Our entire approach to content has changed.

What sort of language do you use with your clients? Do you tend to have a more casual tone and throw in the occasional emoji, or do you keep it formal and professional? The way society communicates has evolved, and client interactions haven’t been immune to this. So when it comes to talking about technology, the way we get the point across has evolved too.

Our guest this week is long-time quilter, author, and dog mom, Val Swisher. Oh, and she also happens to be the CEO of Content Rules, an industry leader in content strategy. Val has been dubbed “The Queen of Content Strategy” and with good reason. After 25 years at the helm, she ought to know a thing or two about great content.

Do more with the content that you actually have rather than reinvent the wheel.

Entrepreneurs’ time is precious, so what better way to maximize it than to repurpose your existing content? Leveraging your content can be advantageous and powerful, as it’s been proven effective in increasing traffic, exposure, and subscriber numbers. These four benefits are just some of the many reasons this approach can be fruitful. Because as Val suggests, you can do more with the content you spent all this time curating, and get the most out of it.

Personalization, personalization, personalization.

Over the past three to five years, there’s been a shift in content strategy from technical content to marketing content. This may require some work on the marketing side to rise to the occasion. It all comes down to personalization. According to Val, the “best way to provide a personalized experience is to have content that is written and stored in very small chunks that is very well tagged.” As long as the information is properly filed, it can be applied to any number of clients that meet the criteria. But even though this opportunity exists, Val says most content creators haven’t quite connected those dots yet. Why? “The tools are such that it’s hard for the techcom writers to really embrace and understand, to get the power out of these tools. They are not accessible in the marketing arena.”

“If you are going to reuse content, you need to reinvent the way you create.” – Val Swisher, CEO – ContentRules

It’s hard enough for people to wrap their heads around the task of reusing content, so to expect them to revise the way they create content in order to make it reusable is next to impossible. But it’s necessary in order to do it effectively. The silver lining? If you go into the process with the intention of building content with multiple applications, then it should be easy to make it versatile. And this comes back to personalization. If your content is stored and tagged properly, then it should be easy to plug and play.

It is more than just changing a file format.

Although Val advocates for repurposing content, not all of your existing content will be reusable. For those pieces that can be reused, there may be some legwork involved. Certain captions or verbiage may need to be revised to make it work within the new context. Something as simple as referring to image placement in the original piece may need to be changed if that placement no longer applies. This is why it’s so important to make your content as universal as possible.

If you do it right the first time, your content is ready to be used again and again, saving you time and money in the long run, and making your content exponentially more valuable to your bottom line.

To learn more from Val Swisher on what it takes to streamline your content, download her ebook “What is Content Optimization?”.