What do your content and Rhianna have in common?
They are both perfectly primed for a good mashup.
Before you roll your eyes and think I'm reaching for an analogy to make myself and our company sound super cool, hear me out. (And we are BOTH super cool for the record.)
Love or hate the music of today, but one of the most prevalent things you will hear on most radio stations is the same song remixed seven different ways. There's the original, a techno version, an acoustic version, a mashup, and the list goes on. Believe it or not, the same exact phenomenon should exist in your content marketing. Don't believe me?
Let's talk about the good old white paper. Historically, this was a text heavy, super detailed and technical document reserved for people with engineering degrees or CTO after their name. They have definitely evolved and become a little more mainstream (like that original song) appealing to audiences that maybe would not have taken a second look (because they don't like techno music). And that's just the beginning! I'm taking my analogy a little further so stay with me.
What if you took that white paper (original song) and repurposed it into other content marketing tools? Just like a DJ. A ridiculously cool DJ who wears sunglasses at night and doesn't even go on until after three opening acts. A DJ who knows the crowd so well that, with a single beat, can have the entire crowd on their feet.
Your content is analogous to that great beat. So mix it, create mashups, and utilize different channels to get the right message to the right audience, in the format they want to receive it. Your content is the music and your website and everything attached to it are your turntables. Catch my drift?
Back to that white paper. It's not in fact JUST a white paper -- it's way more than that if you mix it & mash it up like a great DJ:
- Create a standard, traditional white paper.
- Make an online version, allowing visitors to navigate through & jump around to the content that's most interesting to them.
- Take some of the white paper content and turn it into an interactive assessment where visitors can score themselves and see a personalized set of recommendations.
- Create a "test your subject matter knowledge" quiz based on the white paper content.
- Pare back the heavy content of the white paper, synthesize your main points into an interactive presentation that uses page flow or parallax scrolling for a modern user experience.
Writing, designing and distributing a white paper is a lot of work, isn't it? Leverage that investment. Mix the hell out of it! The more mixing you do, the more you increase your chances of your content being seen, understood, and shared.
There are a bazillion genres of music and radio stations catering to them, but nobody is tuned into every single one. The same rule applies to the content you create. Not all content is for all audiences or even all devices for that matter, and that's ok!
George Musi wrote an article for Wharton's Future of Advertising Program, and he hit the nail on the head with one sentence.
"The goal, of course, is to understand the customer so well that a meaningful relationship can be established across devices, channels, time, and touch points."
When a DJ is spinning, does he play the same song over and over and over? No! If he did, he'd clear the dance floor and you'd hear crickets. He scans his audience and changes things up depending on the venue and the crowd. He capitalizes on the familiarity of a great popular song, but creates variations by adding a cool hook, a different tempo, a collaboration with another song.
Dan Kimball, CMO of Thismoment, talks about the process using his own DJ analogy, and it's perfect!
"The DJ finds great music from a library of songs and artists. He curates his collection, and mixes different playlists for different situations. He shares his playlist with his audience, allowing them to enjoy the music. The DJ feels the mood of the dance floor, and plays music that gets the audience even more fired up. It's an infectious cycle of content and engagement. And you could find three different people who might do all of them a completely different way."
Here's the moral of the story -- be the best (content) DJ you can be. If you want people to enjoy and engage in the experiences you are providing, your presentation of content needs to be appealing to them - like that song that makes you grab your friends and get on the dance floor immediately. It must be accessible across a wide variety of formats in a way that makes a wide range of users feel connected to it. Don't underestimate this connection component. You see, in many ways technology has lessened and even removed many chances for personal interaction. Interactive, participatory content experiences slide those person touch points back in.
So go drop a mad beat on your audiences now, get their feet tapping, and get them up on that dance floor.
Take a look at how you can take a static white paper and transform it into a interactive and engaging white paper. Check out our Marketing Apps for Landing Pages interactive white paper.