A robust content hub, also known as a branded content blog, is the foundation for all your marketing efforts. Your brand’s content hub is where you can interact with your audience, establish thought leadership, and partner with prospective customers on their path to success.
Here, you’ll present a coherent and consistent experience chock full of content designed to help your audience, rather than content that directly promotes your products or services. Think of it as a direct line into the knowledge and leadership your company and executives possess. Ultimately, a content hub will optimize your lead generation, build trust with your audience, and help you stay relevant in your industry.
If you’re not convinced, consider the following stats:
- 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with sales.
- Companies with blogs experience 67% more leads than those without blogs.
- Inbound marketing leads have close rates 8 to 10 times higher than outbound marketing, these leads.
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is not having enough content or a consistent content output. A consistent publishing cadence is key to success.
You may be thinking to yourself, “I’ve got a small team. How can I consistently fill my site with new content?”. The answer is you don’t have to create it all yourself. Here are 5 tactics you can deploy to ensure you always have a steady stream of content at your fingertips.
Take a Big Rock Approach
To get the most ROI out of the time and dollars you invest into content production, take a big rock approach. In its most basic explanation, the big rock approach involves a few steps:
- Come up with a single, big-picture topic your brand has the authority to speak on.
- Create one major asset (whitepaper, e-book, microsite, guidebook, long-form video, etc.) that addresses all angles of your topic — this is your “big rock.”
- Break your “big rock” into subtopics, then create assets that go further in-depth on each topic (articles, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc.) — these are your “mid-rocks.”
- Find snippets of valuable content and explainer graphics in both your “big rock” and “mid-rocks” that can be sliced down into social media posts, client presentations, data visualizations, advertisements, etc.
When all is said and done, you’ll have only put the time and effort into creating one major piece, but have an entire range of consistent messaging and design assets to fuel all of your channels.
Want to make your big rock really go the distance? Try to make it “evergreen” so it stays relevant to your brand for years to come.
Related Resource: studioID’s Checklist for Distributing Big Rock Content
Leverage Your Internal Experts
You know the phrase, “there’s always someone smarter than you.” This rings true, especially when it comes to niche or dense topics. As a marketer, you’re an expert in your field, but your fellow co-workers have expertise of their own that can easily be tapped into. Leverage the skills and knowledge of your team members to create compelling content for your audience.
Here’s a few tips for doing this well:
- Get to know your team members and other experts across your organization. When you have a better sense of who does what, you can better tap into their niche lanes of expertise.
- Remember: a lot of experts often aren’t natural writers, and won’t chomp at the bit to add creative projects to their plate. Make it easy to contribute by conducting interviews, and offering dedicated freelancer and/or editing support at every step to take the burden off the participant.
- If you find yourself having trouble garnering interest, offer an incentive or a prize for team members who contribute.
As the content marketer, you can polish their content before releasing it to your audience. But an important note: don’t edit away the author’s voice. If they aren’t a perfect match to the tone and voice of your brand, that’s okay! Keeping some elements of their voice adds to the personality of your content and shows that it’s coming from more than one person.
Outsource Your Content to Industry Experts
Not all freelance writers are created equally. In fact, there are many who will simply take your topic, find an existing article, make a few changes and call it an original. The thought alone makes us shudder.
Instead, it’s critical to find true experts in your industry that can “talk the talk,” so to speak. Once you’ve secured writers you trust, you can start assigning them big rocks, articles, blog posts, social content, video scripting, and more.
Here’s studioID’s top tips for working with freelancers:
- Request their portfolio. And specifically ask for work samples produced for your niche industry. Any serious freelancer will readily provide you with a range of their past work so you can get a sense of whether you like their writing or not.
- Provide your brand guidelines and samples of standout existing brand content. By arming your freelancer with the keys to understanding your brand’s tone + voice, style, and what that looks like when done correctly, you’ll give them what they need to mirror it — saving you lots of rounds of editing and associated headaches.
- Start small. Start by giving your newly commissioned freelancer a few smaller projects to start off with (let’s say an article or two) versus assigning them tons of work off the bat. This way, you can see if you like what they produce for your brand — and if you like working with them in general — before you fully commit.
- Stick with them. Finding a great freelancer can be like finding a diamond in the rough. Once you find a freelancer you really like, keep using them again and again. Freelancers who do continual work for you start to understand your brand as any other team member would. They’re uniquely able to produce content that connects seamlessly to the past work you’ve produced together, resulting in pieces perfectly tuned to your strategy every time.
Struggling to find expert freelancers who know the ins and outs of your niche? We’ve got a whole pool of them.
Lean on Licensed Content
Another way to add relevant content to your site quickly and consistently is to license a pre-existing piece. This decades-old practice can scale and maintain your content marketing program with ease. Sharing content through licensing is a perfectly acceptable practice that publishers have used for decades. In fact, the Associated Press was founded on the concept of combining resources for content creation and sharing. This concept evolved into one of the largest content licensing organizations in the world. The internet boom of the nineties, when it seemed a new website was popping up every day, was helped largely by the practice of content licensing.
Related Resource: Licensed Content 2022: The Definitive Guide
There are some topics and articles that your brand should own with a unique voice. But there are other types of content that can be licensed and shared with your audience that lend a third-party perspective. This only serves to compliment your content strategy rather than detract from it.
Think of it this way: is it more convincing when one person tells you the same thing over and over, or when you hear the same sentiment from a range of different experts?
Licensed content allows you to back your brand thinking with authoritative voices so you don’t wind up with an echo chamber.
Here’s a look at what’s involved in getting started with licensed content:
- First, find content you think is a good fit for your site
- Then, contact the owner and ask for a license to republish their article
- Next, if you really like a specific publication’s content, see if you can enter into a longer-term licensing agreement. This will allow you to license a higher volume of content at a lower price point.
Looking for the easiest road to getting set up with a range of licensed content from expert publications at scale? Use a licensed content provider who has already done all the sourcing and negotiating for you.
Licensed content more than just lightens the load on internal content creators. It can contribute to your brand by:
- Providing relevant and up-to-date content to your audience. Industry news breaks quickly, and you can lean on licensed content to provide instant commentary while you work on a more expansive original piece.
- Elevating your brand voice by backing your values and perspectives with a broad range of expert voices
- Allowing you to publish new topics and ideas to test the waters with your audience
Related Resource: What is Licensed Content? What Can it Do For Your Marketing Program?
Refresh Old Articles
There’s nothing wrong with dusting off a top-performing piece you wrote a few years ago, updating it, and republishing it. After all, in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, a lot can change in a few short years. Maybe you wrote an article years ago about how to leverage the current tax laws. The laws and tips may be outdated, but the concept is not.
You can edit and update that article and replace it on your blog. This will take less time than writing from scratch. Perhaps you have an article that used keyword stuffing tactics and the writing quality suffered as a result. You could update that article abandoning the keyword tactic in favor of higher-quality writing. These are just examples of potential pieces that could be repurposed.
Tip: Run a content audit and look at your top 20 performing pieces of all time. See which are due for a quick refresh and get them updated on your site so they continue to stream visitors into your hub.
No matter which tactics you deploy, a steady drumbeat of content is the ultimate goal here. You need a consistent publishing cadence, but you don’t have to do it all alone.