Sunday, December 27, 2009


Cut Content Development Costs: Repurpose Your Prose

If you own a website, you own much more than some sell pages and a check-out. You own digital content in the form of articles, news forums, graphics, pictures, your logo – virtually every piece of your web site is digitized and programmed for display on a variety of browsers, from IE to AOL.

You paid a lot of money for those digital assets but are they paying you back? Are you seeing a nice return on your marketing development dollars? Probably not, but given time…

Digital Advertising

Tom Wheeler, managing Director at Core Capital Partners, recently forecasted that by the year 2011, digital, mobile advertising will hit $14.4 billion dollars. Currently. $1.4 billion is being spent on advertising via mobile computers, PDAs, cell phones, iPods, iPhones – and the list of gadgets just keeps on growing.

So, if your site marketing plan is limited to traditional promotional activities, i.e. PPC, paid links, hosted content and other marketing tactics that worked well last year, chances are you won’t be in business next year.

The Changing Paradigm

Paradigm is an odious word. People toss it around without a clue what it means. It’s one of those buzzwords that every SEO and CEO throws around like verbal confetti. But in the case of digital advertising, we have actually found a legitimate use for the words “changing paradigm.”

A paradigm is nothing more than an “outstandingly clear example,” what, in the day, was called an archetype. So you start researching how digital advertising is going to change things for web-based businesses and you keep running into “changing paradigm,” which doesn’t mean anything more than a changing example. Now, indeed, if we’re spending 1.4 billion on digital advertising today and the projected figure just a few years hence is $14.4, there is clearly something afoot. But it ain’t no paradigm.

The content will be the same. The messages won’t change and the human emotional buttons will still be there. In fact, the only thing that’ll change is the way this content is delivered to the listener or viewer.

Digital Content is Digital Content.

Once a document, a song, a picture or an image of the accountant’s butt is digitized on the copier at the office party, it can be used in lots of ways – ways that you can use to expand your site’s reach (except the accountant butt image. Toss it, PLEASE!) Even more importantly, you can reach that sweet, care-free-money-in-the-pocket-demographic of 15-25 year olds who have lots discretionary income and a cell or PDA.

If your future advertising is land-locked (as in you don’t plan on using digitized content for other promotional uses), you might as well be working in Mesopotamia with a mud table and a stylus. You are sooooo four millennia ago.

Once digitized, content can be quickly, easily and inexpensively adapted to other formats that are picked up by other communications devices. For example, let’s say you put together a weekly podcast for the illumination of your audience. If that podcast is only available on your website, do you have any idea how many opportunities you’re missing?

That same podcast can be formatted to XML scripting and sent via RSS feed to thousands, millions of sites. Or, it could be reformatted for pick up by cell or PDA. This way, even if your number one fan is on the bus, he can still hear your podcast through his cell – if you’re set up to do that. Even hearing aid technology has gone wireless, enabling those with hearing loss to take advantage of all these digital goings-on.

With ad revenues from traditional media dropping (thanks to the inventor of the remote control and the fine art of channel surfing, among other reasons), advertisers are scrambling to find new ways to keep the product or service in front of the buying public. You can’t see a movie without strategic product placement. The main character is eating Fruit Loops for a reason. Kellogg’s paid for that product placement.

What other avenues are growing – fast, especially for smaller online businesses? Cell phone downloads are coming on strong. You often get a 15-second ad for acne cream before your actually content appears on screen. Just cost a few pennies, but you saw it. And the more you see it the more likely you are to buy it.

Spreading Content Development Costs

Good copywriters don’t come cheap. And the ones who also understand SEM can be downright expensive. So, if you’ve paid pesos grandé for content development, you want to use that content in as many ways as you can. It’s an asset, but if it’s parked on your website and not making the digital rounds, you’ve paid more than you have to for a single piece of site text.

Use that expensive (but beautifully written) copy, your own song, your own pictures – whatever digital content you have to create a more expansive presence on the web. It won’t cost you more in development costs and, at least at this time, the costs of digital advertising outlets aren’t enough to break the bank – even if you’re fishing your marketing budget from between the car seats, i.e. it’s cost effective.

So amortize your content development costs and prepare yourself for a 10-fold increase in digital ad revenues. Do you want a piece of that pie?

Start now to stay ahead of the curve.


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