Maybe it’s jumping the gun, but when it comes to content marketing and your content strategy, I think you need to go beyond having an editorial calendar, assignments and the like. I think you need to have an arsenal of content you’re constantly building, evolving and stocking so that your worries about content are always distant.

If I ran out of content ideas today, I want three, five, 10 weeks worth built up until inspiration hits me again.

Certainly, that’s an ideal world scenario and isn’t always feasible. But keeping three or four blog posts in the can for when your brain isn’t working isn’t a bad idea.

But think beyond that to your Facebook content, your Tweets, your YouTube videos, etc. The content on those networks is different because the communities are different. Are you building up an arsenal of content there, too.

As you know, I’m working a bit with Expion, a social media management solution for franchise and multiple-location or multiple account need businesses. (Think restaurant chains, colleges or universities with multiple department accounts to manage or even advertising agencies who want to manage social presences for multiple clients.) They’ve got a neat feature that speaks to this notion of content arsenal I find really appealing.

Expion content library screen capture

Their platform allows the corporate marketing team to build a content library for all the various locations to pull from. This helps ensure consistent messaging, branding and the like. But it also empowers the not-quite-hip-to-social-media store manager who wants to post good stuff on Facebook to promote his or her location, but doesn’t get it. The content library can be built to provide turnkey messages that work at anytime for any store or location in the organization.

Take that a step further and look at all the content posted by both the corporation, but then also locally driven content that active store manager post, and analyze each piece of content to see what’s the most engaging. Then take the most engaging content, regardless of its source, and pump that into your stockpile so other stores can benefit from one manager’s brilliant Facebook post.

Sure, Expion has the platform that does all that automatically, but even if you don’t use an enterprise content or social media management system, you could take the same thinking and apply it to your business.

Have a team of bloggers but a few who don’t quite produce the same amount or quality of posts? Use the successful ones to teach or inspire them. Have a couple of employees with bigger and better Twitter accounts than the company’s? Ask them to share some ideas on what would make the company’s better.

And take what’s working for one of your accounts and see if you can apply it to others. Building a content arsenal then begins to seem a lot easier than you think.

Your thoughts? How can you build up a content arsenal using your current staff, ideas from the personal realm or even what your competition is doing? The comments are yours.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.postadvertising.com Jon Thomas

    I think one of the macro-problems in content marketing is just that – content. It's an ongoing push to not only churn out relevant, informative and useful content, but to do it on a regular basis while staying on-brand (particularly for blogging teams or multiple locations).

    One thing I learned from a Twitter-friend was to have one easily accessible place to store blog topic ideas. I know this sounds painfully obvious, but so is working out and eating healthy to lose weight and that's not second nature either (at least not to me). I keep a document on Dropbox, accessible from either of my two laptops and at least viewable from my iPhone/iPad, where I can aggregate all my topic ideas for the rainy day where I can't find any inspiration.

    This is quite useful in a team setting as well where the document can be updated constantly by team members to help each other find topic ideas. It's not rare to have one blogger much better at coming up with ideas than the others.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Great point. I like to sit down for about 10 minutes every couple of weeks

      and just brainstorm on what content topics would be good to explore. I may

      or may not use them all, but at least I've got a well to go to when I'm dry.

  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    Having a content strategy has bailed us out more than once. Inspiration is fleeting and having a fall back is essential. When I do get time to create content, I try and write up as many ideas as I can at that point in time. It's been great when time gets away from me or the writer's block hits.

  • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

    Great stuff, Jason. What I've been trying to do lately is strike while the iron is hot: in other words, in those moments where I feel like I'm really able to crank on a blog post, I don't stop when #1 is done, I go straight into post #2, #3, and so on. When you get in the “zone” it's a lot easier to keep it going than it is to get into the zone again another day. The trick is being patient enough not to share everything all at once and to pace it out. Plus, letting an idea marinate in your draft folder for a few days can sometimes be helpful – you might think of some edits or new ideas to add while you're working on something else entirely.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Amen to that. I seem to write 3-4 every time I get on a plane. (Why I fly a

      lot.)

  • http://www.TheFranchiseKingBlog.com The Franchise King

    Great looking work-flow-content-board.

    Love the way Expion is able to set up a “library” of sorts for those that just aren't that savvy about this. Yet.

    Thanks..

    JL

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