Get More Done in Less Time: How to Achieve Content Efficiency Mastery

April 7, 2015 Lena Prickett

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“Busy.” I don’t think I’ve met a content marketer who wouldn’t describe their working lives this way – and likely their lives outside of work, too.

We all have a ton to do, and more that we wish we could do “if we had the time.” From blogging to content repurposing to social media, there’s always “just one more thing” we could do/say/ask/contribute.

It’s not surprising, then, that a MarketingProfs and CMI survey found that 55% of B2B content marketers feel “producing enough content” is their top challenge. How can we produce enough content to feed the beast? Where will we find the time?

Smaller companies (10-99 employees) particularly struggle with finding enough time to create content, and with producing enough content in the time they have. Companies with more than 1,000 employees struggle to create the kind of content that engages.

So B2B marketers have all kinds of challenges related to content. I read through that B2B content marketing report, noting down challenge after challenge, and wondered how I could help other marketers with these truly daunting obstacles.

After all, I’m also a B2B marketer – and I face these same challenges every day. We all do. Even the most successful content marketers out there are under pressure to do more, better, faster.

The world is moving fast. We have to be efficient to keep up. By efficient, I mean the literal definition: “achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.”

If we can be more efficient as content marketers, some of the challenges I cited earlier start to fall away.

The very tip-top challenge for all B2B content marketers is “lack of time.” 69% of marketers feel constrained by the hours in a day. We’re all given just 24 short hours; the only way to get more done in those hours is to be more efficient.

That’s why I want to share 5 ways content marketers can eke a little bit more efficiency out of their content program. Ready to get started? I’ll keep it quick – I know you’re busy.

1. Create an eBook from a collection of blog posts

This tactic goes both ways, and is perhaps more commonly done as a long-form asset broken out into blog posts. But if you’re coming into a new position where a ton of blog content has already been created, it might make sense for you to explore pulling them together into a net new asset.

Here, you’ll look for thematic alignment across the posts to get started. You may need to rewrite the posts a little (or add a chapter or two) to fully flesh out your eBook. Then craft a simple intro and conclusion and wrap it all up.

Voila! You now have a brand new long-form asset that only took you a few hours to pull together.

2. Offer a benchmarking test alongside a research report

If your company has invested in creating a long-form research report, you’re perfectly placed to stretch that investment by developing a slew of related content. My favorite is a benchmarking test that gets users up close and personal with the data.

Benchmarking tests answer questions like “What does this data mean for my company?” and “Am I on the right track?” Answering these questions for your audience positions you as a trusted advisor who solves problems – well on your way to being a considered vendor.

As an example, RSA added interactivity to an infographic to give their users the chance to benchmark their incident response systems. Each question comes after a section of the infographic detailing RSA’s findings in different categories. At the end, users are bucketed into categories based on their answers and offered follow-up content to learn more about RSA and incident response.

For your own report, break out the findings into low, middle, and high performers. Then ask questions around the three or four key findings that are of greatest interest to your audience. Offer up the answers alongside related assets to keep your users engaged.

3. Turn a Twitter chat into a SlideShare

If your company is active on social media, you might have hosted a Twitter chat. Take all that great user generated content and turn around an aggregated asset.

I recently saw CMI execute this tactic to perfection. They hosted a Twitter chat around the theme of increasing content marketing productivity (rather apropos for this post, I think) and collected the responses into a 21-step handbook to content efficiency, posted to SlideShare. This simple approach to curating user generated content is high value for the CMI audience – real tips from real marketers! – but it also provides visibility to everyone who contributed, building their brand affinity toward CMI.

4. Build an ROI calculator based on customer feedback

This one might seem like a stretch, but hear me out. Blackbaud, a customer we love to talk about around the SnapApp office, had collected a boatload of amazing customer feedback on their Blackbaud University training program.

One customer raved that the training helped save 20 minutes every time they uploaded a batch of data. That time could really add up – so Blackbaud decided to do the math. They created a “Save 20 Minutes” calculator to show potential customers what kind of return they could see after training. Alongside related assets, this calculator helped pushed 200 qualified leads to sales – sounds like saving time was a real motivator.

5. Use existing image assets to create a quiz

Unique image assets are among the most time-consuming pieces of content to produce. Why not get more mileage out of them by repackaging them into another form of content?

My team created a long-form guide to holiday marketing with a ton of visual assets and photography. We wanted something bite-sized to entice new prospects to come download the longer asset, so we decided to create a quiz. Since we already had all the image assets from our guide, putting the quiz together was a snap!

Conclusion

There you have it – 5 ways to reuse and recycle your content to be more efficient. Creating more content doesn’t always mean coming up with a new idea. It can be about packaging and positioning your content differently for different buyers and different stages in the buyer’s journey. Try one of these techniques and watch your content output double!

Use data to fuel your content marketing strategy. Learn how in our free eBook.

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About the Author

Lena Prickett

Lena Prickett is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at SnapApp, an interactive content creation platform based in the Boston area. She's responsible for all things content at SnapApp, from blog posts to interactive infographics, and is an evangelist for helping marketers create content that resonates with their audience.

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