Everything you read about to be a successful marketer these days is about content, content, content. It makes it sound as if it is a new concept, but it isn’t. As marketers we have always generated content for our prospects and customers, in the past it was just called brochures, direct mail pieces, white papers and articles rather than blogs, infographics, tweets and vlogs. So no huge change here for marketing. The major change however is the number of channels we now have available to promote our content and the speed at which it is consumed and then discarded or even worse, not consumed at all. So how do we manage this huge demand for new content to support marketing initiatives?
The approach that we take at CMO Centre is based around market research. Understand the market and target audience to whom you are marketing, know their challenges, what keeps them awake at night, what are they interested in and how do they consume content. Review the trends in the market, what is everyone talking about, what are the analysts, experts and industry gurus saying. Using these 2 bits of core research you can identify what links they have to what it is you do, what you are selling and how what it is you do will impact your target market.
This will help you to create your value proposition and then build the themes under which you can build your content to promote your value proposition to attract the attention of your target market. We suggest that you create a calendar of interesting and challenging themes (no more than 12 months ahead because themes will change aligned to what is happening in the market). Plan to run with a single theme for as long as it takes to get the core messages across. For most of our clients in B2B we recommend that a theme lasts for at least 3 months and typically up to 6 months because as I always say. “We get bored of hearing our own messages much quicker than the people who we are hoping will read them.”
We recommend that you select content themes that are quite broad, enabling you to align your core marketing messages with them in a number of different ways and of course different formats. If you make a theme too narrow it will be difficult to keep good quality content running through the campaign without too much repetition. Some repetition is of course necessary in order to get the key points you are making across and because it takes a while for those messages to be absorbed.
Once your content theme calendar is in place it is possible to populate the calendar with the content elements and the formats these will take. The white papers, e-books, research, articles, blogs, videos, infographics, tweets, posts, images, whatever the relevant range of options you have for your target market content delivery. We think it is easier to create the meaty pieces of content first for example a white paper or e-book because these can then be easily broken down into articles, blogs, posts and tweets and can serve a wide range of purposes across a wide range of channels over a longer period of time.
The main point with all content generation within a consistent theme however is that it is not necessary to create it all yourself. Look for opportunities to syndicate and re-use other peoples content. We are living in the sharing global community and there is a huge amount of good quality content out there. Most content generators will value you re-using their content if they get the credit for it. Look for content that is not necessarily directly competitive to what you do but is complimentary or will just be interesting to your audience. It is important to add value, if you want to attract someone’s attention for positive reasons then provide them with content that they are interested in as well as stuff that informs and educates about what you do.
The key thing is not to get bogged down in content creation, plan well, keep themes simple and broad and re-use other peoples content where it is relevant and adds value to your campaign. If you need advise on creating effective B2B content based campaigns please get in touch.
Emma Muir – Managing Director, CMO Centre – www.cmocentre.comtwitter: @cmocentre
CMO Centre is the place to find part-time, project and interim marketing and lead/demand generation resources for your B2B marketing. Our people have huge amounts of experience, lots of enthusiasm and the ability to turn your business strategy into measurable marketing reality. Founded in 2010 on the basis that all growing and early stage B2B businesses need a great marketing team with a broad range of skills but many do not need them on a full-time basis.