When it comes to content production at enterprise organizations, there’s a serious problem with supply and demand. In fact, SiriusDecisions reports that 60-70% of content produced by B2B marketing teams goes unused, stuck forever in digital purgatory, where no one will ever access it.
Why? Because communication between business units and departments is down, organizations continue to produce content that doesn’t interest their buyers, and streamlined processes have not been established for the ideation, creation, and distribution of content.
This situation is, unfortunately, all too common. However, organizations are catching on. Marketers are taking the mantra “brands must become publishers” to heart, and have started to implement efficient content marketing tactics to cut down on waste and streamline the often clunky processes behind content.
You want the execution of your content marketing strategy to be as efficient as a pit stop at the Indy 500. But how? Here are 4 strategies for maximizing efficiency and successfully planning for content marketing:
Establish Internal Communication Channels
One reason there’s so much unused content is because of redundancies. For example, if your sales department needs a specific piece of content, what do they do? Often, instead of relaying this need to marketing, the Content Center of Excellence, or whoever owns content production, they create that piece of content independently and use it without ever telling anyone else in the organization. Unfortunately, this can potentially result in lower quality content (it may not go through the same review or design process as other pieces) and it also may be similar to content already exists.
To avoid this time- and resources-suck, you need an established process for communication and internal distribution. In this case, a master editorial calendar is critical. It shows the status, publication dates, and location of content pieces, and everyone can access it. This allows people across business units to check on what content already exists before creating something new, and if an important topic hasn’t been covered, those ideas and requests can then be shared with those responsible for planning the calendar. With this type of transparency, organizations can significantly cut down on content waste.
Create an Editorial Board
A fantastic way to keep internal conversation around content active is by establishing an editorial board. This is a tactic employed by many of our customers with incredible results. An editorial board is made up of key stakeholders from different departments or business units. At least once a quarter, the board meets and brings their content needs and ideas to the table. By establishing the board, different departments gain insight into the content coming down the pipeline, know when it will be available, can strategize how to use it, and won’t create their own redundant pieces. Again, in this situation, a master editorial calendar is the key to keeping everyone updated and informed.
There are huge benefits to this strategy, even beyond cutting down on content waste and increasing efficiency. By involving other teams in the process, you’ll also see more interest and investment in the content being created. Being involved in content creation helps members of the editorial board understand how their teams benefit from content, and allows them to feel like a part of the process. Also, our customers who have established boards have seen more active participation in content creation. Once the board gets excited about an idea, they often offer to create some of the content themselves, or supply the right experts from their teams to weigh in on these topics.
Align Content to Personas and Buying Stages
In order for content to drive more visitors and move leads down the funnel, it has to be valuable to the person receiving it. With tools like Google Analytics and marketing automation software, marketers have more insight than ever before into who is consuming content, how they behave, and what they care about. This is powerful knowledge that, when aligned with the stages of the buyer’s journey, allows marketers to deliver targeted content to buyers.
A huge part of this process is tracking and segmenting your buyers by their information and digital body language so you can successfully deliver content to them at the right time. But first, marketers need to create content – including emails, eBooks, infographics, videos, and you name it – that’s relevant to specific people at these specific points in their discovery or evaluation process. This, too, needs to be a part of the planning of your content marketing process. By evaluating what content you already have and how it can be used to move buyers down the funnel, you’ll also see what content you still need. For example, maybe you have lots of top of funnel content geared toward one persona, but very little late-stage content to help your sales team close that deal. Understanding what you have and what you need will ensure you’re efficient with planning upcoming content creation and distribution.
Reuse and Repurpose Content
Publication is not the last step in content production and distribution. Now that you’re creating all this fantastic, relevant content to be used across departments, get the most out of it by strategically repurposing and breaking large pieces of content into smaller derivative pieces. This is all about using your team and resources efficiently, filling up your editorial calendar, and tracking how different topics and types of content land with your buyers. And it’s easy to organize.
Start with a large and thorough piece of content (such as an eBook, how-to guide, or event footage). This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: make it good. Conduct video interviews with thought leaders, design nice-looking infographics or schematics to be included in this larger piece, and take your time with the text. Then, take that piece and break it into smaller, bite-size pieces of content for your buyers. Share the infographic separately on social media or pitch it for syndication. Write a blog post about it. Create videos on specific topics from the eBook, or from the thought leaders you interviewed. Introduce each of those videos in a helpful blog post. Take the text you created and break that into emails to send out via marketing automation, or pitch those topics as guest blog posts on relevant, high-traffic sites. This will ensure you get the most out of your content and is a great way to increase efficiency in your content factory.
These are just 4 of the ways you can strategically plan for successful, efficient content creation, production, and distribution within your organization. To learn more, register for Eloqua’s Road to Revenue Virtual Event. It’s going to be an incredible event without the stress of traveling – because it’s entirely online. The 3-hour virtual event is jam-packed with information for modern marketers, including examples of how the above strategies have been successfully put into practice. Check out the full lineup and register here.
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