As a marketer, I'm constantly inundated with advice on what I should be doing. Apparently, marketers are now publishers, but not the old-fashioned magazine publishers who only needed to worry about one issue for the month. We have blog posts to write (and they'd better be long and well-written and useful and frequent), newsletters to send out regularly to our subscribers, website copy to frequently update (to catch the attention of the elusive search engines), the Facebook page to continually update and monitor, the Twitter account to be briefly witty on, the press releases to send out and reach the media, sales collateral to keep engaging and current, events to plan for, and maybe ads to create and manage. Don't forget the internal communication: at Affinity Express, for example, we have a quarterly newsletter, as well as memos and posters we often put up to inform our internal audience.
How does a small marketing team with limited resources do all this?
1. Read widely.
Not only is reading about industry news and best practices essential for you to learn, it also helps you think and may provide material for a blog post. I've blogged about a book I read (and that was a fiction book and not about marketing or business, so don't be narrow in your selection), articles that I disagreed with, a blog post and speech that inspired me. I also routinely cull industry articles and put in a few of the best links into our monthly newsletters.
2. Dig into what's already available.
Unless you're starting a new company, you probably have some written material available already: copy on your website; presentations or case studies that salespeople use; customer queries answered by your reps and available in their mailboxes; and internal training documents. Any or all of these, edited right, can be fodder for a different form of content. For example, I used internal training documents to come up with this blog post with tips on embroidery digitizing.
3. Re-use content you write.
Almost every post on our blog gets whittled down and used in one of the monthly newsletters (we have one for each service). Every quarter, after the new company newsletter is published, I cull through it to see what we can also use on the blog. A case study can be a blog post as well as sales collateral.
When we surveyed SMBs to measure their use of online marketing, we turned the results into a press release as well as several blog posts, all of which we promoted on Facebook and Twitter. Extracts from the blog posts went into the email newsletters to our subscribers. We also wrote about it in the company newsletter. Then our survey got mentioned by eMarketer, so we had to tweet about that too.
4. Edit for each format.
What's important about #3 is to work with the medium. What quote or fact from your blog post is most intriguing? Tweet that with a link to the post. Edit the post about competitive research and make it more relevant to your SMB audience when inserting it in your newsletter for SMBs. Link to that event blog post, but also put up pictures of the event as an album on Facebook, on Flicker, or just tweet them.
5. Re-write or build upon older pieces.
A piece on Facebook marketing can be made relevant to a different audience as long as you change the examples and the headline. Bingo, it's a whole new piece, but it builds upon the same idea, and you'll find it faster to write it the second time around. Did you write a post about where you think the industry will head at the beginning of the year? Now write another evaluating how right you were (or how wrong). And then write another post of predictions for the beginning of next year.
6. Think content all the time.
When we receive positive feedback from a client, I ask, "Can we do a case study?" When Kelly talks about the event she's organizing, I ask, "Can you write a blog post?" When I read something interesting, I wonder if it will be of interest to my audience and if I should tweet it. When I read a LinkedIn discussion about our industry, I'll send it to a sales person and ask if they'd like to comment. Instead of just sitting down once a month and trying to plan out content (though that's useful too), it helps to respond to cues around you and see how you can make the best of material that's already floating around (only it may not have been pinned down and written out yet).