B2B marketers are struggling to develop the content they need for their content marketing programs. But we’d like to propose a technique that makes content creation more efficient.
Content marketing has established itself as a key component for most marketing programs, both business-to-consumer and business-to-business—justifiably so. It’s based on some timeless marketing principles—giving something of value to prospects, making potential customers aware of your products or services and being a trusted source of information.
B2B has always done content marketing, whether companies have been calling it by its official name or not. B2B marketing usually requires communicating critical and often technical information to targeted audiences, so content has always been the fuel driving our efforts.
Unfortunately, the increased emphasis on content and the rising number of new marketing channels has caused some problems for would-be B2B content creators.
According to a recent study by TREW Marketing, the two most serious problems for B2B marketers are getting bandwidth from their in-house subject matter experts (SMEs) and producing content consistently.
Nor is TREW alone in singling out content creation as a sticking point. Previous studies by ClearVoice and the Content Marketing Institute show similar concerns, as well as problems with integration, measurement and budget.
The difficulties B2B marketers are reporting with generating content are neither surprising, nor are they new. In addition to the obvious conclusion that B2B content creation is really a challenging pursuit, there are several reasons why marketers are having difficulty generating B2B content.
With B2C content generation, the core information is usually readily available. A simple Google search will often turn up the information a writer needs to develop that material: the calorie content of a hamburger, the fuel efficiency of an SUV or the interest rate for a home mortgage.
For B2B content, information is often not that easy to access. Topics are more specialized. More focused. Not “how to make paper,” but rather “how to remove starch from recycled cardboard.
The information may even be proprietary, meaning it was developed through the company’s independent research or its unique experience or capabilities. And it has economic or competitive value—information not available to the general public (especially competitors).
Worst of all, it may only exist in the brain of one very smart person: your subject matter expert (SME).
THE SME CHALLENGE
Most SMEs are involved in their company’s most strategic, proprietary, competitive pursuits. As a result, there are serious demands on their time and marketing is not at the top of their list. As a result, marketers are finding that SMEs don’t have a lot of interest in editing and revising marketing materials.
NEW COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
What we called fragmentation of marketing channels ten years ago continues at an amazing rate. New platforms and new communications tools crop up all the time. Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, for instance, are all less than ten years old and Facebook is only 15. Plus, there’s little to stop an association or trade pub from launching a highly specialized social media forum in your industry, either on their own platform, in a LinkedIn group or on some other platform. And then there’s even more personalized efforts, like marketing automation and account-based marketing. Each of these has its own specific standards and requirements to boot.
It can be a daunting task to stay on top of the new tools and resources your audience is using and to find ways to adapt their technically-driven content to the specialized needs of individual platforms.
ONE POSSIBLE SOLUTION: CORE CONTENT
In my experience, many B2B marketers are actually making these problems worse by taking an approach that is highly reactive. Scattered. Tactical. Thinking in terms of separate, isolated Twitter or Facebook posts, email campaigns or marketing automation content.
That’s not the best use of your resources, internally or externally.
A technique we have implemented on a few occasions takes a much different approach. It requires a longer view than is often associated with a single project.
Rather than focusing on individual channels or platforms, we’ve successfully organized entire programs around major topics, compiling all the information we need and creating a source document capturing all that data.
That content then serves as the source material for the entire program. We call this approach “core content creation.”
To read the entire post, visit https://www.godfrey.com/insights/content/making-the-most-of-b2b-content-creation.
One of the largest B2B marketing agencies in the United States and a member of Worldwide Partners Inc., Godfrey is committed to helping industrial manufacturers market themselves better. With customer insight, strategic consulting, brand management, advertising, public relations, digital strategy and full program execution, Godfrey extends the client’s own operation and deliver B2B marketing perfected for a complex industry. Get to know Godfrey at www.godfrey.com.