Content is Capital.

Back in the days before broadband internet (when we were all on dial-up), I was the creative director for Goettler Associates, a capital campaign consulting firm that continues to thrive today. Before I had started my job there, the firm knew the importance of content marketing, by publishing The Goettler Series, a line of printed publications each addressing a specific topic related to capital fund raising for non profit organizations.

Each volume in the Series ranged from 30 to 50 pages, and there were a dozen of them (we added a few during my time there). Together they made up a pretty comprehensive operations manual for raising big money on behalf of nonprofits.

Even though The Goettler Series was distributed at no charge to promote the firm by serving their prospects with valuable information, it was not unusual for the phone to ring (especially before we had online distribution) with someone wanting to purchase some or all of the volumes.

Kind of neat, don’t you think? The Goettler Series was created for marketing, but due to the benefits it delivered, other people wanted these resources and were willing to pay us for them!

And why wouldn’t they? This content is far more valuable than any ad, brochure or promotional video. It’s more than just intellectual property. In this case (as in countless others), this content is not just king…this content is capital.

If you are looking at creating content for your website or any other marketing campaign, do not look at it as an expense. Money that goes to an expense goes out the door and offers little or no return. But when you invest in creating content that truly stands on its own merit because of the benefits it delivers to the marketplace, you have something far more reaching and valuable. Whether it’s a how-to manual or an educational report of timeless lessons, it becomes an asset to your organization that can be leveraged for years to come.

Which begs the question: Is your content capital? For example:

Does your content engage your audience (your prospects) in a compelling manner? It could do this through either entertaining them in some way (help them escape their reality), or addressing a compelling problem or issue (help them change their reality). If so, it is an asset that you can leverage for returns to your business again and again. That’s what makes it capital.

When you have solid content that delivers value to your prospects, you can repackage and reshape it in the same way that a soybean is used in different kinds of food.  For example, let’s say you’re an expert in cost cutting for businesses. You create a six-step approach that your prospects can take, so they can learn how much money they can save in their business operation. Since you know this process like the back of your hand, you sit down in front of a camera and, in a documentary style on-camera interview, discuss this process step by step (with another colleague who remains off-camera).

That resulting audio-video content can be taken and transcribed. From there, it can be deployed in multiple forms:

  • Blog Entries. It could be summarized or split up into a series of blog articles (a campaign).
  • YouTube spots. The actual footage can be edited into a series of brief features, one leading into the other (another campaign).
  • Podcasts. The audio can be edited into short segments, for prospects to download or stream to their computer or mobile divice.
  • Whitepapers. You can edit the transcript into a detailed document that can be offered as a premium for a lead generation campaign.
  • Infographics. Can your ideas be presented visually? Can your “six steps” be illustrated in a flow chart with images?
  • Feature articles. Another opportunity for transcript material to be reworked, edited and distributed via third party publications.
  • Newsletters. If you already publish a newsletter of your own, the same benefit applies.
  • Tweets. Your content may reveal teaser messages, inviting your Twitter followers to learn more (thus gaining more followers in the process).
  • Slideshare presentations. Not to be confused with traditional Powerpoint slides (text-heavy and boring), this medium is a great tool for self-guided storyboards that can deliver a compelling narrative, and allow viewers to digest it at their own pace.
  • Books. A bit more lengthy of course, but a published and printed book can be one of the best calling cards you can ever leave behind, not to mention the inherent value it may command on its own.

Are you beginning to understand my point? All this potential from a single piece of content generated within a couple hours on a single day. But there is a catch: you and/or your colleagues must have knowledge and passion. It you possess both of these traits, then it can be leveraged into creating content that will serve your prospects, build your brand, and grow your business for years to come.

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