When we onboard new clients, we kick off our internal meetings with all teams present in one room: interactive, content, multimedia, conversion specialists, paid media, and campaign managers. From the start, an agency has pools of resources that we can bring in to make sure there is collaboration in the content marketing strategy and no stone is left unturned.
You might be sitting here, alone in your office, scoffing at that idea. Your marketing campaigns might "kick off" with you, your trusty laptop, and a pre-determined budget.
No matter the resources within your reach or the size of your marketing team, you can still execute a pretty bad-ass mixed media strategy without the larger pools of resources an agency has.
Set Yourself Up for Success with a Mixed Strategic Budget
As you set out to build your own content strategy (even if you're not currently working with an agency), it's essential to think about how you request and allocate your resources to match your end goal of a comprehensive, far-reaching mixed-media strategy. If you only budget enough marketing spend to create some blog posts and redesign your logo, the only outcome of your content marketing strategy will be just that: some blog posts and a redesigned logo.
You need to start with a wider net: think about any potential types of content marketing that you would ideally have in your mixed-media strategy: a short "About Us" video for your Consideration Stage landing pages, perhaps? Or kick-butt infographics and custom social graphics to promote a new offer you've put together?
If you shift your frame of thinking from the start to a more diverse strategy, your results will surely also be more diverse.
When you're ready to collaborate with an agency on these types of campaigns, we're here for you. Until then, let's dive into some of the ways you can outsource content, leverage repurposing, and generally think outside the box with the types of content you're producing.
Varying Your Content Type and Format
There are two aspects to content that you need to consider: the type of content you want to create (an expert interview, a case study, premium content, etc.) and the format you will deliver it in (a video, an infographic, social posts, or a pillar page). Mixing and matching these is already a big step toward making your content strategy more diverse than it might be now: if you always deliver blog content in 500 words with a quick list and a button CTA at the end, try putting together a Q&A-style video and promoting it in a Facebook ad, instead.
Or if you always make PDF case studies that are gated, it might be time to ungate those user stories and make them dedicated pages on your website that search engines crawl and users access freely.
As you start building your content strategy, think about the types of content your buyer personas truly want to see, and map them to each stage of the buyer's journey.
Do they want bite-sized clips that they can save for later and digest on their own time because they're still evaluating solutions? Then maybe you put together use cases as a downloadable PDF that they receive in a promotional email, drag to their desktop, and read on their train ride home.
Or are they ready to experience your solution hand-on and figure out the costs and set-up time? Then a prerecorded, 10-minute, shared-screen demo video might be more helpful for them right now.
If you develop your strategy with these questions in mind, your content type will certainly be more user-focused and helpful in the end (and not just the only thing you had time to put together with limited time and budget):
- What questions do my real prospects have as they're in the Awareness, Consideration, and Decision Stages of their buyer's journey?
- What's the best, most convenient format they would want to see the answers to their questions?
- And finally, how can I produce that type of content in the existing scope and budget I have to work with for this campaign? What's the top priority?
Consider some of these other content types and formats as you mix and match your pieces to truly help, educate, and support your prospects. And don't forget that many of the pieces you create here can be repurposed into another category or content type:
8 Outsourcing Options for Mixed Media
Once you know the type and format of the content you want to create throughout your campaign and you're ready to build, you'll need to find the team members or sources of those pieces. For subject matter experts, make sure your internal team members feel excited and passionate about contributing to your marketing strategy and serving as content creators.
But when it comes to actually creating videos, visuals, and other media-heavy content, you might turn to some of these resources if you're not yet ready for a full agency partner:
- TwentyThree for full video content marketing and top-of-the-line webinars
- Design Pickle for affordable graphics and other custom design work
- ClearVoice or WriterAccess for writers of pillar pages, blog posts, and emails
- DIY graphics tools like Canva for customizable, easy-to-use templates
And, although it's not necessarily outsourcing the production of content marketing campaign pieces, don't forget about a few other essential tools for analyzing and understanding the success metrics of your efforts:
- Atomic Reach for content intelligence
- HubSpot for CRM, CMS, chatbot, and customer service tools
- Seventh Sense and LeadGnome for email optimization
- SEMrush for powerful SEO optimization and traffic analysis
Content today is no longer just one-note. To match the fast-paced consumption of content online today and answer your prospects' questions quickly and accurately in a way that keeps their attention, you need to start with a more open-minded and diverse strategy. As you execute on content, always ask, "Is there another way my user would want to consume this? How else can I be helpful to them in another format?"
And of course, when you do want to move past outsourcing the above content and bring in the big guns of working in complete digital alignment, give us a call.