Content Pre-Use…A Better Version of Content Reuse
Apr 18, 2016
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) goes into some serious detail about content reuse, and it’s many varied forms. From the idea of COPE — Create Once, Publish Everywhere — on down to the idea of tagging content and using it for automated personalization on web experiences.
In short: Content reuse is good. It can help you get your valuable content in front of more of the right audience’s eyes…and make it easier for them to share…and drive more inbound leads. It’s a powerful tool in the content marketers toolkit.
But I’d like to propose some alternative thinking to content reuse. It’s the idea — the approach — of Content Pre-Use.
I believe content Pre-Use can take reuse efforts to another level, simply by thinking proactively about how different facets of the story you want to tell may attract different audiences in different channels before you start creating “the piece.” As illustrated in the graphic below it’s a twist from…
Creating one piece and finding ways to push all or part of that piece of content to all your varied channels.
Capturing enough information to create unique, related pieces of content (a connected, omni-channel story) to all of your varied channels.
Yes, there are benefits to content reuse that may flex a bit with this mindset. The reduced cost of design, development, production, etc. that come with a COPE reuse may not be as realized… but there are still cost efficiencies with pre-use thinking. And the time to approve content created in the pre-use methodology may increase over that of reuse methodology (though only ever so slightly with the right process in place).
But what you’ll overcome is well worth it – as you’ll completely avoid repetitive-content fatigue. (Believe me, it’s real…and you’ve probably had it after registering for and downloading an eBook only to find everything in there was already revealed within the blog post you read before registering.) In place of that, you’ll have a storyline that unfolds with each successive piece of content you encounter…built purpose-specific for the channel (rather than forcing content into new containers)…continually renewing the engagement you have with your audience…pulling them further into your tractorbeam of inbound lead utopia!
Alright, that last part might be going a bit too far. But you get the point.
Try this pre-use approach just once and I think you’ll find it feels good and drives more engagement. All you have to do is this: Head into your research and capture phase with the idea that you’re creating multiple stories to support one big storyline (rather than creating one piece of content to drive one purpose). And you’ll find plenty of mini-stories that are infinitely more valuable out in the world on their own rather than rotting on the cutting room floor because they didn’t make “the piece.”
And, once you try this approach out, please let me know how it goes! Good or bad. What worked? What didn’t? Let’s discuss on Twitter: @johnvlane.
Watching TV as a kid, I used to run to the bathroom during the shows so I could make it back for the commercials. Those days launched me down a path that included layout and writing for the college paper; communications strategy for political campaigns; marketing strategy and graphic design for Gensler (a global design and architecture firm); and the implementation of new programming, animation and design techniques for Centerline.
Today I specialize in content marketing strategy and building digital deliverables to execute those strategies. But it’s about more than just creating killer digital content. At Centerline, we help clients succeed in the digital marketplace using a three-pronged approach: strategic (message creation, brand strategy), tactical (design, development), and analytical (measurement and adaptation). This experience-tested approach allows me to build campaigns that are both well-designed and effective for clients like IBM, GE and National Instruments.