I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags: Develop a Content Thrift Store

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I’m the oldest of three siblings. There are challenges as the oldest, like paving the way for your siblings. My Parents were ready for fender benders and broken cerfews by the time my Brother and Sister reached high school. There are some pluses too. For example, I never had to worry about hand-me down clothing. That doesn’t mean I never wore pre-worn clothing. In high school and college my friends and I loved to shop at the thrift stores. You could discover some amazing finds. And they were cheap!

At a marketing user group meeting yesterday several of us discussed the challenge of meeting content demands. We hear more and more about the importance of content development. I think where people get it wrong is they feel they need to develop brand new content, from scratch. Total fallacy. My recommendation is to develop a content thrift store. The first step in doing that is auditing your content. You need to understand what you have, who it’s for, how it’s used, and how it’s performing.

Armed with that information you can begin to pop some tags. Convert white papers to eBooks. Convert eBooks to blogs. Compile a series of blogs into eBooks. Compile collected data into reports and infographics. Leverage video and eBooks for SlideShares. Convert podcasts and interviews into any of the content listed above. Convert the written word into the spoken word or into a video representation. Test versions of your offers to understand which content formats your audience prefers.

Approach your customer content much the same way. Oftentimes a case study is written to tell a high level story. Repurpose your case studies so they’re told from the point of view of each of your personas. Then write your case studies as told at each point of the buy cycle. Why was the customer looking for a solution? Why did they make the decision they did, and how did they gain internal buy-in? What occurred during the implementation process? Where are they now? Very quickly one case study can turn into 20 very segmented pieces that can be used for different personas throughout the entire buying process.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to use something that was developed a year ago, 6 months ago, or a month ago. The content may not seem fresh and new to you, but it probably is to your audience. People consume countless amounts of content throughout a day. You also have an evolving list and new social followers who weren’t exposed to the content when it was initially released.

Don’t underestimate the value of your existing content. Once you understand what you have in your arsenal you can become a very powerful content force. How do you reuse existing content?


Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.

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