How to Make the Most of Your Owned Content
You start with a substantial piece of content – a webinar you’ve teamed up with influencers to create, an ebook you’ve worked long and hard on, an event you hosted and live tweeted or Blabbed about. Content pieces like these are your valuable owned content, and each piece takes a ton of work to create and to get distributed. To ensure you’re making the most of your efforts, and fully leveraging the bandwidth of a lean team or a lean budget, put the cornerstone and cobblestone content system to work.
The cornerstone & cobblestone philosophy:
The theory (first discussed by Tom Martin) goes that cornerstones are your foundational content pieces – a multimedia news release, a whitepaper, an ebook etc., These are the cost- and time-intensive efforts that can’t be produced frequently. Cornerstones are, by nature, not quickly consumed, so there’s less need for frequency.
Cobblestones are “chunks” of the cornerstone piece, made into their own standalone content pieces in a variety of formats. They incorporate data and stories from the cornerstone efforts, but are much easier to consume. Cobblestone pieces might be a short video or image from your press release, or a blog post incorporating quotes, etc. Creating and distributing cobblestones from the cornerstone efforts is a smart, sustainable content strategy.
7 ways To make the most of cobblestones:
Make it interactive: Host a Twitter chat around the topic and invite your audience to participate and add their two cents. Create a Storify roundup for your blog and recognize your participants.
Make it evergreen: Evergreen content has a longer lifespan because it’s not timely or responsive. This type of content is suitable for your vertical market and reflects your company’s point of view — you can post it, and repost it, at any time.
Post at appropriate times: Many organizations post to their social media sites and blogs only during work hours. But studies by TrackMaven show that most people are most active on social after work hours and on weekends. Post when your audience is already engaged.
Use channel-focused messaging:Posting the same update to all social media networks simultaneously is often less effective than crafting custom posts for each social media site (think: human, not automated). Consider the audience you’re reaching on each network and “speak” to those specific individuals with each post.
Give it a boost: Boost the most engaging cobblestone on your Facebook page. This small paid effort costs little, and can have a resonant effect on your page reach.
Create roundups: Repackage all your cobblestones — and any other related, relevant content you may have –into a roundup that may serve as a how-to guide.
Get it into the hands of your influencers: Influencers are the key players that can help spread your content to the right audiences. By partnering with them and gaining access to their audience and networks, you can accelerate the speed at which your content is amplified and reach a larger audience than you could on your own. This key tip will support your strategy at any point in the game.
How can you get your content into the hands of the right influencers? Download our tip sheet, How Influencers and Content Marketing Can Build Your Brand and Grow Your Business.