Running a content marketing team is, in many ways, a lot like running a restaurant. A well-crafted campaign – or a content menu, if you will – requires thoughtful preparation to make sure your patrons are taken on a dining journey that leaves them satisfied, but not overindulged – perhaps even wishing they had just a little bit more.
However, a successful menu isn’t always easy to plan. The content marketing team is often pulled in several directions at once. Marketing materials may need to be updated for an upcoming conference. That same event probably has presentations your team needs to perfect. A deadline may be quickly approaching for a byline opportunity in a highly regarded industry publication.
But when you’re able to lead your team toward a well-executed campaign, your readers will be giving glowing reviews, and your content marketing team will be running like a gourmet kitchen.
Let’s dig into the main ingredients.
Tried and True Content Pairings
At times you’ll need to think outside the box and come up with a new way to pair content pieces together, but certain staples you can always rely on. Think of them like the signature dishes on a menu that never get old. They taste just as good whether you’re enjoying them for the first time or for the twentieth.
What’s great about these classic pairings is your team can leverage them at any time to spice up a campaign or find more ways to get your message across to your readers. Here are just a few of our favorite content menu pairings.
- Webinars + Blog posts + Infographic
Presentations often require a lot of work. Slide decks and speaker notes are just a few of the main ingredients. When it’s done, making it available as an on-demand webinar is a no-brainer. But why not take the best portions of it and write a blog (or even a series of blogs)?
An infographic may also lend itself nicely if the webinar covered best practices, expert tips, or steps participants can follow. Each of these pieces can (and should) link back to the on-demand version, if available, or to one of the other pieces in the campaign.
- Pitch + Byline + Blog post
Bylined articles are another challenging dish to prepare. The pressure is on to get it “just right.” What if it gets rejected? Not to worry. That byline doesn’t have to be tossed in the trash like burnt toast. Instead, you can bring it back to life. You can make it a slightly more promotional blog for your website, for example.
Or, you could be truly adventurous and write a blog version first. This can then serve as your pitch piece, which you can then adjust for external placement.
We’ve also had a lot of success with getting multiple byline placements for the same general theme or topic. You’d be amazed at how you can create something that reads like a whole new piece with some creativity, tweaking, and a little research to add new data points that really speak to the target audience. This approach is like getting three meals out of one dinner. Leftovers anyone?
- eBooks + Blog Series + Video
Perhaps the most classic of all content pairings revolves around ebooks and white papers. These heavier content pieces can be easily sliced and diced into a series of blogs that deliver the key points in nice bite-sized chunks.
Each blog is another chance to drive more traffic to the main course, and they’re easy to write because the meat of the piece already exists.
A short video clip is another great piece to include with an ebook campaign, whetting the viewer’s appetite to learn more.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
One lesson from the kitchen rings true in content marketing – prep work pays dividends. Regardless of which content menu you choose, your team will be able to take one idea or topic and turn it into several dishes that will keep your content calendar well-balanced.
Even if you need to come up with a new menu from time to time, sitting down with your team and hashing that out ahead of time will still be worth it. It’ll save you time in the content kitchen.
Reap the Rewards
So just what are the benefits of this approach?
- Increased productivity: Your content marketing team can generate new content faster by leveraging an existing piece. They’ll already know the topic or message well, so it will be easier to produce the related pieces.
- Increased engagement: Just like every diner at a restaurant has their preferences, each reader likes their content served up in different ways. A short blog may grab one person’s attention, while another is captured by a short video. Varying the ways in which you offer information up can increase engagement and downloads for gated resources.
- A full content calendar: It’s easier to keep your content calendar full when you can add multiple items to it at once. Spacing out the elements in a given campaign also keeps your calendar balanced in terms of topic and content type.
Whoever said you can’t have your cake and eat it too? It wasn’t us! If you need help planning your next content menu, we’re here – at your service.