On 27th July 2010, I was sat in the roof of a cute little Tudor building in the centre of Newbury. I remember it was a Tuesday because that’s the day we sent all the client press releases to the media. We weren’t lucky enough to have air conditioning so the office was always stuffy; we only had a little sash window to allow fresh, cool air in.

Sitting at my desk with a cup of tea, I opened my laptop and saw the most exciting email waiting in my inbox. It was from the National Business Awards, saying that the marketing campaign I’d run for my client, a reseller of fuel cell technology, had reached the finals.

With a tingle running down my spine and a smile on my face, it was in that moment that I understood the power of something I’m now dubbing ‘the content tilt’.

I thought everyone knew about this concept.

I was wrong.

The key to successful content

Turning freelance in 2015 after the birth of my first son, Jacob, I found myself working with 8 different marketing agencies. None were using the technique.

When planning campaigns with their clients, all were advocating that content needed to be ‘new’ if it was to be successful in generating inbound leads.

That’s rubbish.

Successful content is reliant on having:

  • The right message
  • Delivered to the right people
  • Through the right channel

My fuel cell reseller was an SME, about 25 people, based in a little office in Hungerford. Their core business was standby power, but they wanted to diversify and make a name for themselves in a new market – become a ‘thought-leader’.

So I sat with the MD and picked his brains for about an hour…

And then the marketing manager dumped a load of product brochures, datasheets and meeting notes in front of me and essentially told me to “crack on!”

Using this existing content, I re-spun and repurpose it in different ways. In the process I created a quarter’s worth of content, comprising press releases, editorial, case studies, blogs and emails, which subsequently:

  • Secured extensive coverage in the media
  • Landed speaking opportunities
  • Created £250k in pipeline
  • Positioned my client as the ‘go-to’ guy for commentary on fuel cell technology
  • And earned the campaign a place in the finals of the National Business Awards

So no, it doesn’t have to be ‘new’ content; the key to successful content is to craft it well.

Content extends beyond your marketing efforts

But when I talk about content, I’m not just talking about conventional marketing assets, like LinkedIn articles, blogs for your website, or the company brochure…

I’m including everything else – the stuff you produce as part of your business-as-usual activities. The proposals, statement of works, project wash up sessions, comprehensive sales deck, the random musings you jot down when you’re sitting on the train on the way to work in the morning…everything.

The beauty of the content tilt is that it uses all this wonderful existing content, even the stuff that isn’t produced for marketing purposes, but re-spins and re-purposes it in different ways. All you need to do is change the perspective.

Applying the content tilt to your marketing:

  • Ensures you have regular content to publish, which builds momentum behind your sales and marketing efforts
  • It’s cost-effective as you’re not having to generate content from scratch every time
  • If you need the input of subject matter experts, who we know are notoriously difficult to pin down because they’re in such high demand, a lot of their expertise can be found on the pages of those proposals – which means you’ll only need a few minutes of their time to fill in the blanks, rather than a comprehensive briefing

And the great thing about the content tilt is that you can take this idea back to your desk this afternoon and start generating that value yourself.

Let me show you…

Let’s start with a proposal…

By re-spinning it and pulling out all the product/service detail, you can easily re-spin it into a 1-pager for your sales collateral…

Break it down into a series of blog posts that hook into what’s topical in your industry at the moment…

And with the client’s permission, you can turn it into a case study.

But now you have a whole new set of content assets. So let’s re-spin these…

Write a sales letter and send it with your 1-pager as a direct mail to your prospects…

Create a series of attention-grabbing emails that drive people to your blogs…

Turn that case study into an award submission…

Or plug it into your PR machine to gain media coverage – if there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to get you coverage it’s a well-written case study, the media are crying out for them.

And then re-spin these content assets…

Pull the testimonials out of the case study to use on your website, sales decks or company brochure…

And finally, create a series of social updates that you can schedule on the platforms that are relevant to your business.

Content marketing strategy: it’s all about altering the perspective

From this single proposal you now have a quarter’s worth of valuable content that you can push out to the market, helping you to grow awareness of your brand/company/products/services and start generating leads for your pipeline.

And because everything was formed from a single piece of content:

  • The messaging is consistent
  • The positioning is consistent
  • The purpose is consistent.

And it’s this consistency that will help you to grow a strong brand in your marketplace.

Let’s take a look at another example…

An infographic – something which you’re more likely to create as part of your marketing efforts.

By breaking it down into its component parts and elaborating on each, you can create a series of detailed blog posts, which you could look to by-line to a subject-matter expert for their personal LinkedIn profile…

Or why not elaborate on the topic as a whole and create a webinar that your subject matter expert presents direct to your customers/prospects.

Then re-spin these content assets…

Create those drive-to emails that push the right sort of traffic towards your website, making people read your blogs, or register to attend your webinar…

Or take your series of blog posts, top and tail them and tighten everything up to create an ebook.

Re-spin everything again…

And create a printed direct mail that’s going to land on someone’s desk, attract attention and get people requesting your ebook or registering to attend your webinar…

Or feed the ebook into your PR machine – again, it’s very news-worthy content.

And of course, re-spin everything to pull out those social media updates.

Content marketing strategy: it’s all about altering the perspective

The content tilt isn’t a prescriptive idea – it’s not a case of saying you have this piece of content so you re-spin it into X, Y and Z formats. It’s simply the idea of imagining what’s possible by looking at your content from different angles.

Everyone’s a writer

But while looking at your content in different ways is a relatively simple exercise, the hard bit comes when you have to start generating the next rounds of content.

In the past I’ve said that everyone is a writer, but very few are copywriters.

That’s because copywriting is more than just putting pen to paper and writing 150-word email, 500-word blog or 1500-word article. It’s an art form that requires real skill, time and effort to get right.

No doubt you’ve seen numerous pieces of content that fall flat, you stop reading after the title, or leave you questioning ‘so what?’ I’m guessing this content was written by a writer.

Content written by a copywriter should leave you feeling like you have no option but to take action.

That’s because a copywriter appreciates that every type of content has a particular purpose, is written in a specific style, to a defined structure and needs to command action.

The ability to apply these techniques to your content, re-spinning your story to push forward the right message, delivered to the right people, through the right channel, is the value a copywriter brings to your business.

If you only remember one thing today…

Let it be this…

You already have a lot of wonderful content in your business, but you won’t see its true value until you alter the perspective.

Please take these tips and tricks back to your businesses and have a play, I promise they’ll boost the results you see from your content marketing.

But…

If you don’t have time…

Or you don’t want the distraction…

Or you realise that some jobs require a specialist…

That’s where I can help…

So please say hello!


Photo by Léonard Cotte on Unsplash