One of the biggest concerns I hear when it comes to content is “But we don’t know what to put out there.”
I get it. When you’re involved in the day to day tasks of running your business, it’s tough to think of creating content.
Fortunately, it’s likely you already have good things going on that you can re-purpose, re-use or recycle to make great content. OR, alternatively, you can add something simple to your daily routine that turns into regular content.
But first, allow me to give you a little inspiration.
You might have heard of a little TV hit called Glee, a weekly show about misfit high school students finding their place in the world through music. Maybe you’re a “Gleek” or maybe you think the show is the silliest thing this side of Fonzie jumping the shark, but there’s no denying that this show set a new precedent in cross-channel content marketing.
In fact, ratings aside (which were great the first few seasons), this show set records with singles, albums and even live tours. For instance:
- The first ever single released by the cast, “Don’t Stop Believin’” received platinum status with over one million sold
- The cast overtook Elvis Presley as the fastest act ever to have 20 top 40 hits in just 57 weeks (Elvis was 88)
- By 2011, just two years after the show aired, they had over 36 million digital single sales worldwide
- By 2011, they had 11 million album sales worldwide
- The show has several reality spinoffs, DVD and Blu-Ray releases, an iPad app and karaoke games for Wii
- In 2011, a live tour kicked off…and of course, it wasn’t just a live tour. A concert film based on the tour was released shortly after the tour ended
- The show has hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide who now create content about the show, often uploading tributes, songs and other manifestations of their fandom to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
- And how’s this for power? The casts’ cover of Rihanna’s “Take a Bow” actually increased sales of Rihanna’s original single by 189%
Glee also inspired the mega-hits of Nashville and Empire, country and hip-hop nighttime soap operas, respectively. These shows also release albums and merchandise based on the music written and performed for the show. Nashville, now in its third season, has released TEN albums, the first of which reached number one on US charts.
Now, I’m not saying you need to release an album for your business (though that could be fun!).
What I am saying is that it’s likely that you’re already doing things for your business that could easily translate to content you can use to market yourself (and maybe even generate more revenue). Glee didn’t create “extra” music to give to the masses…they already had it within the premise of the show; they just figured out new ways to distribute it.
Here are a few ideas to create content from the regular things you do for your business:
- Do you release a newsletter? Each news item could be re-used as a mini blog post, told as a quick 60 second update to an iPhone video recorder, or recorded as part of a podcast series.
- Do you often answer the same questions for customers over and over? Create an infographic with great visual answers, start a helpful podcast that discusses and educates people on your industry, or start a “Pro Tips” section on your website.
- Do you have a dynamic and engaging individual in your company who loves working for you? Give this individual freedom and creative space to create short videos, take photos and post to your Social channels for you, about you!
- Does your company have a rich history, complete with old photos or videos left sitting in a box or lonely hard drive? Scan photos and release them regularly to your Facebook page or Instagram account with the hashtag #tbt to give customers a glimpse of all the great things that make you, YOU. It’s especially fun if you work in a technical field and you can show how far you’ve come!
- Does your company have a process you do every day? Document this process every day or week with a photo, then show the collage one month, six months or a year later!
- Do you have a customer or two that just LOVES what you do? Invite this individual to create content for you, either by showing off how your product or service works, or giving a testimonial.
- Do you have a series of pdfs or articles about a certain subject in your industry? Combine and edit this information as a free digital whitepaper that prospects can download in exchange for an email address.
- Do you have a core group of very loyal customers who buy your product regularly? Consider creating a membership club where these customers get “insider access” to special prices, exclusive products, and of course, short videos, articles or podcast episodes that talk about how you created something special for them.
- Do you have a salesperson or leader within your company who is especially knowledgeable about your products, trends in the industry, or common problems? Record a weekly podcast where this individual discusses a topic for 15-20 minutes. Upload to Soundcloud, Stitcher or iTunes at the same time every week and invite customers and prospects to listen and share.
- Does your company work with the same vendors time and time again? Profile your vendors on video or on your blog, ask them to explain why they love your working relationship, and post to your respective Social channels.
I’m sure there are many more regular things that you’re already doing in your business that can be converted to content. Don’t overthink! When it comes to content, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel. Nashville has now released two albums of songs by a particular cast member…after those songs already appeared on another album.
It just goes to show you, sometimes content is just about showcasing something you’ve already done in a new and interesting way. So what are YOU already doing?