3 Content Marketing Ideas For the Time-Constrained Dev Shop

I just finished reviewing Dan Norris’ new book Content Machine.

This is one of the better books I’ve read on content marketing, and it’s chock full of good advice on how to do excellent B2B content marketing. In particular, his chapter 4 on differentiating your voice is excellent.

Here’s the problem I see with Dan’s advice: I don’t think it applies very well to a resource-constrained environment, particularly where that resource is your time.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: DIY content marketing can be a second job. Delegating that job to a junior employee is appealing, but you often end up with topics like, “How We Configure Our Development Environment” and “Upgrading to Ruby 2.x.y”. These junior staff can’t easily connect the dots between the business value of what you do and the nuts and bolts of how you do it.

If senior staff are charged with content marketing, it’s rare for them to be able to consistently prioritize doing it. So you end up with better content than if your junior staff did it, but inconsistent output.

The right solution may be to hire help with your content marketing, but I’d only recommend doing that if what that help costs you per year is 75% or less of the average lifetime value of a new client. (My services may hit this price point or they may be too expensive…)

So, if you are still in a situation where a DIY approach to content marketing is best for you, here are 3 ideas for low time investment, high yield content marketing:

1) A Podcast

Audio content has amazing reach. The barriers to entry on the iTunes store are exceedingly low. Getting a podcast that sounds better than 80% of what’s out there can be done for $300 or so in up-front equipment cost and $500/mo in services.

My podcast spent over a month on the New and Noteworthy list after I launched with 9 episodes and about 10 ratings I begged for from my list (thank you, longsuffering list!). This podcast gets a bit over 700 “listens” per week (really downloads that may or may not turn into listens). I spend 2 to 3 hours a week producing it (would be half that if I outsourced the editing).

My point? It isn’t hard to make a bigger dent in the podcasting world than you might be used to in the written content world.

2) An Audio-First Workflow

Maybe you and everyone on your staff sounds like Nardwuar and you’d rather not put your literal voice out there. You can still start with audio and end up with good written content. I talk about doing that here and provide a complete workflow plan.

3) A Curated Newsletter

Finally, you can write almost no content yourself and still build a list. Here’s how to do that using a curated list approach.

And here’s a great example of that in action: http://itbinsights.com/

 

If you’re stuck in “neutral” with your company’s content marketing efforts because you’re short on time, I hope this helps you get in gear!

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