You have a documented content material advertising technique. You’ve outlined your quarterly plan, aligning your messages and targets with demand gen, gross sales, and buyer success, and different groups. But you continue to have slots to fill in your editorial calendar.
Most entrepreneurs have skilled this second. You know broadly what you want to produce, however particular concepts appear simply out of attain.
When this occurs, you have got two decisions: Wait for inspiration to strike or develop a system to discover stellar concepts to fill the calendar.
This submit will not be for individuals who select to maintain out for a flash of artistic inspiration. It’s for anybody who’s prepared to do the soiled work of discovering hidden content material alternatives to form and polish into one thing good.
1. Just frack it
I do know one content material staff that plans a “big rock” content material piece every quarter, then creates a “frack map” to doc all of the ways in which huge rock may be damaged into items to extract extra worth. (Think of fracking within the oil-and-gas-industry sense, not the Battlestar Galactica expletive.)
Create a “frack map” from a “big rock” #content material piece to extract extra worth, says @KMoutsos. Click To Tweet
Often, the large rock is an e-book. But a video gives fracking alternatives, too. Consider CMI’s documentary The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing. The almost 45-minute model has attracted a whole bunch of hundreds of views since 2015.
Our video staff lower the documentary right into a sequence of shorter movies highlighting manufacturers with nice content material advertising tales. Each of those “fracked” movies has racked up hundreds of views, and one of the vital enduring content material advertising examples – The Furrow from John Deere – has earned greater than 90,000 views by itself.
If you haven’t fracked your huge content material rocks (e-books, white papers, analysis stories, documentaries, or different long-form content material), get away the heavy gear. You is likely to be shocked how rewarding it may be to smash issues up and put them collectively in new methods.
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2. Expand your universe
At the ContentTECH Summit in April, Megan Golden defined how the content material staff at LinkedIn does virtually the reverse of fracking. Instead of breaking a protracted piece into smaller ones, Megan and the staff construct worlds of interrelated initiatives organized round a well-known theme or model.
Do like @LinkedIn: Build interrelated #content material initiatives round a well-known theme, says @KMoutsos. Click To Tweet
You’ve most likely seen an e-book or two from LinkedIn’s The Sophisticated Marketer sequence (began by 2018 Content Marketer of the Year finalist, Jason Miller). What you may not understand is the sequence expanded to embrace a print journal, a podcast, grasp courses, and rather more.
One motive this strategy works, Megan says, is that the familiarity of the established piece boosts every associated content material effort. Think of how every of the Marvel Cinematic Universe motion pictures benefited from affiliation with that very first Iron Man movie in 2008 and the overarching Avengers storyline that tied the characters and themes collectively (with spectacular box-office success).
You don’t have to be a Thor-sized model to do that strategy. Get impressed by this story of a copywriting company that produced 10 content material spinoffs from a single profitable article in its publication.
three. Create (or examine) your pillars
Last yr, HubSpot’s Justin Champion outlined an amazing methodology for creating “pillar” pages to assist with search engine marketing and to manage your content material in a approach that helps your viewers discover your greatest content material on numerous sides of a subject.
His strategy entails:
- Identifying a head time period – usually a two-word phrase your viewers would use when looking for data (e.g., “gum disease”).
- Identifying the core subjects to present further context for the pinnacle time period – associated phrases with much less search quantity than your head subject (e.g., “gum disease prevention”).
- Breaking the core subjects into subtopics – ensuring content material property assist every one.
If you have got an amazing, in-depth piece of content material round a head time period, you’ll be able to frack it into a number of items to create your pillar web page, supporting core subject, and subtopic items. If you don’t have an acceptable in-depth information, Justin recommends creating one as you create a pillar-based content material cluster.
four. Peek over a competitor’s shoulder
Who doesn’t love a content material audit? Well, most entrepreneurs most likely don’t love the method, however they admire the insights they produce. But don’t suppose you’re completed when you’ve inventoried and audited your individual items. You also needs to analyze your competitor’s content material.
Why spend time auditing what another model is doing? It allows you to use your opponents’ work to your benefit, writes Ellie Mirman.
Digging into the subjects your opponents cowl, how the viewers reacts to them, and which channels they’re utilizing helps you determine alternatives to outdo them. You may discover a subject you’ll be able to clarify extra completely, or a format, kind, or channel they’re not optimizing.
Dig into your opponents’ content material to uncover subjects, viewers reactions, and channels. Then outdo them. @KMoutsos Click To Tweet
Anything they’ll do, you are able to do in a different way and higher, proper?
5. Ask whether or not you want a brand new piece of content material
Whenever potential, strive to keep away from creating one thing new. Don’t fear, I’m not advising you to shirk your duties or pawn off the duty on another person. I’m suggesting that typically you may get extra bang on your editorial buck by updating and republishing one thing than by creating one thing from scratch.
You may get extra bang on your buck by republishing one thing slightly than creating #content material from scratch. @KMoutsos Click To Tweet
I clarify how to discover worthy candidates for republishing on this current submit.
Meta alert: My submit was an replace of this submit from 2017:
TIP: If you haven’t audited your content material lately, however nonetheless want to discover republishing candidates in a rush, strive the strategy described on this article: How to Do a Content Audit in a Few Hours.
If none of those methods sounds good to you, listed here are just a few others to discover:
- Try the evil-twin methodology. Find a preferred how-to, greatest practices, or suggestions piece (in your content material audit) then write it from the other angle – what not to do, errors to keep away from, and so forth.
- Brainstorm to discover 10x alternatives. Push your self and your staff to suppose huge – what sort of content material would show you how to, for instance, develop your electronic mail listing by 10x?
- Find viewers questions. Check together with your buyer assist groups, take a look at Google’s People Also Ask field, see what persons are speaking about on Quora and Reddit, verify the feedback part of your weblog, discover discussions on social media.
Just bear in mind, if you’re looking at these empty slots in your content material calendar, don’t simply look forward to an thought to fall into your lap. Get digging to discover the content material gems seeded all through your (and possibly your neighbor’s) property.
I’d love to hear the place you mine for concepts. Let me know within the feedback.
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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute