Success Story Margaret DonnellyWhether you’re a start-up trying to gain as much traction as you can with scarce resources and a tight budget or a large company with a full marketing staff, content development is a challenge. It seems like no matter what you do, you are always short on resources, and creating fresh content seems like a daunting task. But what if you could invest in one piece and have it produce loads of content for months to come?

That’s Content Leverage. One piece of content—a short white paper, for instance—can become the cornerstone of your blog, your social media sharing, your email marketing and your lead generation for months to come. The trick is to plan the content to have easy hooks that enable you to share and leverage content pieces. That way, you have tons of topics to write about, tidbits to share, and a downloadable piece for email and PPC marketing campaigns and web lead generation.

How do you create such a masterpiece of marketing? It’s not difficult. Here are a few tips on crafting your cornerstone piece.

  1. Formulate your piece with a number of distinct points. For instance, for a social media marketer, a white paper on “Ten Techniques to Master Facebook Marketing” would provide ten topical segments to use as topics for blog posts.
  2. Within each topical segment, have at least one highlight that provides a quotable tip, statistic or piece of intelligence. This highlight can be easily turned into simple graphics (hint: platforms like Canva are free and easy to use) or used as pieces of your larger graphic (see Illustrate, below). These highlights become sharable information that not only helps organic growth of your social media presence but also drives people to seek and download the larger content piece. And, of course, convert into a lead!
  3. While tips and tricks are great, add details that instruct your ‘buyer’ on how to apply the principles you’ve detailed in your paper. Then you can utilize the instructions as “learn more on how to apply this” as link bait to get someone to download your paper.
  4. If at all possible, create a companion infographic that summarizes the findings of your paper. Again, this is all link/lead bait!

Let’s say you’ve created the “Ten Techniques” white paper. So how do you turn it into months of content?

  • Create ten (or more) blog posts. Each blog post becomes a deeper dive into each point. If there’s a lot to a specific point, turn it into multiple posts. Each post should point back to the original paper for download.
  • Create one or more highlight graphics or quotes for each blog post. These now become your social shares for the posts and for re-use at a later date. Use these across your social networks. Make sure that there’s a graphical element even if it’s only a quote.
  • Each blog post now becomes an item in your email newsletter. And of course, this leads to downloads of the paper…
  • The paper now becomes an email marketing campaign for your current and new leads (other than those who have already downloaded the paper).
  • The paper also can be used in various PPC/advertising campaigns, either using one of the segments or highlights as a lead.

Wow. One paper now has blown up to a huge source of content and leads. Now that’s what I call leverage!

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