By Bob Hebeisen
I clicked to a great post today on Gawker.com entitled “Gotye Uses Fan Interpretations of ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ to Create the Ultimate Cover.”
Gotye (aka Wouter “Wally” De Backer) is the musician/singer/song-writer responsible for the popular indie rock hit “Somebody That I Used To Know.” When he published his music video on YouTube, his fans loved it so much that many of them published “responses” to his video where the fans sang and/or played their own interpretations of Gotye’s song.
What Gotye did that was so brilliant is he then took a bunch of those interpretations, sampled them, and spliced them together into what Gawker is calling “the ultimate cover” version of the popular song. And it really is quite amazing!
It struck me that there are a number of content marketing best practices at play here:
1. Re-tread existing content to freshen up stale subject matter
The original song is terrific, sort of the the 2011 equivalent to Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.” I loved it when it first came out. But to be honest with you, the original song and the popular dance radio remix have gotten so much radio play that I am kind of sick of it now. I often find myself changing channels when it comes on the radio. But I took a chance and clicked the play button on the Gawker article, and I’m glad I did because I really couldn’t keep my eyes off it once it started playing.
In the marketing world, you can re-tread existing content to use it in many different ways. For example…
- Conduct a live webinar. Promote the webinar and drive leads by asking viewers to register.
- Post the webinar slide presentation on SlideShare.
- Record the webinar and post it on your YouTube channel.
- Be sure to type up a transcript of the webinar and post it on your website and in the YouTube description for maximum SEO value.
- Put a landing page on your website with a lead capture form in front of the recorded webinar and then do lead generation email marketing and social media marketing to drive people to the landing page.
- Blog about the webinar you conducted. Maybe do a series of blog posts one for each major point you made in the webinar.
- Take the same webinar content and presentation deck and use it to create a white paper or e-book.
- Create a landing page with a form and then do lead generation activities to promote the white paper or e-book.
Re-treading your content — publishing it in many different formats as described above — allows you to extend the life of the content you create, just like re-treading a tire allows you to extend the life of tires that are worn out. It also provides massive SEO value, and gives your prospects the opportunity to consume your information in whatever format they prefer.
2. Distribute the burden of content creation
Content creation is hard (even if you are epically creative like Gotye). Don’t go it alone. What Gotye has done here is essentially he has leveraged content created by others and published it as something unique and interesting.
You can apply this concept in the Marketing world in a couple of ways. First, get as many people in your organization as possible involved in content creation. Look at how many different authors there are on the HubSpot and ConstantContact blogs. They’ve done a great job of mobilizing everyone in their organization into an army of content creators. This ensures they have a steady volume of blog posts, infographics, e-books, tweets, etc. And it also gives employees the opportunity to be the stars, to showcase their knowledge, and to build their own personal brands.
Another way to distribute the burden of content creation is through content curation. Source the best articles on a particular subject matter created by others, and put them together in a magazine-style blog post. Here’s an example of content curation I created recently: Boston Marketers Digest.
3. Thank and acknowledge your followers and fans
Gotye provided full credits for the content he used to create his mash-up on his own blog. Imagine how thrilled his fans must be to see their own tributes to Gotye used like this by the artist they love! This is a great example of what I call social media currency at work. We all want to see our content acknowledged with comments, likes, shares, retweets, etc. And it is an exercise in reciprocation: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
So please go ahead and share this blog post, and I will be sure to thank you for it and I will reciprocate if I can!