It all started early this year when times were bright and money was cheap. We’d been getting constant feedback that content was missing or there just wasn’t enough. One look through the enormous library of great content that my marketing team had produced and I realized that not only did we have a piece of content for anything and everything, but it was also way too much to keep track of. I thought, if I can’t even navigate through all the content, then how could I expect our sales and CSM colleagues to, not to mention–our customers?
My head was spinning as I searched for a solution. I opened the door for a home delivery, and there it was, a box from Zalando with the letters “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” printed in bold all over it! Bim, bam, boff–I had the solution in front of me!
The week after, I was invited to an on-stage interview at Saasiest in Malmö, where I shared my excitement for this new idea, which luckily translated to the audience. Since then, I’ve gotten lots of questions from my network about how to “reduce, reuse, and recycle.
The concept in short
The fact that we are facing a down economy has not been lost on anyone. Money is no longer cheap, and we have to re-think our strategies and the way we go to market. Householding with our resources goes for all areas of life.
So, what’s this concept about? Well, it is pretty much exactly how it reads.
Reduce – in communication, less is more. If you try to be everything for everyone, you will be relevant to no one. Choose your top themes. Could you keep it to three, max four? Good, try to reduce it a bit more! And especially, reduce your level of content production.
Reuse – if you are anything like me and my team, you have probably created tons of content throughout the years. Some have performed really well. Some were published on the blog and not a single soul read them, except for the writer. For the high-performing pieces–make sure to use them over and over again. Go back to the top-performing pieces and promote them a bit more, repeat, and potentially try them in new channels.
Recycle – recycling isn’t just for fashion. Use the same principle for your content and assets! Go back to your content repository. Do the same exercise as above. What are your top-performing assets? Do they need a bit of refreshment? Do you have an oldie-but-goodie guide that you can make relevant again? Give it a refresh and update the stats. Turn them into a checklist. Reuse the topic and turn it into a webinar or a breakfast meetup.
Remember – in this case less is more and repetition is the key to success in great communication.
Here are two of my favorite examples of how to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling” like a champ:
- Monterro: They’ve really mastered the art of doing more with less. Focused on the theme, “how to run a successful B2B SaaS Business”, they recorded a video series where they invited guests to share their best tips. This series was then turned into a podcast, where all the episodes were flipped into concrete “How to guides”. As a follow-up, they also hosted in-person meetup sessions with their ICPs to discuss the topics and findings in each and every video/ podcast episode. From this one single concept, they created content that lasted a whole year and could be repeated over and over again. Truly genius and kudos to Charlotte Banning, CMO at Monterro.
- Hubspot: Although it’s a company with huge resources, Hubspot has managed to put together its whole value offer into one simple model, the Hubspot Flywheel. The Flywheel is a model adapted by HubSpot to explain the momentum you gain when you align your entire organization around delivering a strong customer experience. This brilliant concept has been reused and recycled across every single market. It has been the base for keynotes for years and has been turned into an operational framework for tech companies. There are guides, checklists, videos, trainings, you name it, all with the same message. Repeat it enough and you soon get associated with it. And they’ve kept repeating this concept for years.
How to make it happen?
Before you go off creating new content, here’s a checklist that can help you make the most of what you have:
- Understanding the why: What’s the purpose of creating this content piece? Is it mainly to boost reach? Drive pipeline? Fill in a gap in the buyer’s journey? Cover a new trend? Educate the market?
- Go through your content library. Is there anything you could promote once more? Could you recycle it into a different format? Update it with new stats, insights, and quotes to make it fresh? Is your company present in different markets? Then, could you easily translate and localize something another market has created—like a new trend your German colleague has already covered?
- Go through your stats: Do the same exercise as above but through the eyes of a performance marketer. Which are the highest-performing pieces of content? Could you reuse or recycle any of them? If not, understand what has made the high performers successful and use those insights when creating something new.
- Last but not least: Ideally, having gone through the steps above, you will come to the conclusion that you do not have to produce something completely new, and instead reuse or recycle. But if you come to the conclusion that you still want to invest the time and or money it takes to create new content, make sure to have a solid promotion plan in place and a strategy for how to reuse and repurpose it in the future. Eg. How can you maximize and squeeze everything out of a great customer case or article that you are about to produce? What about that blog post of yours? Can you turn it into a checklist or run a breakfast seminar on the topic? Do it with a 360 view.
Avoid shiny new object syndrome
One of the basic principles of marketing is that repetition and consistency are key to getting your message across. You need to repeat it until you’re tired of it. Then you repeat it a bit more. But why is it so hard to live by? Why do we constantly run into new directions?
Shiny new object syndrome is a thing, and it becomes even harder when you’re a creative person constantly exposed to new ideas. What about trying to switch that into trying to make the most out of what you’ve got? Imagine how much content you can create around that if you are being a bit creative!
To wrap it up
In times when money and good advice are expensive, so is everything else. Ask yourself–how can you maximize every single action you take. Let’s stop chasing that shiny new object and instead mindfully own a couple of key initiatives – then you can make sure not to get lost in the noise.
So, for your 2023 marketing planning, don’t try to do it all. You won’t be able to afford it and you’ll spread yourself too thin. Instead, use what you’ve got, do less, and do it well–that’s how you will stand out from the crowd in 2023!