that your audience do, too.

Your latest case study – through the medium of interpretive dance

Imagine that you are visiting an exhibition — at Olympia, say — and a flashmob of lycra-clad dancers gathers in the middle of the hall and performs your latest case study as an interpretive dance!

OK, maybe that idea is a little bit left-field, but the question has to be asked: do all case studies have to be done the same old way, with a quote from the customer and photo?

At HN, we are now being asked to tell our clients’ stories in a wide range of formats — cartoons, infographics, video features, and animations, for example — that are all outside the traditional norm. Sadly, no one has asked for dance — but that may only be a matter of time!

In this information-rich but time-poor environment, your case studies need to make an impact. Indeed, all of your content has to work hard to stand out and draw the attention of readers, who are demanding content in a wide variety of forms. Your target audience will expect your case studies to engage them as a piece of ‘infotainment’, so for the next case study you come to write, why not consider, a video, an infographic, or even a cartoon, instead of the traditional styles?

You never know, there may even be an occasion that calls for the MD to pull up their lycra tights and take to the floor…

The truth about viral content

Have you noticed how many people there are at the minute offering to make your content viral? You might have thought it seemed too good to be true. We at HN did too.

The buzzword

Unless you’re a healthcare professional, the term ‘viral’ probably brings to mind images of dancing babies, well-timed tweets from Oreo , or children biting each other. You’re picturing millions of views on YouTube, and your brand name becoming synonymous with your market. With the rise of social media channels, smartphones, and a growing global community of internet users, it sometimes feels like we’re only one step away from that great campaign that goes viral.

The catch

Here’s the thing, though: going viral on the same scale as those headline-grabbing campaigns takes luck. As this excellent presentation from Upworthy will tell you, you can follow the best ‘how to go viral’ advice and create the most shareable piece of content ever, with a great story, pitched at the right audience and at the most optimal time that your research has indicated, and it may never get past 1,000 views. This isn’t a shortcoming of your content; it just didn’t get lucky. Upworthy goes through the gruelling process of writing 25 headlines for each and every piece of content it posts, to ensure maximum shareability, and still only 12 of their posts have garnered more than 1 million views – just 0.41% of their content. Though many marketers would hate to admit it, you just cannot engineer virality on this scale – and to try will only end in disappointment.

Don’t try to go viral. Aim for shareable

The people telling you ‘how to go viral’ know this, though they don’t always make it clear. What they’re really offering you – and what you should be aiming for – is highly shareable content. Create a piece with a great story that forges an emotional connection, give it an attention-grabbing headline, strategically place buttons to enable easy sharing. Take care when and where you share the content for maximum impact. All of these things will boost the chances of your audience seeing your content and passing it on. Analyse your results and continually refine your process, and you should see positive results.

It’s also important to bear your audience in mind. Human though they may be, B2B buyers are not in the same mindset as consumers, and to get those valuable shares your content will have to work harder. Case in point: B2C campaigns can sometimes be racy or provocative (Dove’s recent beauty patch campaign, for instance, attracted the ire of social commentators around the world ). Employing similar tactics could put your audience off sharing your content for fear of associating their company with controversial opinions (‘I don’t want people who disagree to think that this is what our company believes, so I won’t share it’).

The size of your audience also plays a part; if you’re speaking to a niche market, for example, then it shouldn’t surprise you that your well-crafted video campaign doesn’t get 10,000 hits – and, more importantly, it shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. The bottom line? Don’t aim to go viral; aim to reach your audience, be they 1,000 or 10,000 people.

Don’t believe the hype

We should stress here: following all the moves outlined in a ‘how to go viral’ article isn’t a bad thing; it’ll help your content stand out and get shared. And viral content can successfully be created in the B2B space: we love this Verisign campaign from 2008. But don’t be drawn into thinking that there’s a formula for breaking the million views barrier, because there isn’t. No doubt there will be a lucky few who get into the right place at the right time to be noticed by the world and go viral. But for the rest of us, let’s just focus on what we set out to do: make great content that our audiences love and share with one another.

B2B content reuse: maximising the return on investment

Do you sometimes feel like your B2B content just isn’t giving you enough? We’ve written before , back in 2011, about how to squeeze more life out of your content. We came up with four ways for B2B content reuse and wrapped them up in a handy mnemonic – the ABCD of making more of your content assets. Since that was a long time ago now, we’ve taken that mnemonic, given it a polish, and reused it (see what we did there?) to help our 2016 audience.

The ABCD of content reuse

Alternative formats

This is about presenting the same story or messaging in a different way: could you turn copy into a video, for example, or split a paper into a series of blogs? You could even take a blog and break it into a series of tweets. This way, you can exploit different media, content vehicles or channels — print and digital; words and pictures; in person and online. You could even provide for different languages through translation.

We recently wrote and published a blog that we’ve also made available as a cartoon , if you want to see what we’re on about. Remember to consider whether your audience will be reading on different devices (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc), or whether you can add to the user experience through interactivity, for instance.

Building on content

If you’ve addressed a topic for a certain purpose, why not add to what you’ve said for a different purpose? You could give further explanation and detail for those who need it. For example, you could turn the subject matter of a thought-leadership piece into a primer for a sales team.

You might find that one aspect could be expanded into a new piece in its own right. Or you might choose to create materials for customers at different stages of the B2B sales cycle by cutting up and adding to a piece of content.

Complementing

We can create material or tools that provide further substantiation or support for our messaging, such as customer testimony or an ROI calculator. This could also include a specific social media campaign that supports the release of your content or opinion pieces that create conversation and interest around the topic of your content.

Distributing wider

When we wrote about this in 2011, we talked about backing up your content with tweets, blogs and emails that point to your content. While that’s still true, there’s another way to extend the reach of your content – reposting it.

When you tweet about a piece of content, it probably stays on your audience’s stream for about 10 minutes before being replaced by newer tweets about world news and pictures of cats. In the worst case, your audience may miss it entirely when you post it.

Why not tweet about your content again at a later time? That way, you stand a better chance of your audience seeing your content, and indeed you may access an audience who would otherwise have missed your content entirely. The same goes for LinkedIn posts or emails.

You can also experiment with posting at different times to catch different audiences. You can research the best times online and some social scheduling sites provide reports for the best posting times for your audience.

Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s lazy to repurpose your content; getting it right can take some work, as we’ve said before. Once that’s been done, though, you’ll find that you’ve given your old content new legs, increasing its ROI and stretching your budget further than you might have believed possible.

This doesn’t just apply to written content; have a look at this blog for our tips on how to make your B2B video content go further too.