Creating Content Assets: Process, Successful Examples, and Tools of the Trade

content marketing pyramid by Curata

With content marketing having its best days, only a few understand its core principles and goals. Examining the data from the Content Marketing Institute study claiming that only 38% of marketers consider their content strategies efficient, it’s not difficult to understand many of them don’t have any clear and documented content strategy to deal with corporate objectives and achieve required results with content.

In other words, they don’t try to keep it all together.

And if you are the one who still considers content as king and tries to come up with as much content as possible, we have bad news for you:

Content marketing strategy is not driven by content but what you want to achieve with it.

With that in mind, you should think of documenting objectives, providing cohesive messages, and creating new content. That is, instead of repurposing your existing content, you should create content assets that will bring you more traffic, conversion, and brand promotion.

In other words, create content assets that help you achieve desired results.

What are these assets?

What strategy shall we follow to implement them successfully?

Are there any specific tools to help content marketers here?

Keep reading to find the answers.

The Pyramid Principle

We know that content marketing is a long-term play. One can’t just publish tons of content assets, share them at social media, and relax waiting for a soon return of investments.

To succeed, make sure to build a step-by-step strategy for your content marketing. The content marketing pyramid from Curata could be your best strategy to do that.

The pyramid principle is a simple but effective way to organize your content assets and make the most out of them. According to it, you should divide all content into three types:

1. Your core content

Core content is original and involves deep research and insights. It’s the content to meet and follow your corporate objectives and marketing themes. This content is the source material you will use for the rest assets of your pyramid.

Examples: ebooks or print books you are going to promote and sell, in-depth guides you will promote for downloading, etc.

2. Your derivative content

As its name implies, this is compelling content that derives from your core content and aims to drive target audience to it. It is more accessible and can be of many formats to produce it. Derivative content will help you spread a message, let people know about your core content, and drive them back to it.

Examples: long-form blog posts, infographics, presentations, bylined guest posts, slides, etc.

3. Your micro-content

Micro-content helps to promote core and derivative assets, building awareness and facilitating conversation.

Examples: social media posts, newsletters, comments, etc.

To make a long story short, check the image by Curata for a clear picture of who is who:

CM Pyramid levels

Dividing your content types after the pyramid principle, you will have a clear picture and plan for their creation and promotion with fewer efforts but better results. It will help you diversify content assets, avoiding repetition and reinventing the wheel, make your content creation flexible aligning it with corporate objectives, balance all content types, and measure the performance of different content within your content marketing campaign.

The pyramid principle also makes it easier for content marketers to keep in mind and align specific content assets and their curation to content marketing strategy. Some are highly promotable while others are underrated though highly efficient: the problem is, while operating in chaos with no particular strategy, content marketers don’t pay attention to them, losing a chance to make their campaigns flourish.

Take a look and make sure to implement them to the pyramid of your content assets.

Highly Promotable Content Assets

We all know that content creation and promotion go hand-in-hand. Instead of spending time on creating tons of writings with weak promotion strategies, make sure you work on highly promotable content your audience will love and help you share it.

NB! Many content assets can be called highly promotable: applications, studies, videos, mixed-media posts, guides, etc.; but they can’t be a one-size-fits-all solution for all content marketers.

Consider the following highly promotable content a part of your marketing strategy:

1. Snowfall-like Projects

This asset became popular in 2012 with NY Times first publishing it. It’s a solid massif of information combining text and interactive elements such as audio, video, images, graphs, and others with the intent to solve a problem or entertain the audience.

Examples: Snow Fall, Glitter in the Dark

glitter in the dark

How to create this type of asset

      • Come up with a short but eye-catching headline.
      • Tell a story.
      • Combine text with several interactive elements.
      • Use interesting features to entertain readers and make them feel “wow!”. (Flash, curtain-style parallax, multiple background shots that change while scrolling, etc.)

Tools of the Trade

As far as this project is not a simple text with images, you will need several tools to deal with it. Use Bid4Papers to help you with storytelling; try Scroll Kit, a visual online editor, to place all components of your content altogether; and use CodePen to choose a design pattern for your project and control all changes in a preview window.

2. Cheat sheets

This asset is your choice if you are going to provide brief but practical instructions that help readers make decisions, execute tactics, or form opinions. Cheat sheets are shorter and less interactive than snow falls, but users still love them for concise nature and information value.

Examples: WordPress Cheat Sheet, SEO Cheat Sheet

cheat sheet

How to create this type of asset

      • Come up with the topic to cover.
      • Identify key things to mention in your cheat sheet.
      • Provide a clear title for readers to understand what they will learn from your cheat sheet. A how-to format works the best.
      • Write short step-by-step instructions to solve a problem or help readers achieve a certain task.
      • Divide content into sections.
      • Use warm colors, pleasant to an eye, that make it easier for readers to scan your cheat sheet.

Tools of the Trade

Cheatography will help you create a cheat sheet, upload it, and share with your audience. Such tools like Photoshop and Canva to make creative graphics, or Tabifier to make CSS format look pretty will be your saviors here, too.

3. E-books

Intended to teach or provide readers with useful and practical information, free and downloadable e-books can help you promote a brand like a pro. A typical e-book is of 15,000+ words providing an in-depth guide on a topic.

Examples: Data-Driven Content Marketing, Guide to Landing Page Copywriting

data driven CM

How to create this type of asset

  • Identify the audience.
  • Choose a topic.
  • Do a research and write an outline.
  • Come up with a good title that will tell all the story but leave a room for a click.
  • Edit and save it in PDF.
  • Design a cover.

Tools of the Trade

This content asset requires more writing efforts from you. Make sure your title is awesome with the help of CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, check your text for duplicates with PlagiarismCheck.org, edit your book with Grammarly, design a nice cover with MyEcoverMaker or eCover, and make sure to check the word count with your own software or with Word Counter.

Underrated Content Assets to Consider

While creating tons of content to spread on the web, marketers forget about the assets at their websites. The content like overview pages, archives, sales presentations, customer support forums, etc. can lead to more effective marketing strategy; so, it wouldn’t be wise to underrate and ignore them.

Consider the following content a part of your content marketing strategy:

1. About Us Pages

Big chances are, this page will be the first one users check when visiting your website. So, it wouldn’t be wise to ignore its content and forget about its promotion while your content marketing campaign.

Examples: Pebble, LessFilms, Yellow Leaf Hammocks

yellow leaf

How to create this type of asset

      • Make it clear and eye-catching.
      • Tell a story.
      • Add references to all memberships and affiliations.
      • Add links to your social media and publications.
      • Include video assets such as interviews, if applicable.

You will not find two identical About Us pages because there are no strict rules for their creation. Everything depends on your creativity and vision, but you can always check designs of your competitors to get inspiration and several creative ideas. It will help you decide on elements to include.

2. 404 Error Pages

Yes, landing on broken web pages is annoying for many users. But you can bring them back to the website by creating a kind of unusual and creative 404 pages. Many content marketers pay attention to this page design and message, which proves its timeliness and relevance.

Examples: GitHub, Magnt, Huwshimi

huwshimi

How to create this type of asset

      • Make it witty.
      • Give it an idea.
      • Use bright images.
      • Add a call to action: a reader should understand what to do and where to click next to solve the problem.

A 404-page design is a must-have for websites, as it can make visitors smile and avoid frustration from clicking on a broken link. Today it becomes more and more challenging for designers to create truly awesome 404 pages: the best ones are shared on social media, getting hundreds of likes and shares.

3. Resources Overview Pages

This asset can help you reach prospective link partners and provide users with additional content of a big value. Including a reference to your overview pages, you will improve your outreach strategy that makes your content promotion flourish.

Examples: Smart Passive Income, Think Traffic

think traffic

How to create this type of asset

      • Write a clear title.
      • Highlight the latest or updated resources.
      • Add visual elements to catch reader’s eye and make it easier for them to scan the page.
      • Mention social media references.

Resources overview pages are beneficial for both your audience and partners, as they help them find and evaluate your content quickly to understand if they find what they want here and if there is something worth linking and sharing.

Final Words

With so many types of content assets available, it’s essential for content marketers to know which ones to use and how to use them for making out the most of their content marketing strategy. The pyramid principle will help you understand who is who and what to do with every content asset to meet your corporate objectives and deal with content workflow. And implementing highly promotable and some underrated content assets to your content marketing plan will let you cover a broader audience, improve your brand awareness, and spread a message.

Take your content marketing to the next level with a documented step-by-step strategy of creating and operating the content assets of all five levels of the Content Marketing Pyramid.

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