B2B ContentCopywritingWriting

From raw material to compelling assets: Different ways to shape content

By July 15th, 2024No Comments

Great content is a powerful way to spread awareness about your brand, snag the interest of prospects, and keep leads moving down the sales funnel. It can also help to strengthen your relationships with existing customers, building loyalty and driving long-term revenue. But in the era of rapid change and short attention spans, it’s important to remember that not all content is created equal. In fact, we’re seeing (and in some cases, editing) quite a bit of AI-generated content that’s chock full of SEO keywords (keyword salad, if you will)—and makes very little sense from an actual storytelling perspective.

While this kind of content might help bring people to your site by working the algorithm, it won’t keep them there. To engage both new and returning customers, you need content that’s clear, compelling, and provides true value. The question is, how do you create that kind of content? As they say, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Drawing on our recent work, here are a few examples of how we can take raw materials in various forms and shape it into multiple content formats.

Starting from scratch

Clients often come to us with a whole lot of information and an idea of what they want to talk about, but no clear idea of exactly what they want to say—or how to figure it out. Maybe there’s a specific topic that’s creating a buzz in a vertical and they want to create a thought leadership piece about it. Maybe they have a bunch of resources but aren’t sure what to do with all of that information, or even where to begin.

We can help.

We start by thoroughly reviewing the content to see what we’ve got to work with, what’s missing, if any clear themes emerge, and how we can leverage it different ways. From there, we organize the content—identifying which resources, stats, or quotes will be most relevant for various sections. If you don’t have a specific format in mind, we can make recommendations. Some content lends itself to more visually-driven structure, such as an infographic or eBook, while other content might be better suited to a deeper-dive asset such as a white paper or blog post. Sometimes you can leverage the same content for a variety of different assets.

Typically, our team will start by putting together an outline, either detailed or high-level, to give you an idea of how it will all come together. This also offers you a chance to provide feedback, which can help with solidifying your own thoughts—because it’s always easier to start with something than with a blank page. Once we’ve got the basic content structure mapped out, we can get to work.

As a recent example, our long-term client, SmartCommunications, reached out to us to write a report on the trends shaping customer conversations in 2024. They had gathered insights and predictions from experts and analysts across three verticals: insurance, healthcare, and financial services. They knew they wanted the report to be accessible both online and as a PDF, with lots of callout quotes, stats, and visuals to make it scannable and easy to digest. And they had a general idea of the trends they wanted to focus on.

From there, we dug into the interview answers as well as a multitude of other analyst reports to add depth, fleshing out each trend and peppering in quotes, stats, and predictions. At the same time, we created a consistent throughline that ties back to the SmartComms platform and shows enterprises how they can use it to meet the moment. The resulting report is compelling, easy to understand, and insightful, demonstrating clear thought leadership in this area.

 Taking an idea and running with it

Next, let’s look at the middle ground approach. If you have content or research with some level of narrative established, we can use that narrative to tell a story. If you have different audiences or use cases in mind, we can also translate it into new formats.

For example, we’ve done extensive work of this type with the research department of a global financial services leader. The company started by bringing us research findings from 16 different geographies highlighting key trends in consumer finance. The goal was to create a global perspective, as well as market-specific pieces that could be used in both digital and presentation formats.

The first year we worked with this data, we helped create more traditional PDF reports highlighting the key global trends with country-level one sheets unique to each market. In following iterations, we took more of an infographic approach and helped create content for microsites that could be leveraged at both a corporate and regional level. From presentations to leave-behinds, to email campaigns and attention-grabbing social content, with good data, there are so many opportunities to extend the value of your investments.

Revamping existing content

To maintain an up-to-date online presence and keep customers engaged, you’ve got to put out new content pieces at a regular cadence. Plus, publishing frequently helps with SEO and brings traffic to your site. But constantly coming up with new ideas can be challenging. That’s why we often work with clients to extend the value of previously published content, breathing new life into it and sometimes using it as a jumping off point to create multiple pieces of fresh content.

For example, one AI company we work with often sends us eBooks, blog posts, and reports that were published, and performed well, within the last few years. We take that content and do some independent research to determine how technology, terminology, customer expectations, or industry perspectives have changed since the piece was originally written. We then shape a new narrative, based on the original content—sometimes in the same format as the original piece (e.g., blog post or eBook), sometimes in a completely different format.

We might turn a blog post into a more in-depth report, or take a report and create an infographic, a one sheet, and a series of social posts, all using a mix of the original content plus whatever new data or information we can gather. With a robust and thoughtful starting piece, the possibilities can be literally endless. What we do with it depends on your audience and your business goals.

Do you need help turning your ideas or research into a thoughtful, meaningful story that matters to your target audience? No matter how raw or developed your content is, we can help you shape it into something that makes an impact—and drives growth. Let’s talk.

Leave a Reply