Welcome to yet another year of more content, more buyer’s journey talk, and more customer experience need – all dependent on compelling and informative content. Seems like every industry and niche are in the midst of publishing a few of these pieces outlining content marketing trends, issues, and solutions. This overabundance of content isn’t exclusive to content marketing as a topic. The whole world is publishing content at a feverish pace.
Unfortunately for marketers, the more and more content we create, the more of a job it is to curate – creating, publishing, auditing, refreshing, archiving, etc. On top of that, with all this new content, comes even more pressure to prove that it’s generating a strong return. More content = more overhead = more resources = more spending.
So, knowing you will need more content to support your sales and marketing programs, how can you spend less, yet still deliver compelling content that will resonate with your prospects? It’s not a complex problem if following four simple rules:
- Regularly audit (at minimum, every 3 months) all of your organizations content and communications across all of your platforms to maximize opportunities for re-use. As part of this process, the content must be categorized (theme, audience, buyer journey stage, and date published) and monitored (# of downloads, quality rating, and relevancy assessment). If the content is underperforming, can it be corrected? Or should it be archived? For high performers, can it be re-purposed for a new audience?
- Plan and create (be strategic) an overall content production schedule with strict guidelines. Re-purpose content first, only creating new content when necessary but designed for re-purposing from the start. Never de-prioritize quality. Archive content that is not performing quickly. And transform all communications into content if it educates.
- Create customizable content by developing templates and guidelines for partners to use. Help channel partners contextualize already-created content while incorporating their own unique style, branding and value propositions – maximizing the B2B marketer’s content creation, and allowing a partner’s marketing team to efficiently customize, saving time and money.
- Measure the value of the content. Marketing leaders need to demonstrate the value of content marketing programs, but many don’t know where to begin. Use the process detailed in ‘3 Steps to Measure the Value of Content Marketing’ (Gartner subscription required) research to measure your content marketing program and establish the value it brings to your business.
Be aware however, more content isn’t always good. Not only will it create additional overhead and cost to curate, more and more content on the same topic may reduce engagement rates. BuzzSumo recently published an interesting analysis that shows engagement levels dropping as content levels increase.
Finally, as we move through 2018, be sure your team has a documented strategy. According to CoSchedule’s recent survey, “Marketers who document strategy are 538% more likely to report success than those who don’t.” If you are looking for ideas and guidance, check out ‘Using Quantitative Data to Inform Content Strategy and Creation’ (Gartner subscription required).
Content will continue to be top of mind for marketers. Generating interest and driving engagement will be key to achieving real business results. Keeping pace with the demand for high-quality content and continued competition, promises to have marketing leaders responsible for balancing resources, budgets, and content demand very busy.