Part 2 in a 5-part series on how to make your B2B marketing content more effective. This series was inspired by our own learnings, and what we discovered when we created our free marketing content grader. Check back next week or subscribe to see the next post in the series.
2012 is the year to work smarter not harder. For many B2B marketing teams, plans for the new year include creating more content, but also making that content more effective. With this in mind, we’ve put together some strategies for smarter content creation:
Issue: Prospects believe what their peers say, not a company that is trying to sell them something.
Strategy: Use as much social proof as possible to back up your claims and prove your value.
It’s much more persuasive to show your prospects stories from your successful customers than for you to do all the talking. Customer-sourced content such as case studies, interviews, and testimonials are all highly credible, and they’re also content pieces that you don’t have to write yourself.
Our own research shows that content sourced from unbiased 3rd parties is easier to believe than unsubstantiated claims and marketing hyperbole.
Issue: Content must be continually renewed/refreshed for maximum effectiveness.
Strategy: Each year, evaluate your existing content to identify what needs updating and what needs to be deprecated.
Take time in your marketing planning for 2012 to assess your existing content and determine what has grown stale or outdated. Then establish what should be weeded out altogether and what can be updated to fit with your current messaging and industry trends.
This exercise can help you identify a selection of evergreen content that keeps paying dividends long after it’s created, and offset the volume of new content you need to create in the coming year.
Issue: Insufficient resources to create the caliber of content you need.
Strategy: Consider sourcing some marketing content from outside.
There’s no getting around it: creating compelling content can be difficult and time-consuming. If your team doesn’t have the time to create the content you need to stand out, you may need to source some of it from outside your own four walls.
As mentioned above, the most cost-effective way to source outside content is to harness the voice of your satisfied customers. Aside from customer-sourced content, if you have the necessary budget, 3rd-party analysts, freelance writers, guest bloggers, and professional photographers/videographers can all be a worthwhile investment to help your content reach that next level of professionalism and persuasiveness.
Issue: You’re not quite sure how effective your content is.
Strategy: Compare your content production to other similar organizations.
In addition to reading about the content-creation practices of other B2B companies, one quick way to evaluate your content’s effectiveness is with our free Content Grader. This online self-assessment tool will ask you about your marketing content. It then compares your answers to a database of 421 other B2B marketers, crunches the numbers, and emails you a detailed report on your content’s relevance and several other factors.