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Cannibalizing Content: Getting 10 Pieces for the Price of One

For any marketing campaign, tailoring content to suit a variety of marketing channels can increase the odds for engagement.

One of the upsides to the many, often confusing content-distribution options available to marketers today is the ability to repurpose and re-use one piece of brand content multiple times, reducing a company’s marketing communications expense while increasing its consumer touches.
For example, a food company might post an article on healthy snacking on its blog. It can then tease its Facebook readers with one or two interesting facts from the article, making the Facebook page more interesting and content-rich while driving visitors to the company blog. A well-written tweet about the article can circulate beyond the marketer’s owned and operated sites, bringing in new visitors.
Video that’s shot for a TV commercial can be posted to a company blog, serialized on a YouTube channel and posted to Vine. It can then be tweeted and referenced on Facebook, with some of the video script used in an email blast or customer newsletter. Knowing in advance that you’re going to use this video across different distribution channels will remind you to generate extra shots or add a few more models (e.g. younger males and couples with kids) to represent your different target customers.

Brand content delivery channels

Consider the many ways you can use the same content. Your options include:

  • Facebook
  • social channelsTwitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Company blog
  • Email blasts
  • Podcasts
  • Tumblr
  • Vine
  • Instagram
  • Flickr
  • Native advertising
  • Reddit
  • Internal customer and vendor newsletters
  • Speeches and presentations
  • Newspapers and magazines and external blogs and newsletters. In fact, in some cases, you can donate content to editorial-hungry media, which will be glad to have expert content. Be careful of posting duplicate content on the Internet, however, if Google search rankings are important to your own websites and blogs.

Don’t make it an afterthought

Simply re-posting or re-running a piece of content created for delivery on one channel across many others isn’t a smart strategy. Facebook users come or different reasons than users of YouTube or Vine. The audiences for your various content-delivery channels aren’t necessarily the same, either.
And the “voice” you must use for maximum effectiveness when messaging via one channel won’t be the same for another channel. Your voice should be “contextually relevant” for each channel, according to integrated marketing expert Heidi Cohen.

Learn each channel

Don’t focus on understanding only one or two main types of brand content channels and then use the same content over and over on other channels. Hire or appoint someone at your company to learn about the benefits of each content distribution options and how to best use them. Understand why each channel was created, who the users are, how they differ from each other and what the content and voice differences are for each.
Create a separate strategy for each secondary content channel, just as you would your main channels. You don’t need to create a white paper on how to use Instagram, but you should at least write a short summary that explains why you’re using it and how.
Remember, when you’re creating content, your early discussions should include how your content will work differently on each delivery channel you plan on using.

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