Sometimes the answers are hidden in plain sight.
Content marketing surveys consistently demonstrate the biggest barrier facing marketer is feeding the content monster.
For example, 54% percent of 1,800 respondents said, “creating engaging content” was the top content marketing challenge in the 2015 B2B Content Marketing survey by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.
Those in the content trenches know exactly what this feels like: We are never done. Even as one piece goes to publication, our heads are already down on the next two or three.
There is a straight-forward answer to this problem: Upwards of “60-70% of content produced by B2B marketing goes unused,” according to a white paper by Kapost which cites research by SiriusDecisions.
A few searches on the company website will demonstrate if this is true in your organization. It’s easy to find white papers and other assets that a team probably invested a lot of time and effort into developing – but it’s been more or less hidden from public view on a landing page buried several levels down and long forgotten. In essence, B2B marketers solved their biggest problem yesterday.
The concept boils down to this:
“Instead of each department spending time creating unique content, they can spend their time strategizing how to reach and engage buyers with these content assets and more effectively move buyers down the funnel toward purchase.”
What that means is breaking off pieces of “content pillars” and customizing them for the variety of channels. In one example, the company says it made “122 separate content assets from one eBook.” These range from blog posts to videos, and from webinars to social media updates.
A graphic from the paper detailing the assets is presented below and the complete white paper – The Blueprint of a Modern Marketing Campaign – is worth a read.
Solving One Content Marketing Challenge, Solves Two More
Anytime a company tackles the content monster challenge with this approach it solves two additional problems in the process.
1. Solves for content distribution.
Most marketing departments focus on the creation of content, but distribution is the other side of the equation. If we post one link to Twitter once, a very small percentage of our overall community is going to see it. More importantly, most companies have multiple channels of distribution along the earned, owned, paid and shared continuum.
The Kapost white paper almost exclusively focuses owned and shared media – but marketers can extend reach by reinforcing content pillars through sponsored posts, sponsored emails through 3rd parties, PPC and social ads. The key comes down to sequencing and synchronization.
I believe the best approach is usually to lead with earned media – the bailiwick of PR – extend with owned media and reinforce with paid media. Shared media provides continuous opportunities, both organic and paid, at each step in the content lifecycle.
2. Solves for content learning preferences.
The reality is people learn in different ways. Some people like charts and graphics – others video or audio they can listen to on a podcast during a daily commute. Creating multiple assets, for multiple platforms, might extend reach…but more importantly, it’s about reaching customers and prospects in their preferred medium.
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If I offered a final thought in embarking on this distribution strategy it would be this: seek to add value at every step in the process. Anyone that writes or produces content on a regular basis can probably attest – we always look back and think “I could have made that better.” We solve yet a third problem if we build making-it-better into the distribution process.
When we are attuned to our environment, we might even find more than just one answer in plain sight.
Here’s the graphic from Kapost:
(click here or image for higher resolution)
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