4KickEllen Valentine from Silverpop provides useful tips on her company’s blog on how content could get optimized this year. Emphasizing that “strong, shareworthy content is more important than ever, helping move prospective customers through the buying process or bringing in net new leads”, she recommends a systematic content audit as a strategic step. “This will help your sales team get off to a strong start, fuel strong marketing automation campaigns, encourage reuse of some of your best pieces and give you a guide for what content gaps you may need to fill”, she states, suggesting further to consider the following five tips:

1. Inventory your content

Measuring content investment got easier today, as efficient processes and the right technology are generally in place. Just start to inventory every blog post, spec sheet, white paper, video, infographic, etc. Silverpop suggests, considering when the piece of work was launched and for which intended target audience. And it’s great if you have insights into the content consumption such as downloads and clicks and when it is consumed. Once you finished your content audit, create a simple-to-use spreadsheet or document to share with your sales team that will be thankful for the resources that help them to provide the right content to the right individuals at the best point in the sales cycle.

2. Determine if you need a content tune-up

Some content does have a limited shelf life, and once you’ve passed a milestone, it becomes irrelevant or no longer useful. If that’s the case, then that piece can be retired. Often, however, content items just need to be adapted or updated. This usually can be accomplished with minimal cost and might not even require the involvement of the content creator!

3. Put your content into a framework

Develop a grid of your various stages in the buying cycle (your spreadsheet rows) and all your buyer personas or content consumers (your spreadsheet columns). Then, place all your content into the framework where it makes the most sense. For each content piece, color-code the primary delivery vehicle for the content — for example, website, sales, social media or event follow-ups. This should allow you to identify gaps where you might need additional content, or maybe where you’ve overdone it!

4. Consider new formats

Once you go through the effort and expense to create a substantial content piece, think about breaking that content up into “snackable” smaller pieces that leverage a different format. For example, can you take the statistics from a research paper and turn that into an eye-catching infographic? Or, can you have the paper author introduce the piece in a video? The more formats you employ, the more likely you’ll get engagement – and the more likely it is that your message will stick.

5. Mind the gaps

According to Silverpop, 2014 is the year to “mind the gap” in your content framework where you have no content or your pieces are not in the right format to be attractive to the right audience. Invest the budget and a resource to produce some fantastic pieces, the expert advises.

So, what’s holding you back from taking your content inventory and using a framework to get organized? “By considering new formats and filling in the gaps, you will be creating fuel for your marketing automation initiatives for 2014 and beyond”, Ellen Valentine concludes. (Source: Silverpop)

By MediaBUZZ