Whether your aim is to create online education, make content marketing part of your sales strategy, or both, you have to have content. That realization alone is enough to bring many projects to a standstill, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Just giving a digital twist to some well-worn, old school approaches to content can give you a jump start.
Record a Phone Call
One of the quickest ways to come up with some high-quality content for marketing or education purposes is to phone up an expert on a topic and interview her. That someone might be a business colleague, a member, or even you next door neighbor. In other words, it doesn’t have to be someone famous or hard to book: the person simply needs to know what she’s talking about.
And here’s the small, simple twist – record the call as an MP3 file that can be played over the Web. These days you don’t have to know what an MP3 file is to make this work. In fact, you hardly even have to know what the Web is. Here are some options:
- FreeConference and FreeAudioConferencing each offer low cost options for recording your phone conversations and serving them up online. Tip: Don’t get bogged down with the word “conference.” This doesn’t have to be a big orchestrated event. It can just be you and one or two other people talking about an interesting topic and recording it for on-demand access by others. If you want to kick things up a notch and move into the realm of true podcasting, give GCast a try.
Create a Transcript
Creating a transcript from the audio from an event is so easy and cost-effective that I am amazed how often it gets overlooked these days. One of the services above, FreeConference, also offers transcription services to go along with its recording feature. You can bundle up the audio file and the transcript or make them available separately.
Another option for transcription – one I use for my podcasts over on Mission to Learn – is to go to Elance or one of the other Web-based services for hiring freelancers and find a low-cost transcriptionist. I’ve been getting a half hour of audio content transcribed for $5-10.
Imagine – you could stick an easy-to-use digital recorder in front of a conference speaker (with his permission, of course!), capture the audio, send it off to a transcriptionist, create a PDF from the transcription, and bang – you’ve got a new piece of educational and/or marketing content for your Web site. (Personally, I like the Sony ICDUX70 Digital Voice Recorder. It is incredibly easy to use.)
So these may not sound like the sexiest digital products you could produce. No video. No Flash. But they both possess a remarkable quality – they are highly usable. It’s easy for people to download an audio file to their computer or iPod and play it at their convenience. It is even easier for most people to open a PDF and read – or even print it out so that they can read while their plane is taking off, etc. And depending on how you do it, text content can do a lot more than other types of content to improve your search engine results.
So, don’t let a steep learning curve thwart your efforts to produce digital content. Keep it simple with the approaches above, and you’ll be on your way in no time.
Hedgehog & Fox
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