Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of developing a content method? Don’t be! All the tools you need are right under your nose.

Developing a new or first-time content strategy can be intimidating. Regardless of whether you’re a veteran content strategist or a complete novice, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint just where to begin, how to dive in, and what elements your strategy should include.

Though the prospect of developing a content strategy can be stressful, the process itself doesn’t have to be. In all likelihood, you probably already have a decent portion of the information and resources you need on hand — it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.

Jonathan Allen, President of L&T Co., suggests taking stock of your current situation before mapping out a new content strategy. “What assets have you created already, and what does your content creation process look like?”

Consider Your Existing Assets

Allen suggests “[running] through existing assets [because] you’re likely to have created content ideas without realizing, or that you just forgot about.” Review old pitch decks, slide decks from conferences, or webinars that your boss or another team member have led. Even informal sources — internal communications, emails, or a recent conversation with a co-worker — can serve as inspiration.

Be vigilant in your analysis. What themes emerge? What ideas do you think could be teased out and expanded upon? Are there certain common threads that jump out as particularly hot topics? Dive into those ideas as the basis for blog posts, site copy, and special content initiatives.

Another point of entry for developing new content is to consider the common questions people have about your business or service offerings, and build your strategy with these inquiries in mind. When your mom, a neighbor, or someone in a bar asks you what you do, what do you say? Your elevator pitch may just provide the perfect outline for an industry-specific whitepaper or marketing campaign.

Strategize Intelligently

After taking inventory of the content you’ve already created — especially more recent pieces — consider how these materials might be repurposed to maximum effect. Could that slide deck be transformed into a blog post, email campaign, or social media post? Or maybe even a webinar or white paper?

Allen also suggests considering “style and tone and whether you want to retain or depart from it.” Has your company rebranded recently? Is some of the old content just a little off? Consider your current content topics, formats, and contributors, and repurpose outmoded content to fit your updated strategy.

Even if the resources you’ve gathered aren’t well-suited for use as published content, they may serve a broader purpose in your editorial strategy. Does an old conference presentation help identify or define your target persona? Does an email exchange perfectly sum up your branding strategy? Don’t discount seemingly tangential resources; instead, consider them part of a holistic approach to your content strategy.

Just because you’re coming up with a new strategy doesn’t mean you need to scrap everything and start from zero. By taking a close look at the assets already in your arsenal, you’ll find that most of what you need is already right around you.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.

Author Hilary Krutt

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Hilary joined L&T after several years in the publishing industry at Simon & Schuster. As a member of the editorial board for the Off the Shelf book blog, her writing has been featured on the Huffington Post, among other major publications. At L&T, Hilary manages content quality and production, collaborating directly with writers, content managers, and clients to ensure every piece we write hits the mark every time. In her free time, Hilary is an avid reader and live music enthusiast. She hails from Boston but currently calls Brooklyn home.

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