Happy New Year!
This is my first post in 2012 and I want to start the New Year by answering a perennial question about content marketing for manufacturers and industrial companies. The question – what do we write about?
The answer – create a content series.
Just like popular TV serials, you want to create a series of short blog posts that revolve around a common theme. There are many advantages to this content marketing strategy. The most important ones are:
- Bite sized content is easier to consume online and on mobile devices
- Regular doses of short blog posts are good for building stronger relationships and thought leadership over time
- Improves engagement by creating anticipation among readers with each installment
- Fresh Content = Better SEO
- Optimize for long-tail keywords + More linking opportunities = Better SEO
You are probably wondering how in the world you are going to create serial content when you are already struggling with content marketing.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Repurpose your content
Look through your existing library and you are likely to discover some timeless content gems. Dust off some of those long technical articles that are languishing somewhere on your website. They make excellent feedstock for a content series.
Here are the basic steps for converting long technical articles into short blog posts that will become a content series.
- Read the article thoroughly (I mean really read. Don’t just skim over the text)
- Extract 4-6 main ideas from the article and make each one a separate blog post
- Update the articles with more recent application notes and/or case studies
- Add links within your posts to these longer content
- Put these higher value content behind simple sign-up forms for lead generation (Readers are more likely to part with their contact information if they find value in your blog posts)
- Create follow-up posts by interviewing internal subject matter experts and customers. This is a quick and easy way to increase the number of blog posts on the same topic
- Create slides by using bulleted text, charts and graphs from the main article. Post them to a slide sharing site like SlideShare and drive new traffic back to your blog
- Convert complex ideas into simpler “how-to” videos. Also, works well for demonstrating equipment capabilities. Post videos to your branded YouTube channel
- Use social media to announce each new post
- Build anticipation and engagement by ending each blog post with a hint of what is to come with the next installment in the series
Are you beginning to see the beauty and value in the simplicity of this idea of creating a content series?
There is also a big hidden benefit of this content marketing strategy. Instead of serving up a one-size-fits-all long technical article, you have now customized that same content to fit the reader’s specific needs. That in my opinion is what will make your content relevant and will compel your readers to take action while serving the needs of search engines. (See my post, “Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher, Act Like an Investor.”)
That is exactly how inbound marketing with content is supposed to work!
Let me know what you think of my industrial marketing strategy of creating a content series.