3 ways to keep generating great content

It’s difficult to consistently churn out blog posts or come up with new ideas for podcasts. Try these approaches to generate new material or repurpose fan favorites.

The content marketing gold rush is still on, but many companies are finding it hard to ensure a steady flow of content.

That’s why the web is littered with abandoned blogs, empty Facebook pages and fallow Snapchat accounts.

Follow these planning tips to produce great content consistently:

1. Think “Thanksgiving turkey.” Ryan Petersen, senior manager of content marketing at CDW, equates content production to roasting a Thanksgiving turkey. It’s a concept his team uses to make the process more manageable.

“The holiday bird is the star of the show on Thanksgiving,” he explains. “It’s your big piece of content like a webinar or white paper that you can repurpose later. That way, it has a lifecycle beyond Thanksgiving—you can use pieces as leftovers to create different dishes.”

A webinar, for example, could be carved up into a series of podcasts or Slideshare presentations. A white paper could be diced into smaller blog posts.

Register for PR Daily’s June 8 “Content Strategy Virtual Summit” for more content planning, creation and distribution tips from Sarah Luden (Dell), Ryan Petersen (CDW), Robin Lord and Kelly Ahern (Cape Cod Healthcare).

2. Take inventory. Content flow is hindered when teams waste precious time duplicating unsuccessful content, Petersen says.

“The solution is a content inventory,” he says. “It helps you understand what assets you have on hand. It’s your recipe for making the Thanksgiving turkey.”

The process doesn’t have to be as complex as a full-blown content audit.

“Simply start by creating a spreadsheet of your content assets,” Petersen says. “Then gather data from your content management system telling you which pieces performed best and which topics your audience connected with most.”

Ranking the results will tell you which content types and topics to keep and which to remove.

3. Find your industry’s Super Bowl. Conferences can be great content generators.

We cover most of our industry events like journalists,” Petersen says. “Attending staff will gather interviews, shoot video and post on social media in real-time. We’ll also use the interviews and video later for follow-up pieces.”

His advice is to identify what he calls your industry’s Super Bowl. “Pick the conference with the most attendees and highest-profile speakers,” Petersen says. “Then budget to send as many people from your team as possible.”

His team, for example, regularly attends the annual ISTE Conference and Expo, which attracts over 18,000 attendees. Team members also routinely attend Cisco Live.

“We send crews to interview people,” Petersen says, “but we also meet with speakers and other influencers to get them to contribute to our site in the future. This gives us a longer content life cycle and helps ensure that we have content to fill the pipeline later.”

Brian Pittman is a Ragan Communications consultant and webinar manager for PR Daily’s PR University. Sarah Luden (Dell), Ryan Petersen (CDW), Robin Lord and Kelly Ahern (Cape Cod Healthcare) will share more content marketing lessons in PR University’s June 8 three-hour webinar training workshop, “Content Strategy Virtual Summit: Reinvent Your Content Plans to Reignite Results.”

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