Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Jessie Brechin (LinkedIn) now lives and works in Madrid where she is Director of Marketing and Business Development at VeraContent and teaches Branded Content at IE Business School. Her interests include marketing, leadership, intercultural communication and personal development.

As Marketing Director at VeraContent, a Madrid-based content and localization agency, I often attend conferences and marketing summits to represent the company, learn more about what’s going on in the field and occasionally host a stage or two. In this last year alone, I had the pleasure of attending events such as CMWorld in Ohio (US), South Summit in Madrid (Spain) and Web Summit in Lisbon (Portugal).

Mixing with a who’s-who of the international content marketing scene, learning about fascinating innovations in tech and automation and hearing from the biggest companies around is inspirational. However, when you’re from a smaller business, it’s a little intimidating. Your marketing may be in the hands of an individual rather than a team, and some of the enterprise solutions on offer can have an entry-level price larger than your annual budget.

Coming from VeraContent, where we have a smaller marketing team, I was keen to search out nuggets that would be useful for those of us without unlimited time and resources. Luckily, behind the big-ticket items there is always a vast array of knowledge and experience, tailored to far wider audiences.

Looking back on my experiences in the last year, I have pulled out three key tips that even the smallest businesses can take onboard to make their content count.

Think like the sales department

Image from CMWorld

Marketing and sales are often portrayed as having conflicting interests, but the relationship is a lot more co-dependent than we might admit. Marketing is what interests customers, and sales is what gets them to spend. Marketing is the honey, sales is the trap. 

Sales and marketing need to work together in order to make business run as smoothly as possible. After all, you’re trying to attract the same people. Ask your sales team about the most common issues at each point in the sales process and create targeted content addressing those issues. Marketing content that drives traffic through all stages of the sales funnel allows for smoother customer journeys and happier clients. 

For example, if you run a hotel in an area such as the up-and-coming Madrid neighborhood of Lavapiés, clients might consistently hesitate about the location. If sales can point them to an article about the transformation of Lavapiés, they will be able to address the concern and be one step closer to getting that close. 

Takeaway to try: think of three hesitations your client might have before buying your product or service, and create a unique piece of content that addresses each of these concerns. 

Reuse, repurpose, recycle

A “piece” of content is much more than a bunch of text that makes a point. It can be repurposed and reused in lots of different ways to ensure that you maximize the number of people it can reach. The big players have access to sophisticated personalization tools that determine which users see which form of content, but even small businesses can take advantage of different forms of content.

Think about different ways that you can represent the same information. Once you’ve done your research and carefully presented your ideas in the initial format, consider how it could be adapted to another. Different people interact best with different media and on different platforms. 

A written summary of a report could be adapted into an infographic and shared on Facebook or Instagram. A recorded interview or podcast could be summarized into a Q&A. Think about the different ways that information can be presented and use these insights to get the most mileage out of your research and groundwork. 

Likewise, sometimes the sum of the parts is worth more than the whole. It’s easy to get attached to a piece of content, to that perfectly nuanced article with the wonderful flow that you worked so hard on… However, sometimes it pays to deconstruct. Identify parts of an article that could be tweeted as quotes, or adapted as posts on LinkedIn. Even better, create content with that in mind.

Takeaway to try: take one article from your own business (or even this one if you like!) and brainstorm all the ways that it could be adapted to different media and split into “units.” 

Everything is worthy of announcement 

Image from Web Summit

When you have limited resources, there’s the temptation to update the website quickly and move on to the next task. But that case study you just uploaded? It could be a big deal. Maximize reach and traction by treating your content to a “launch.”

Content on your website is like an amazing Chinese restaurant hidden in an underground carpark: useful to those people who happen to come across it, or who are specifically looking for it. It might even be useful to your own sales team to point people towards, as we saw above. But what about everyone else? They don’t know how life-changing it could be, because they don’t know they should be looking for it.

Share your content across different distribution channels, with dedicated captions and hashtags (where appropriate) to make sure that it gets seen. Try not to simply write “read this article” either: create added value by thinking of captions as mini pieces of content to show the reader you know what you’re about. If your content doesn’t have an expiry date, then you can repeat this process multiple times over the course of a few months. There’s no harm resharing content that brings value to your audience.

Takeaway to try: When you write your next case study or any other content, don’t just stick it on your website. Take the time to also write captions for different distribution platforms, and consider any images you’d like to tie in. When your content goes live, share it as you planned, and watch the hits roll in.

The beauty of our hyper-connected world is that you can reach just about anyone if you know how to go about it. Sure, it would be nice to have a million-euro marketing budget, but just because you don’t doesn’t mean you can’t go far. By choosing your content deliberately, making it work hard and creating as much buzz as you can around it, even the smallest team (i.e., one part-time employee) can have a significant impact.

Also, one of my colleagues, Melissa Haun, joined me this year at Web Summit in Lisbon and wrote two articles on her experience that I highly recommend reading: