Josh Merkin|Nov 8, 2016

Content creation remains a big buzz word for marketing, PR and communication professionals in both the B2B and B2C industries. This trend isn’t changing anytime soon, according to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, which shows that 70 percent of B2B marketers and 77 percent of B2C marketing will use more content in 2017 than this year.

Regardless of your industry, developing good content is always critical. While that can take time, if you focus on creating something that can be sliced and diced and fed across all of your integrated marketing channels, the process becomes much more rewarding and provides a greater ROI.

Keeping with the food analogies and considering that Thanksgiving is this month, let’s compare content marketing to preparing a Thanksgiving feast.

The turkey is the centerpiece of the meal – the main piece of content you’ve created – and the guests coming over for dinner are your brand’s audiences. Each of them have different tastes, likes and dislikes. In order to satisfy your guests’ diverse pallets and provide them a full dining experience, you whip up different side dishes that can either complement the main course or be eaten individually.

Your brand’s content can be looked at the same way. Some of your audience will be totally happy when the turkey is served (i.e., consuming that set of brand messaging). However, others may want something in addition that specifically satisfies their interests.

This is what the side dishes – the different forms of content marketing – are for. The main dish can be used to inspire our side dishes, and by providing an array of ways for your audience to experience and consume your brand messages, the end result is more powerful positioning and a lasting impression.

Here’s how this process works in a real life example. Our rbb team collaborated with a global logistics client to create a series of two-minute videos to discuss important business issues relating to international trade and shipping. Prior to production, scripts were drafted to ensure the content was in compliance with corporate regulations and that it was interesting and engaging.

These series of “tips” oriented videos that became the centerpiece for how this logistics client educated small business owners on international trade issues. From these initial pieces of content (our turkey) came many side dishes:

  • Twitter – We wrote tweets citing content from the video, embedded the video into tweets and used it for native advertising
  • Media relations – We took the content from the video and used it to create a media pitch for national, trade and regional media.
  • Blog – With the video script as a starting point, we created a blog post only required a little extra work to provide more detail, which was accomplished by speaking with the logistics company’s executive experts
  • YouTube – Videos were uploaded to the company’s page, helping boost SEO
  • Internal/external communications – The video was shared both internally with employees including the sales team and also externally with existing customers
  • Digital media buying – The video was used as part of ad buy for Twitter

This recipe works for B2C as well. A national hotel chain agreed to our team’s recommendation to partner with a nationally recognized nonprofit organization to create a survey. The results were first turned into an infographic that was subsequently pitched to media and shared via social media channels. Additional uses included a multimedia news release and placement on microsites affiliated with the nonprofit.

Despite a lot of up front work, planning and creativity, the end result was a great piece of content that could be used across numerous channels in different ways to reach a diverse audience.

The need to create content will remain a constant for marketers, so the question we should all ask ourselves before starting anything is: Can I make a complete Thanksgiving dinner out of this?


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