Developing quality content for digital marketing requires a significant commitment. Collecting insights and information, conducting search engine optimization (SEO) research, writing, reviewing, revising, and proofreading all take time and concentration. Sunir Shah, President of the Cloud Software Association, says content development isn’t a process that you want to take lightly. “Quality matters with content. It can take up to 40 hours to create a really amazing content piece; that’s a full work week. If your role isn’t dedicated to creating content, this can stretch on for weeks or months before a content piece is fully developed,” he says.
You don’t have time to spare, however, when it comes to producing digital marketing content. To get an adequate return for your marketing investment, you need to produce content regularly. “For both humans and the search engines, fresh content creates a visible pulse to prove that your company is alive and kicking,” Shah comments.
So, content development appears to present a dilemma. You get the choice of devoting precious time and resources to content creation or not fueling your digital marketing efforts with adequate fresh assets to optimize results. But there is another option.
Collaborate to Produce Content
As you established your business and expanded your network, you formed valuable partnerships and relationships that you rely on for advice, industry news, education, tech and business support — and you may also be able to leverage those associations to help produce content. Some possibilities for ways to divide and conquer the work of creating content include:
- Blog sharing: You may discover that your partners are also looking for ways to increase the amount of fresh content on their websites. Consider adapting ideas from your blog, perhaps with a different keyword and a fresh angle, as a guest post for your partner and request that they do the same. These articles will take less time than starting from scratch — the research is already complete. Remember, you should create an original version for your partner, not duplicate content you’ve already used on your website. Duplicate copy will have little SEO value — and little value to readers if they’ve seen it somewhere before.
- Infographics: If one of your partners has conducted a survey or research with compelling findings, consider creating an infographic that highlights stats with value to your market. Credit and link to your partner’s research report landing page as a courtesy.
- Cite an e-book: Likewise, a partner may have produced an e-book that would interest your customers and prospects. Cite it and link to it in a blog, adding your own insights. Ask your partner to share your article on social media and make sure they have your resources to cite in the blogs they produce.
- Webinars and podcasts: Looking for ideas for audio content? Interview a partner. You can record a discussion at a tradeshow or over the phone. You can also use the interview as the basis for a blog or newsletter content. And remember to offer to return the favor if your partner needs a thought leader to interview for a webinar of their own.
- Partner for research: Surveys and studies often result in an abundance of ideas and insights that can become topics for numerous pieces of content. Share the cost of research and writing or contribute internal resources to the project.
Granted, content development will still take time, but in some cases, you could double the amount of fresh content for the effort it now takes you to produce one asset.
Build Strategic Content Development Partnerships
Shah points out that, depending on your objectives, you may want to approach different partners for content collaboration. “Integrated software partners are the most reliable and deep source of new content because, let’s face it, customers are interested in software because it solves a problem. It stands to reason because your integrated software partners allow you to solve bigger problems, you can write about bigger problems and bigger solutions.”
“If you’re going for reach, however, the best source of new content are experts in the industry who have built an audience,” Shah adds. “Getting them to post on your site not only builds cachet, but they will repost in their own channel and bring a new audience to your brand.”
He adds that in addition to building a bigger library of content for your website, collaborating with partners for content development has a higher purpose. “The fundamental reason to collaborate with partners is to get your brand in front of their audience in a trustworthy, contextual, meaningful way,” Shah comments. “It’s a great way to gain reach into the market and acquire new customers.”