How to Use Canned Content

By Kristin Sundin Brandt, CFMP

With the focus on content marketing and social media continuing to intensify, a market for pre-written (or canned) content has been created, with businesses subscribing to receive access to a library of content that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and other channels. And while the most militant of content marketers may say you should never (ever, ever, ever) used canned content, the affordability, convenience, and ease of using content services certainly make them appealing.

With that in mind, I took some time to review these services to identify how you can use canned content to best support your marketing and business strategies:

Be relevant.

With a huge library of available content, there’s no limit to the topics on which you can share. Before you start, consider why a person would be following your organization and what topics they might be looking for from you.

Think about it—if you wouldn’t turn to your gym for financial advice, why would you turn to your bank for fitness tips? Skip the fitness tips, the recipes, and the moments of questionable historical significance. Instead, deliver relevant content by looking for messages that connect back to your organization’s expertise or services.

For example, within one content service, we found posts about money savings tips, home ownership, and consumer protection, all perfect for a community bank.

Be consistent.

While there is no question that the images within these services are beautiful, there is only one thing that connects all that is available—a lack of consistency.

Three quotes. Three design styles.

 

Fortunately, many of the services available allow you to customize the content with photos and colors of your choosing, plus your company’s logo. Through the selection of colors, fonts, and photos, you can create cohesive messages that support your overall brand standards and fit into other marketing messages.

For example, here are the three quotes again, but tweaked to match the Sundin Associates style:

Be authentic.

Ensure the image you use also connects with the people and places your organization represents. For example, a quote from John Quincy Adams superimposed on New York City’s iconic Central Park will not work for an organization based in a rural part of the country. The well-known urban setting of the image immediately creates brand dissonance, which can be easily remedied by switching the background, as shown below.
Be selective.

If you are posting a piece of canned content to your social channels more than once or twice a week, I’m here to tell you…you are doing it wrong.

Canned content may be fun and fill your social media bucket, but it does very little to drive traffic to your website or to meet any strategic objectives. Instead, content of this type should be one (small) part of your larger content strategy, which should include leveraged content (press releases, newsletters, etc.), product and service updates, and original content.

So use canned content. But be thoughtful. Otherwise, you are just making noise.

Kristin Sundin Brandt, CFMP, is the president of Sundin Associates Inc., Natick, Mass., an agency specializing in financial services companies.  

Photo Credit: All images were created utilizing the PromoRepublic tool as part of a business trial. This article should not be considered an endorsement by the author or the ABA Marketing Network of any given service.

 

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