Whether part of a large solar organization, a single-person marketing department in energy storage, or a sole proprietor, there is never enough time in the day or budget to create and distribute all of the content you and your team would like. If you have figured out how to produce it ALL, call me. I want to hear how.
Clean energy and its assorted technologies are incredible. Every day, there is something new to learn and discuss. Though most of the technologies have been around for a long time, the global application of them to decarbonize our energy supply is new. And that can take some explaining. Most clean energy brands embrace some form of educational content to do so.
What do I mean by content? Content can be – but certainly not limited to – video, articles, podcasts, white papers, blog posts, social posts, webinars, advertising, speaking at an event, case studies, brochures, infographics… and so on.
There is no shortage of ideas to talk about with your audience. Time and budget, however, are limiting factors. How do you create the most value from every piece of content you create?
Brand and Audience
Before we answer that question, let’s talk brand and audience. While you don’t control what people think of your brand, you can influence the direction of those thoughts. Clean energy companies who have the most influence of their brand perception have been strategic in defining their brand. You can read more about understanding your brand here.
Once you’ve defined your brand, the types of content you produce should reflect that brand personality. For example, producing a white paper on the effects nitrogen levels in the atmosphere on have on battery chemistries when a key aspect of your brand personality is fun is a mismatch. However, presenting the same information in a Bill Nye-type video is more in line with your brand personality.
You know your brand. Do you know your audience? WHO you’re speaking to? Get specific here. Saying “the solar industry” isn’t specific enough. Executives in engineering in solar is better. Define your core target audiences that will have the most impact on your brand. This can and should change over time.
Branding audiences may not be the same as sales audiences. Think about an organization working to raise Series A investments. Their customers are not investors – not who their sales team is trying to reach. But they definitely want to represent their brand well to investors. Investors is a brand audience, but not a sales audience.
You’ve defined your brand. You’ve defined your current audiences. Now you’re ready to get tactical and create content.
No piece of content should be a unitasker. My clients hear me say it all the time – no unitaskers.
What does that mean? It means if you’re going to go through the process of creating the content, you should be able to do more than one thing with that piece of content.
Let’s take a webinar as an example. When done right, prepping for a webinar takes time and effort. We’ve all been to webinars where it was clear they didn’t have a defined audience, nor did they invest the time necessary to prep for a successful webinar.
If you and your team are investing time in preparing for a webinar, then you are not investing in time creating other content. So, make the most of the webinar.
One webinar can offer a multiple pieces of content. It is not JUST the webinar itself. It might include:
Preparation prior to the webinar
Related topics will come up in preparation but may not fit with the focus of the webinar. Be sure to note those topics as they can be used for future content.
Promotion prior to the webinar
Promoting the webinar gives you social media content and newsletter content.
The webinar itself is, of course, the core piece of content. In addition to the actual webinar, leads and audience members added to your newsletter list result.
Transcribe the webinar and convert it to a blog post. Assuming you’ve done the work to prep for the webinar, this process will be much quicker than creating a post from scratch. Post on your website; share via social and your newsletter.
Once the webinar is complete, it can be posted on your website as a video. Snippets of the webinar can be pulled from the full webinar to post on social and YouTube.
Graphics developed for the webinar can be shared via social. They can be used for blog posts or other presentations. They might work as a base for a larger infographic.
And don’t forget the presentation itself. How can parts of the presentation be used in other sales or training presentations?
“But all of those extra items will take time!” you say. Agreed. It will. However, it will take significantly LESS time than starting from scratch for each of those pieces. Strategizing, researching, crafting a narrative, designing, and revising take a lot of time. Going through that process only once to produce multiple pieces of content will save time.
Approach Content with a “No Unitaskers” Mindset
- Ensure you understand your brand and audience.
- Determine the core piece of content.
- Brainstorm all of the items that can flow from that single piece of content. As you do this more, it’ll become habit to think of other content output. You can even turn it into a process – itemizing pieces that always result from a core content item.
- Develop as much as you can once. Create content items as a group. This isn’t always possible with something like a webinar, where content pieces rely on the webinar recording to produce. But you can with many items that don’t rely on that recording.
- Develop the assets into a library accessible by other members of your team to use in materials you may not touch.
Sometimes content IS a unitasker. “No unitaskers” doesn’t need to be a hard line. However, it is worth asking when a content item is stand-alone if it adds enough value to the brand to be worth the time and effort.