How to Manage Your Digital Content Assets and Increase Their Value


by Jane Zupan:

A full content marketing strategy has many moving pieces: It might include a blog, a resource center, infographics, newsletters, social media, and whatever we decide to invent (or reimagine!) next week. And, too often, marketers tend to adopt a “more is better” mentality, directing a fire hose of content at a highly distractible audience.

What’s more, it can be difficult for content creators on the backend to keep track of and derive the greatest benefits from the digital assets they already have, losing them within a disorganized content fray.

Rather than throwing as much budget as possible toward content creation, taking a “quality over quantity” approach can reap greater rewards. We’ll discuss why a “less is more” approach is beneficial and how to ensure any content you do create has the maximum marketing impact.

Create less content with more purpose

One of the primary goals of any marketing activity is to present a brand’s products or services in a favorable light. But in today’s content-driven online environment, marketing materials about content not directly about the product are often just as valuable to a company as the products themselves. White papers, instructional e-books, how-to articles, videos, images, and infographics are, in many instances, replacing traditional advertisements.

Accordingly, it makes financial sense to treat each piece of marketing content like a valuable product with a measurable ROI rather than just another blip in a marketing spam barrage.

When marketers adapt a more is better mentality, they essentially create spam that neither their current nor their potential customers want to read. Catchy headlines with useless content may drive readers to a site, but they’ll bounce quickly, never to return. A barrage of hastily made videos weakens a customer’s reputation and expertise standing in the customer’s eye.

Instead, think of creating epic content as if it were an investment. Invest the time, invest the money, and your product or company will become an industry expert and leader rather than a nuisance.

Now that we’ve discussed the “why,” let’s take a look at the “how.” Here are a few key strategies for making the most of your digital assets.

1. Set clear goals

Getting specific and realistic with what you can produce is what will give your digital asset strategy momentum. First, set the big goals, such as “increase revenue of product X by 10% by next January.” Then, break that bigger goal into smaller steps:

  • Launch an educational video series about product X. This goal should have even clearer sub-goals (objectives), such as posting something new every Tuesday and ensuring your social media efforts produce at least 100 views.
  • Increase comments on product-specific videos, infographics, and photo campaigns 20% by November of this year by analyzing engagement rates.
  • Diversify the types of content promoting product X to include visual media trailers hosted on YouTube by year’s end.
  • Increase number of retweets about product X by 30% by reaching out and distributing content to influencers.

With such clear goals for your content set, you’ll be sure to wring the value out of your digital assets down to the very last drop.

2. Create content your followers actually want to consume

Too often, marketers try to create content in the dark when there are better ways to go about production that keep marketers out of the content mill mentality and increase the lifespan of the digital assets they create. A few key strategies:

  • Go beyond text. Consider infographics, video, cinemagraphs, images, podcasts, quizzes, and surveys. Varying your content will keep followers coming back and linking in, which in turn can help you to attract new followers, wringing more value out of the content you create. (Here’s an example of how you might create a new piece of content out of another.)
  • Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to brainstorm relevant content. Enter your target keywords and search for customer questions with low competition rates. Brainstorm videos and infographics to fill in the gaps that your competitors have left behind. Fit those efforts into your larger marketing strategy by promoting them with blog posts and social media posts. Together, those efforts will lend your potential customers a helping hand while establishing your expertise.
  • Make it actionable. All of your content should have immediate value to fans and followers; most of it should also give them something to do. Consider asking your readers to vote on a product, enter a contest, or post a photo.
  • Aim to create epic content, every time. Create content that addresses consumer questions, entertains, and actually relates to what your product does.

3. Actively curate digital content from users

Sometimes, it’s best to pay for digital content; other times, it’s best to turn it over to the users.

If you’ve got an active community of fans, consider creating a social media giveaway contest centered on user submissions—photos, videos, comics, audio recordings, or infographics.

The topic could range from the literal, such as “My Personal Guide to Using Product X,” to the more creative and wacky, such as “My Personal Guide to Using Product X to do This Unusual Thing.” Social media followers like to get creative, and inviting them to produce their own work will likely result in a significant number of social shares.

Though you won’t be able to track and promote all of this digital content, you can make use of submissions throughout the year, interviewing contest winners, using helpful submissions in further posts (with the contestant’s permission, of course), and doing “best of” or highlight pieces down the line. In fact, user submissions can produce a whole library of content.

When is it best to pay? Any time your goal is to establish expertise and thought leadership, as well as an air of professionalism. For example, you’ll want a fantastic script writer and whiz-bam video production team for a product video, as well as a team of professional designers to make that infographic pop.

4. Understand your distribution channels

You can have the best content in the world, but it will only do well if you really understand the channel on which you’re distributing it.

  • Know what each channel is for. Don’t distribute a funny, casual comic on LinkedIn and expect it to get as many shares as it will on Facebook. Before launching in, take the time to analyze the audience for each social media platform. LinkedIn is for business, while Facebook and Twitter are better for more casual and newsy updates and contests.
  • Analyze your performance on each channel. If you have a business page, Facebook does a good job of letting you know how many times your digital content has been liked or shared. You can also look at your Google Analytics page to determine what content has proven most popular. Engagement rates for each asset is particularly important information that can inform content decisions in the future while also indicating when it might be time to up your social media promotion of that content.

5. Develop a content production and digital asset management plan

If the marketer is the new media mogul, you’ve got to have a clear system for creating regular digital content and managing what you’ve got, or else you’ll quickly lose track of your efforts and great content either won’t be produced or will slip through the cracks. Creating an editorial calendar is key.

You might also want to consider creating or investing in a digital asset management tool that can help streamline and standardize the content management within your organization. This could be particularly important if you have multiple teams producing content, or if your organization plans to scale rapidly. (Read more about which CMS solutions are best for your needs.)

6. Ensure your content is protected

It’s not enough to just create content and manage it well. You need to be vigilant about getting credit for your content. A good rule is to treat your content like intellectual property (PDF).

Make sure every digital asset you produce contains your logo and links both to your website and to all of your social media accounts so that consumers know who you are, what you do, and how to find out more about you both immediately and in the future, when searching through archives.

Let’s wrap it all up

If content is king, treat it as such:

  • Devote time and mental effort into producing the highest-quality, most diverse and actionable digital assets possible so you can dominate your market.
  • Develop specific and achievable benchmarks and goals for getting your valuable marketing content out there, receiving recognition, and widening your base.
  • Be ruthless about measuring your success, and don’t be afraid to recalibrate your approach based on the results.

With all these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to get the most both out of your digital assets and your content marketing strategy as a whole.