Staying top of mind with prospects requires a steady supply of new content. We call this exercise – Feeding the Content Marketing Monster.
But don’t let content marketing’s demands scare you off. It’s also a lucrative pathway to receptive, highly targeted prospects in the B2B space. Feed it well and it’ll reward you.
Here’s how you get started.
Set up your content marketing program as a shared service. Recognize it as a peer to product marketing and field marketing. Make it a direct report to the CMO.
Staying top of mind with prospects requires a steady supply of quality content.
Shared Service – Internal Planning, External Execution:
Those are the broad strokes. Let’s zoom in and see how everything works together.
Break the operation into two parts: strategy and production. Keep content strategy in-house. Outsource production.
Lines of responsibility are clear. Campaign directors determine what campaigns they’re going to run, the message and the calendar.
For each campaign, they specify, in a requirements document, what content assets they need. Securing those assets is the job of content directors.
Content directors head shared services groups and report to the business units. They find and develop the sources – the external subject matter experts.
Turning Information Into Content:
The content director interviews subject matter experts to develop the content. The content director then manages an ecosystem of content creators to produce the content. Writers, audio and video crews, graphics artists and others put the project together.
The content director gives the finished product to the campaign director for launch.
Strategy, the Big Idea and Everything Else:
Strategy drives the campaign and its content. It’s the content marketer’s role to understand and produce what the campaign director needs.
What’s the campaign’s objective? Who’s the audience? What’s the call to action?
How does this campaign fit with other campaigns? For this architecture, is a blog best – or social media – or an audio file?
These points provide the necessary context for hitting tight specifications.
External Content Production Professionals:
We’ve touched on outsourcing a few times. Production is the portion of the process to send out of house. The reasons might seem obvious: cost. But there’s more to it than that.
Content marketing is a critical and intricate aspect of a company’s business. It’s too complex for any one team to be the best at all of its elements. And needs vary from month to month.
Vendor Management Is Vital:
Now add in the speed, versatility and expertise that outside specialists offer.
Because of the sophistication involved, the content director’s role is essential.
Finding, onboarding and managing vendors takes skill. Beyond that, it’s developing business relationships with the right vendors.
The content director is a marketer first and foremost. Still, knowing about creating content is a valuable tool. For more about that, click here.
Is it working? Are we feeding the hungry content marketing need with effective, successful campaigns? If not, what improvements are available?
Measure by the campaign’s performance. As you do, consider the variables outside the content marketer’s plan. Did someone else identify the audience or choose the timing?
The marketing piece is built to specifications – it’s designed to provoke audience action. Is that happening? If not, the value in the content is too low or not relevant enough.
In that case, reverse-engineer campaign performance. Find the variable in the call to action and the offer. If the offer acceptance rate is high enough, it’s not a content problem. Otherwise, it probably is.
We recommend using our Offer Strategy Assessment worksheet to examine each aspect of your offer. This worksheet will uncover weak points in your offer and improve conversions. You can download it here.
Publishing Frequency: How Often?
Some organizations publish content marketing pieces every day. Others can’t hold that pace. There is a way to get the frequency right. Let the campaign be its own guide.
Let’s say you have a 12-week campaign with a weekly touch point. You publish once a week.
But maybe it’s not the same content every time. Or the content might be designed to follow some progression during its run. Or you rework the same content in new ways to freshen it up. Look to the campaign architecture for a guideline.
Content Marketing – a Force:
Team the strength of in-house strategy with the experience of external production. The more thoughtfully you approach it, the more forceful content marketing can be.