Content is king, right? That seems to be the hot phrase in B2B these days, and with good reason. Content is a way to convey your messaging in a less intrusive way to prospective customers. It’s a way to keep you relevant. And it’s a way to reach a broader audience than you otherwise would be able to. But my goodness is there a lot of it. I predict that in the new age of marketing, the mandate for marketers will shift from creating content to creating credible platforms so that their content is more impactful.
Recently, I had the good fortune of taking part in a call set up by Forrester Research, Inc. for B2B marketers to share best practices on content creation and curation. It was a fascinating discussion, and in thinking about our contribution, I realized that we have done a lot in the way of improving our content development engine over the past couple of years. That inspired this post, which I hope you will find helpful. Unlike a lot of things I read around content, I am going to presuppose that you are already developing relevent and engaging content. If you are looking for tips on how to create content, click here. What I want to focus on is what to do with that awesome blog or ebook or video once you have it. With that, here are 3 ways you can make your content more effective:
1. Make sure each piece of content spawns at least 2 more pieces of content.
One of the biggest problems I see from good marketers is that they invest time and effort into an exceptional asset, and then push it out once to their leads and lock it away forever in the never-ending pit known as the “Archive.” People today don’t have time to check out the latest and greatest from all content sources, so they definitely don’t have time to read old articles or blogs. Keep your message fresh, that is exceedingly important. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that each piece of content spawns at least 2 more pieces of content. For example, if one of my subject matter experts writes a blog post, it will be put up on our blog. But then, I might take that post and add more to it, creating a contributed article for some industry publication. Or perhaps I cut it down and use it as an abstract submission for a speaking engagement at some major industry conference. See what I mean? By ensuring that everything gets repurposed for at minimum two other projects, I’m extending the life of the asset and saving myself time and energy that can be used elsewhere.
2. Add content creation to the list of annual goals for your employees.
If you work in a successful, intelligent organization, which again I will presume that you do, you as a marketer are likely hardpressed to get experts to spend time on creating content for your efforts. The sad reality is that for people who are fully allocated on client work, or on developing some new and exciting technology, writing a blog post just isn’t very high on the priority list. And that’s understandable, so you have to find a way to work around that obstacle. It starts at the top. You as a marketer need to have executive sponsorship and support for your content creation to be successful. Something that has worked for us that might be helpful is to add content goals directly into the annual review process for all employees. For me personally, I am tasked with creating 12 blog posts in 2013 (I’m running behind!). Having that bit of structure gives me something concrete to work towards. Asking, “can you write an article about your expertise whenever you have some free time?” is usually not going to yield the desired outcome. Another response that I often receive when working with subject matter experts is, “I don’t know what to talk about.” People seem to take their own expertise for granted sometimes. What might be common sense in your day-to-day could be a great tip for someone reading your advice. Setting concrete goals will help those not used to generating content to envision what they could possibly write or talk about.
3. Develop syndication partnerships.
This is something that has worked very well in our department, and would be one of the top pieces of advice I could give. Again, this assumes that your content is very strong, but hey, you work for _______, so I’m sure that it is! Anyway, follow industry aggregator sites that you admire, comment on posts and make your presence known. Once you have interacted with other users, reach out and ask about setting up a content syndication partnership so that when you publish a blog, it will be fed to an entirely different set of potential viewers. At Quaero, we have current partnerships with such sites as The B2B Marketing Zone, Business2Community, and CustomerThink. It has done wonders for our exposure, and we are always looking for new outlets that we can contribute to. In some cases, a syndication partner might deliver up to 10X, 20X, or even 30X the amount of viewership that a post would have gotten on our blog alone. It is a very effective way to promote your thought leadership.
And, those are the three tips. Of course, there are many other ways that you can go about improving the effectiveness of your content, but I have to save something for another post… you know, so I can keep creating content!
How do you go about pushing your awesome content to the desired audience?
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