piggy bank
PHOTO: Fabian Blank

If you didn’t lose some — or all — of your budget, personnel or even your own job during this past year of crazy, consider yourself lucky. One thing we often hear in marketing is “do more with less!” 2020 epitomized that saying 10 times over for many of us.

Now that we’re coming out of the tunnel, well, things aren’t much better. Sure, the economy is repairing itself, but it’s not like you (virtually) went into the office and found a bag of money on your desk. And even though you’ve lost momentum, reduced resources and decimated your budget, expectations are even higher as we look at 2021. You might even be expected to make up for any loss from last year, let alone continue to grow and scale this year.

What is a marketing professional to do? What would Christina do?

Let the customer journey guide you — and the rest of the company — on where to focus, particularly when it comes to content. In fact, the customer journey can inform the content strategy to make it more efficient, less expensive and repeatable while still being impactful and effective.

So what does that look like?

1. Leverage the Customer Journey for a Content Audit

Don’t spend too much time, but look at the content you have already created and how it aligns to the customer and buyer’s journey. Which assets were successful? Which helped close deals, move prospects more quickly through the nurture process, allowed your prospects to self-educate, and then make an informed decision? Was it an ebook? A webinar? A customer showcase? Don’t forget the customer success part of the journey. Did advanced trainings help customers onboard or increase adoption and usage? These are the content pieces you want to focus on, recycle and amplify.

Related Article: Getting Started With a Customer Experience Audit

2. Repackage and Repurpose Previously Successful Assets

No need to create a ton of new content just yet. Take what you already know to have been successful and push it back out there. In some cases, you can use it as is. But in other cases you may need to throw a new wrapper on it. I like to use the 80/20 rule. Keep at least 80% of what you already have, but then possibly update the other 20% with new images, titles, data, customer stats, stories and quotes.

For example, if you had an ebook that was successful in generating quality leads, change the title a bit, or even call it new and improved, and get it back out there. These are strategies for effectively repackaging and repurposing content with an 80/20 rule that is not driven by desperation or budget cuts, but by an intimate understanding of what resonates with your customers on their journeys.

3. Look for Opportunities to Extend the Life of Your Content

Incorporate what I call an extensibility strategy into your content and campaign planning. We all know how much effort goes into creating a piece of content or a program. Why not continue to leverage what you have already created, and extend its life exponentially? Let’s say you produced a webinar. Now take that webinar, transcribe it and turn it into a guide. Take that guide and cut it up into 10 tips and tricks, and turn those into blog posts. Leverage your channels (social media, email, website, community and newsletters, etc.) to push out this content and promote it. And on and on. What was once one piece of content to generate leads and help nurture them is now over 100 pieces of content, posts and opportunities to share along the customer journey.

Related Article: Is Your Business Producing Wasted Content?

4. Make Repurposing Content Integral to Your Content Strategy

If you think about how every piece of content you create or develop aligns with your overall strategy and goals, and then map it to your customer journey, you will not only create meaningful content and programs, you will reduce organizational waste. I once worked for a company that had over 30,000 pieces of content. Of that, only 2% was ever used more than once. Doing a quick back-of-the-napkin calculation, that equated to one FTE for 11 years creating content that no one ever saw. What a shame. Don’t do that.

As you continue to thrive in 2021, even with your piddly budget, remember to consider how to be most effective with your content and programs by aligning them directly to your customer journey and go-to-market strategy.