To Create or Curate? Content that Feeds Your Email Marketing Campaigns. Jessica Lunk Your small but mighty business is running a tight ship. You know that content helps to entertain your audience, educate prospects, and convert opportunities into customers, but not many small businesses have resources that can be completely dedicated to creating content. When our small business customers think about sending an email marketing campaign, they often feel overwhelmed by producing enough content to power their email marketing. But feeding your email marketing engine can actually be pretty simple. Here are a few tips on what to create and what to curate: What to Create: Repurpose existing assets. Some content is evergreen and never goes out of style. Recycle your existing content to expand your content library. Combine 10 related blog posts into an ebook. Break up a guide or report into 10 new blog posts. Upload an existing presentation to SlideShare. Reimagine print material like brochures, handouts and packets into online presentations, articles, and guides. Customer stories. Your best customers are advocates of your brand who want to help you succeed. Interview your customers for powerful collateral you can share with your prospects. Ask how your business has impacted your customer for a compelling case study. Ask your customer how they have tackled a problem that your audience faces for an easy how-to article. Survey results. It’s the age of big data, and we love using data to draw conclusions and to back up opinions. Send out a quick poll to check the pulse of your audience and write up a blog post on your findings. Survey your current customers and create a sharable report. Images and Slides. While you might not be an infographic genius, tools like Canva, Powerpoint, SlideShare, and Prezi make it easy to look good. Break up an article into digestible chunks for a sharable presentation. Create a workbook using a Powerpoint template with prompting placeholder text. Use slides to highlight individual data and facts. Team Members. Often content creation falls on one person, whether it’s the marketing manager or the owner themselves. If you’re driving content creation, don’t forget to reach out to your team members for help. Interview a team member for a Q&A article. Ask a team member to write a blog post about their niche or give their view on a topic. What to Curate: Lists. Pick and topic and run with it. A top 10, the best of, the mostest – lists are like candy, they’re addictive, easily consumed and your audience loves them. Curate a list of articles. Take a page from BuzzFeed and compile a list of fun photos or gifs. List stats, facts, or data. News. Were you mentioned in an article? Is your industry in the national spotlight? Share with your audience. Set up a Google Alert or Talkwalker Alert to be notified when your business or industry makes news. Follow reputable sources in your industry on social media and share the news that’s going viral. Videos. Share informative and entertaining videos. Embed a video within a blog post. Curate videos on your YouTube channel and share the link. Infographics. Search Google images for powerful infographics that speak to your audience. Embed (and attribute) an infographic in a blog post. Send a link to a helpful infographic in an email. Industry Reports. As a smaller biz, you don’t necessarily have access to tons of customer data. Third party reports can help add credibility to your value proposition. Industry analyst reports. Reports published by non-competitors in your space. Thought Leadership. Share what thought leaders are saying about your industry or a customer pain-point. LinkedIn is a great place to start looking for thought leadership articles in your area of expertise. Photo Inspiration. A photo is worth a thousand words, but you may not be a photog or designer. Tap into others’ talents to inspire your audience. Create a Pinterest board and send it out in an email campaign. Creating your own content is extremely valuable, but can be time consuming. Don’t be afraid to supplement the content you’ve created with awesome third party resources. Not only will your audience love seeing something fresh, inspiring, entertaining or educational, but you’ll gain a bit of good karma by sharing (and attributing, of course!) in today’s social economy.