When I married my wife she gave me A LOT of fashion advice. I needed it too. I was a mess! Just look at this picture and you’ll see what I mean. The best advice she gave me was to focus on buying “basics”. Having these go-to items in my closet gives every outfit a solid foundation.
Just like every woman needs that one little black dress, and every guy needs a good dark suit, we all need a piece of content that is basic and timeless.
These basics consisted of timeless looks: lights and darks, standard colors and clothing without much patterning or embellishment. And just like every woman needs that one little black dress, and every guy needs a good dark suit, we all need a piece of content that is basic and timeless. Something we can make use of in many ways.
Musicians call it an “old standby” and that’s what this basic content is for entrepreneurs and marketing executives. It’s something we can pull out when we get writer’s block. It’s something we can repurpose across multiple channels to capture our prospect’s attention in different ways. It’s something we can use as the foundation for our platform. It’s something we can add sizzle to and keep it fresh.
Most often, a basic starts off as 500 – 1,500 word document. From there, it can become a blog post, a video series, a PowerPoint presentation and more.
Here are some tips for crafting a great “Basic”:
- Content should be useful and relevant to approximately 80% of your audience.
- Content should be relatively “timeless” – make sure what you’re saying isn’t fad advice, time-sensitive or news.
- Tips, advice and facts work best.
- Lists are your friend. People love lists because they can digest the info faster. Lists also allow you to break out your content into smaller bits for things like videos or PowerPoint slides.
- Write this content in a conversational tone. It will make it easier when it comes to video and audio specific channels.
Last year I created a piece of content that turned into a “basic” for me. It was called “7 Mistakes to Avoid in Membership Marketing”. It was tailored to a specific niche (private country clubs), but it was basic advice that applied to any brand, so I was able to re-purpose it. Here’s how I used that basic:
- Blog – This is where it started and its original use. This was great for SEO. It had keywords specific to my audience built right in! Here’s the post.
- Newsletter– I turned the same content into an email newsletter for my contacts in the club industry.
- SlideShare – I created a short PowerPoint and posted it on slideshare.com for more SEO juice and exposure. I use that SlideShare in my LinkedIn profile too. Here’s the presentation. SlideShare gets great visibility in search results and if you’re not using it, I suggest you start.
- Video Series – I turned every tip into a 1 minute video and posted to YouTube for even better SEO and reach. Video content is king these days as you probably know. Here’s the series.
- Social Media – I post each tip on my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ along with a call to action frequently. Now I always have something to say even when I get writer’s block.
- Branded Landing Page– I gave a seminar to an industry association and made a landing page specific to them with my 7 Tips video series and other free gifts. It was my call to action at the end of the presentation. Here’s the page.
- Syndication – I substituted the word “club” for “brand” and the word “member” for “customer” and guest-posted on another blog. In that way, I provided fresh content and even more links and SEO juice began flowing to my site. Here’s the syndicated post.
- Book – That article ended up becoming a chapter in my book, Moving Targets. Here’s the book.
- Podcast – I plan on stripping the audio from the videos and creating 7 short podcast episodes to post on iTunes and Stitcher.
- Infographic – Another thing I plan to do is create an infographic based on my 7 Mistakes.
My challenge to you: Create one piece of “basic” content this month. This is something 80% of your customers would enjoy and learn from. Start off writing it for a blog post. A list of tips or mistakes is a good starting place if you’re out of ideas. Force yourself to write and give yourself a deadline. Doing this work now will make your content creation so much easier, I promise.