3 Ways to Make Short Marketing Pieces Work

Re-purposing content is part of the art of marketing

Re-purposing content into short marketing pieces is part of the art of marketing. Have your content marketing writers convert big-bite content into multiple smaller pieces and put them into different channels.

“We have a white paper, but it’s too long and detailed for some audiences.”

Of course, the engineer or executive who wrote the paper doesn’t think that. But you as the marketing manager can see it, as you look through your content library for pieces that will catch the attention of prospects and influencers in your industry.

Have your writer edit long pieces down to short marketing pieces that take on their own life and tell your story more succinctly. MarketingProfs’ “Get to the Point!” series does this very well for its paying members. It distills marketing-oriented content from a variety of long-winded sources down to regular, five-paragraph e-mail messages.

Source content for short marketing pieces

Some obvious candidates for re-purposing:

  • White papers and thought-leadership papers. Companies place a lot of store by these pieces. Why treat them like wedding china? Take them out of your cupboard and get more use out of them. Have your writer pull out individual sections (The Problem, Current Approaches, What the Industry Needs, etc.) and make them self-standing.
  • Webinars and podcasts. These are good sources, as long as you do more than simply transcribe them. Even trained speakers introduce a lot of small mistakes and interrupted thoughts to a live presentation. Your content marketing writers need to bend the text back into useful shape and logical flow.
  • Slide deck presentations. I’ve posted before that presentations are bagfuls of bullets waiting for an chance to live outside the screen. Your sales and product teams probably have dozens of decks that you’ve never seen before. They can help you tell your story better and more authoritatively.

3 ways to make them work

You don’t need to tell your in-house contributors that their content is too long. Just tell them that you’re going to give it life in several more important channels.

  1. Teasers. Think movie trailers. Use short marketing pieces to bring visitors back to a landing page with the entire asset. The right five paragraphs in front of the right technical audience will result in clicks, page visits, downloads and conversions.
  2. Blog posts. You do have a blog, don’t you? Do you maintain it? Have a look at Seth Godin and Tom Peters on the power of blogging, and follow Denise Wakeman for tips on making corporate blogging work. When you have ready-made content you can re-purpose as blog posts, you’re halfway there.
  3. Article/content marketing. Another important place for syndicating your content is in content repositories oriented to your industry. Of importance here is the resource box you create to ensure that readers can find and follow you once they like your content. Read Steve Shaw at Creative Article Marketing for more on this channel.

In most organizations it’s easier to find long marketing pieces than short ones. But there’s a lot of value in the content once you’ve re-purposed it for new channels.

Have you tried this in your organization? What results do you see?


Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”