Take the 3 x 5 Challenge for Creating Content at Scale

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By Cassie Arnold & Heather Harper

You’ve done it! Your blog and social communities are up and running. You’re beginning to get engagement from key audiences both inside and outside of your company. Now, as your audiences’ interest grows, there is more and more demand for your content. 

But, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep producing and posting the amount of new content that it seems like you need. Creating content at scale is a huge challenge for maturing marketing and social media teams.  

CONTENT PRODUCTION AT SCALE: LESS CAN BE MORE

While there are many potential ways to tackle this problem, one easy place to start is first to examine whether you are getting the most out of the content you are already creating. Scaling your content production does not have to mean writing and designing more and more brand new pieces. 

Any good content asset should have at least three uses. You’ve put in effort to create value added information, so why not make sure it’s getting the leverage it deserves?

OVERCOME THE FORGETTING CURVE

Repurposing and reusing content not only helps you publish more frequently. It also allows you to truly connect with your audiences. We as humans are naturally programmed to not remember a significant portion of the information we encounter, according to Hermann Ebbinghaus’ research on the Forgetting Curve. We can help our audiences overcome the Forgetting Curve by repeating our content and delivering it across different formats and channels. 

There is also the reality that some content items only reach a limited audience. That panel you moderated may have been great, so why not summarize it into a blog post for the folks who weren’t in the room? Your Twitter followers probably don’t include everyone on your mailing list, so an email blast of that report you just tweeted about makes sense. 

READY TO TAKE THE CONTENT SCALING CHALLENGE?

To assess whether you are really getting leverage out of the content you’re creating, take our 3x5 Challenge. See if you can unlock 3 additional uses for each of your most significant existing content pieces through the 5 challenges below.

1.    Make the old new again: Find 3 pieces of content you can republish in some way during the next several months. This might mean pushing out a straightforward series of social posts to attract more attention to an existing blog post. Or, you may be able to reintroduce an existing educational article or opinion piece by slightly recasting the introduction to tie it to current events. 

2.    Publish across channels: Look back and make sure that you’ve cross-posted every significant content piece across all of your social and digital channels. It should be easy: reformat content from your whitepaper into a series of tweets; rework your last presentation as a blog; or send your email contacts a link to a blog post.

3.    Go visual: Check to see if you’ve missed opportunities for visualization. Are there older, yet still relevant topics for multimedia content production that could inform an infographic or a short video?

4.    Make it bite-sized: Do you have a longer piece of content you’ve created recently that can be divided and republished in a series of short posts? Our friends at DADA posted about the benefits of breaking down a larger videointo multiple shorter length videos to really leverage the work.

5.    Make it longer: Try the opposite of the bite-sizing approach. Gather your previously published content on a particular subject and repackage it into an ebook. You can promote that book or guide over several digital channels and even use it to generate leads.

Take the 3x5 Challenge and see if it helps you scale your content production.

The Power of Purpose

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How often as a consumer do you feel a Wow Experience? Probably not often enough.

Lots of things can help deliver that Wow feeling for consumers — setting, personalization, speed, uniqueness, and many more variables. I saw one differentiator at work recently during experiences with two companies in the same field that couldn’t have been more different.

The Power of Purpose as a way to differentiate the customer experience was in action at a Tesla store I recently had the opportunity to visit on a field trip for customer experience professionals organized by McKinsey & Company.

During our visit, the engaged employees in the store clearly were the factor that set the experience apart. They were enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly. Sure, having a great product helps, but you could see how an experience with these pricey, technology advanced cars could become intimidating. It could also become very easy for the staff to fall behind on the frequent technology updates and all of the knowledge it takes to address customer questions and overcome objections.

Because of their passion and excitement for the purpose of the company, employees approached learning tasks with enthusiasm and took great pride in sharing their knowledge about the cars, answering tough questions and leading customers through the sales process. It became clear that their commitment was driven in large part to rallying around a clear purpose centered on the environment and technology.

We asked our Tesla associate who took us on a Model X test drive if he hopes to stay with the company after he graduates from college and why he is so committed to his job. He talked enthusiastically about the company’s purpose and explained that he believes strongly in the environmental mission of the company — even though a green perspective isn’t something you’d expect from him as a self described “muscle car” driver on the weekends.

Even more telling was what he said about the culture of the organization: they had given him a chance. As he described, he is a young man in an urban setting with dreadlocks and getting an opportunity meant a lot after having been turned down by other potential employers including a large bank.

His connection with the company makes him passionate about the cars and motivated to learn. The staff told us that each associate completes about 45 min of online training every day to keep current.

This visit to Tesla stands in stark contrast to the experience I had several days later at the dealership where I was having my car serviced. The staff was on cruise control with absolutely no responsiveness to customer needs, all of which was aggravated by the poorly designed service facility setting. Because staff members were following their routines and focusing first on their own needs, we ended up getting a phone call to discuss our car’s issues from a service technician sitting at a desk positioned right next to where we were standing in the long line of customers waiting to make payments from the check in counter.

Our concerns about our nearly brand new car were dismissed with little discussion about what they had found, leaving us to wonder if they’d even driven the car (which was a service we’d paid extra for).

All throughout, none of the employees made eye contact or spoke to anyone in the long line, leaving us all with the clear sense that we were bothering them by interrupting their paperwork duties and rigid routines.

Clearly there was no Power of Purpose at work in this dealership.

The two experiences remind me that we as Cx professionals have a duty to drive employee engagement as a key factor for improving the customer experience at our companies.