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From the Trenches

5 Types of Content That Deserve More Attention

Mike Sweeney | July 18, 2013
Man considering options

Content marketing is not a marketing tactic. It’s not SEO. It’s not email marketing. It’s simply…bigger than all that. It’s an all-encompassing approach to how you handle your entire marketing mix, and a strategy that should be embraced by your whole company.

Better put….you can’t really do any type of marketing without some form of content. And every piece of content that comes out of your company should be viewed as a content marketing opportunity, not just a content creation opportunity.

But, if you ask someone who practices content marketing—even content marketing evangelists—about some of the most important types of content, here’s what you’re likely to hear. Blog posts. White papers. Videos. Email newsletters.

Those aren’t the easiest items to produce, at least not if your organization has embraced a quality over quantity mindset, but they are what many of us emphasize. Naturally, today’s content marketer spends his or her time working on those pieces deemed most critical. But what about the seemingly simple pieces of content…you know, the ones you tend to put your “C” writers and designers on? Some of those pieces of content may not have even made it onto your content radar yet.

Here are five types of content that deserve some A-level attention.

1. Job Listings

A quick search tells me that there are 100,000+ jobs listed on LinkedIn, Monster, and Career Builder, respectively. And talk to just about any recruiter, and he or she will tell you that the war for top-level talent is tougher than ever. While employers have become more demanding in terms of qualifications and trigger-shy on offers, the well-credentialed, skilled candidates will often have multiple options.

So are you really going to mail it in on your job listing?

Here’s why you need to pay more attention to these as content: candidates ACTUALLY READ THEM, especially the good candidates.

Tell stories about your company, instead of using boilerplate “About Us” material (I’m not saying that you shouldn’t keep your company messaging in mind as you tell those stories). Describe the ideal candidate, instead of hoping and praying that the right one can filter through all the industry jargon. Explain the support system in place to make the ideal candidate successful: talk about the training, the mentor, the client base, and the culture. And include keywords for this position so that when your “right” candidate searches on them, your position pops up.

2. Social Media Updates

The average author spends 1.65 hours conceptualizing and writing a blog post and .2 hours writing the social media updates to accompany that blog post.

OK, so I made those numbers up…but I don’t think I am that far off.

Here are some real numbers. Every day, people share 2.5 billion different items on Facebook – status updates, wall posts, photos, videos, comments. Do you think your, “Dude, I wrote another blog post about some stuff I do at work. Here’s the link…” status update is going to get much attention?

Bad LinkedIn Example

Good LinkedIn Example

Don’t get lazy about your social media sharing. Allison Novak has 7 tips to help turn your content into social media excellence.

3. One-to-One Emails

Remember when businesspeople still wrote printed letters, handwritten or typed? Poor formatting or typos were considered sloppy.

Poor formatting or typos in an email? Par for the course. Email has created a lot of bad habits.

Yet email remains your most frequent form of communication with colleagues, partners, clients, supervisors, and prospects. Get it right, people. Show that you care about the details.

And what about using that email to market your content? Send out an email to some select clients about a new blog post that applies to what they’re doing, or touting your new eBook. And make that email as remarkable as your content—and of course, error free!

4. Slide Decks

With an estimated 95 percent market share of the presentation software market, Microsoft PowerPoint claims over 500 million users, and we create more than 30 million new PowerPoint presentations every day. These visual presentations are already a critical asset for businesspeople in the boardroom – the birth and growth of SlideShare has made these presentations equally critical on the web.

If you knew your presentation would live on the web for years and years, accumulating visitors who would likely never get to actually hear your presentation, you’d spend a little extra time making it even more remarkable, wouldn’t you?   Since there is no audio associated with it, consider adding visual elements like charts or infographics—this will help users put the whole message together by themselves from the contents of your slide deck.

Remember, sloppy slides are just as bad as sloppy copy in an eBook or email newsletter. Errors will mask your remarkable content and you’ll blend in with all the other mediocre presentations out there in the content world. Be as critical about your visual presentation as you would be about a written piece.

5. Invoices

You know when your clients are forced to think about what you do for them? When they have to pay you.

Your invoices should be an extension of all your other branding and content marketing efforts – same look and feel, same logo, same tag line, same general tone. Much like other forms of content, the invoices should be accurate, and include any necessary details, no errors, and a way to contact you if your client wants to discuss details with you.

Consider taking it to another level…what about including a testimonial on each invoice? Or referencing a list of services, even if it’s a link back to your website? Or this may be the place to ask for feedback on your services via a call to action for a client survey.

And by all means, if you do nothing else, please make sure your invoice says “thank you” in one way or another.

If there’s a common thread across these five pieces, it’s that content marketing touches everything. Job listings generally fall under the HR umbrella, but they involve content marketing. Slide decks are often delivered via a salesperson or team, but they involve content marketing. Invoices sit inside the accounting/finance department, but they involve content marketing.

Are you going to let a title or a department silo limit the impact of your content? Spread the message within your organization that almost everything that can be distributed is content and should be considered marketing. Think about the audience for each piece, weave in your company’s message, and be conscious of what you can do to make that piece of content remarkable.

For more tips about how an all-encompassing approach to content marketing can accelerate business growth, download our eBook, “How to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing.”

Related Resources

About Mike Sweeney:

As Right Source’s co-founder and CEO, Mike Sweeney creates, plans, and implements our vision, mission, culture, and strategic direction as well as serving as an advisor to our clients. Mike received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing from the University of Notre Dame and has more than 20 years of experience in B2B marketing strategy, including digital, content, and marketing technology. You can find Mike on Twitter and LinkedIn, or read his other posts.