A lot goes into creating a really great piece of B2B content. Countless cups of coffee. Thousands of trips to the kitchen. Hours of writing (and rewriting). And that’s just on the production end. After all the i’s have been dotted and t’s have been crossed, it’s time for the most important piece of the puzzle: making sure your content actually gets read by the right people.
But who are the right people? And more importantly, how do you ensure your content addresses their ever-changing needs?
One of the best things about creating content in an ABM world is that you not only know the answers to those questions, but you can also frame your content marketing efforts around your target accounts. But before you start panicking and thinking you’ll need to create a new set of content for each one of your audiences, you should know that ABM actually makes content creation that much more effective and efficient. In fact, in most cases, you probably already have a lot of existing assets that are relevant—you just need to find creative ways to reuse and repurpose them.
As you start to wrap your head around creating content in an ABM world, the steps below should provide a rough framework for your efforts:
Step 1: Do your research
Good content starts with a deep understanding of your audience. Who are you targeting? What are their needs? What challenges are they currently facing? How do they consume content? What types of content do they prefer? What types of personas make up the buying committee?
The answers to these questions can be found through conversations with your customer-facing teams, including Account Executives, Sales Development reps, Customer Success Managers, Field Marketing and Demand Gen. You’ll need to work closely with them to uncover answers and draw inspiration about the companies on your target account list. Depending on your goals, you can concentrate your content efforts to your broader list or narrow the beam and focus on select verticals, including industry, customers, geography, sales stage etc.
Step 2: Audit your existing content
When it comes to ABM, there’s this common misconception that you have to create a new set of content for each one of the companies on your target account list. While you will have to create new content, given that the needs and challenges of your target account list will change over time, there’s no need to start from scratch. In most cases, you probably already have a lot of existing assets that are relevant. A content audit can help surface those pieces, clear out clutter and help you identify gaps and prioritize what you need to create.
A content audit is also a good time to understand performance. Use Google Analytics data to look at the following metrics: page views, time on page, downloads, conversion rates, MQLs, pipeline and closed revenue. These insights will help you understand who resonates with your audience, including what’s working and what isn’t.
Step 3: Find ways to reuse and repurpose existing pieces
Following your content audit, you should have a good idea about what exists and what you’ll need to create. Depending on the audience you’re targeting, you can take existing pieces and tailor them to fit particular segments. For example, let’s say you have an evergreen asset that consistently performs well. You can tweak the copy that introduces the piece, craft a more compelling call-to-action and change up the imagery surrounding the asset, all while quickly transitioning it to fit different segments on your target account list. Below is an example of an asset we’ve transitioned to fit the Financial Services industry:
(In fact, this very blog post is repurposed and reworked to fit our blog from one of our larger eBooks, ABM is a Team Sport: How ABM Impacts Your Role. You can check the eBook out here).
Step 4: Build a distribution plan
By step four, you should have a set of new, reused or repurposed content. Now comes the hard part, you’ll need to ensure all the great content you’ve just created actually makes it into the hands of your target segments. So how exactly do you go about doing that? You can go the traditional route and send out emails to folks on your account list or run content syndication campaigns that target key companies. Or you can get more creative and personalize specific pages of your website and surface relevant pieces as target accounts show up. Here’s an example of what that looks like:
Beyond personalizing your website, you’ll also want to share your content across advertising, your social channels, your customer marketing team, your customer success team and other newsletter communications.
Finally, as you start to think about distribution, keep your sales development team in mind. They’re on the frontlines and have unique insight into the challenges and needs of your target accounts. Not only can they provide inspiration for your content efforts, but they can also promote and distribute your content to the right accounts.