How do you continue to create content for clients who have an established core product range and sector? When content isn’t simply driven by news, you need to be even more creative.
Integrated Design Limited, manufacturers of Fastlane turnstiles, is our longest standing client. They were one of the first to come on board when we set up Morton Waters, and that means we’ve been creating content for them for over 4 years, at a rate of 4 pieces a month and 50+ social posts a month.
That’s a lot of content, and doesn’t include the monthly newsletter that sets the deadline for delivery.
It’s also quite the undertaking.
Within that timeframe, IDL introduced new products and completed some amazing projects which has given us the opportunity for news-based content.
What hasn’t changed is their commitment to the security sector and their fundamental beliefs that functionality and aesthetics hold equal importance. To support these values, we create thought-leadership content that explores the various aspects.
So, what have we learnt from 4 years of content creation in a niche?
- Case studies are golden
- Research is key
- Exhibition attendance opens up opportunities
- Repurposing is your friend
- Listening to your client is invaluable
1) Case Studies
Why are we such fans of case studies? In our opinion, these really should be on everyone’s content wish list. They tick all the boxes
- They provide valuable evidence of your work, the processes you use to keep you on track (and on budget) and the successful relationships you have with clients, installers and integrators. They can be used to show how problems, which let’s face it crop up on everyone’s projects to some degree, were tackled and overcome. This helps prospective customers to evaluate your potential for future projects based on real-world applications and can remove some of the doubts about trying a new supplier
- They are keyword-rich environments. If you’re looking to move further up the organic search results (SERPs) then meeting those search engine queries by serving up useful content in the form of case studies, where keywords can be integrated naturally, is a god-send
- Aside from their value to the content marketer, the process of creating case studies serves to remind clients of your previous work together, bringing back all the good feeling about a successful project well-completed. They may even offer up a testimonial, particularly if you write a draft for them , and that has ever-green potential to it
2) Research is key
Our view is that we shouldn’t be heavily reliant on our clients during the process of content creation. The reason they subbed it out in the first place is because they had other priorities and time-constraints. Bringing us on board shouldn’t weigh heavily on that to do list. This might not be every agency’s opinion, but it is ours.
But we still need to be creating content with depth, so how do we do that?
Research. Time. Effort (on our part).
In every field, there are a number of trusted publications – usually the paid for ones, but not always. Read those. They are the lucky target of press offices from companies, charities, social organisations, government bodies etc. To keep their readers interested, they need to be putting out good quality content. And you should be reading it.
DON’T COPY IT.
That’s not the intention here. Instead, learn about the industry, the pressures, the opportunities, the innovations. See the information through the lens of your company’s own business objectives. Taking HS2 as an example as there’s been a lot of coverage recently – is this an opportunity or a threat for you? Of the opinions being voiced, which ones would you like to change or reinforce? Are the factors being mentioned relevant and important for your company too?
Or the new IR35 tax changes? What will they mean for your workforce? Or those of your suppliers?
Being aware of wider news like this enables you to form an opinion based on what you know about your company and what the implications will be, and presents an opportunity for content.
3) Exhibition attendance
Exhibition programmes offer up another route to finding out what the wider issues of the industry are.
They also bring you opportunities for seeking out spokespeople and potential partners for content collaborations.
Coming off the back of an exhibition, we have created wide-reaching thought leadership content for IDL that brought in advisors with Home Office connections to add depth and range on subjects like securing crowded places, extending beyond IDL’s own experiences of securing entrances.
4) Repurposing is your friend
A piece of longform content has to work very hard to justify the cost of creating it so make sure you are squeezing out as much value as possible by giving it a long shelf-life.
There are so many apps and platforms available that allow you to create videos, slideshares, animations, quizzes, wordsearches, social images etc. so you can take the essence of a piece and bring it to life in many different iterations.
5) Listen to your client
I know we said don’t be a drain on their time, but that’s a very different thing to listening. We have monthly meetings with our clients where we ask about the business, the recent projects, the industry feeling and so on. Marrying this with our PR experience and our own knowledge of the sector, we can spot a potential story that should be followed up.
It’s amazing how often a throw away comment has resulted in a well-performing piece of content, so always make sure that any potential gems are followed up on and explored, not lost in the ether.
And is it worth it? Well IDL consistently get more users, more views, more followers and longer sessions on their website, so content creation certainly works for them.