B2B Articles - November 02, 2022
By Chantel Hall, Content Specialist
In 2021, 67% of content teams were asked to do more without additional resources.1 Unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue as recession looms and buyers experience uncertainty in the marketplace. Instead of working longer hours and eventually burning out, content marketers should focus on what creates the most value and helps their team meet their goals.
Content marketers have a lot of techniques available to them to get more from their work and ensure they're spending their time wisely. To ensure they're creating the most value with their limited time and resources, content marketers should utilize data in content planning, focus on the right audience, and prioritize quality over quantity.
Here are 10 ways content marketers can save time and drive value:
1. Segment audiences to enable personalization
2. Get aligned with sales before creating new content
3. Don't just write content for content's sake
4. Map content to the buyer's journey
5. Make buyer-focused content
6. Use data to generate content ideas
7. Use the right format to achieve goals
8. Repurpose and reuse content
9. Iterate on content
10. Create sales enablement templates
More items on this list are about planning content than executing it because planning ahead with the right strategies will save time. Content marketers who understand their buyers, have a clear vision of their goals, and focus on what has worked in the past are better positioned to create compelling content and reduce time spent on content that doesn't perform.
Audience segmentation is a fundamental step in paid campaigns, social media marketing, and other digital marketing activities – so why wouldn't it be part of content strategy? Just like prospects in each stage of the buyer's journey need different content, buyers in each segment need unique content to engage and convert them.
Content that is generic enough to speak to every audience segment is less valuable than personalized, targeted content.
Marketers have reported as much as 760% growth from segmented email campaigns2; it’s not a strategy that content marketers can afford to ignore. Read this blog post to learn how to segment your audiences and evaluate the strategy’s success.
Marketing and sales alignment benefits both teams and is even more important in times of economic uncertainty. Under these conditions, buyers will be more critical of the products they consider and have to work harder to justify their purchases to leadership. Content marketers working to fill their sales pipeline with qualified leads can develop better messaging by utilizing the sales team’s knowledge and data around buyers and successful (and unsuccessful) deals..
Each team has a unique perspectives on leads, messaging, and ideal customers. When those teams are out of alignment, it can lead to ineffective marketing efforts, frustrated salespeople, low conversion rates, and high churn. Alignment with their sales sounterparts enables content marketers to focus their efforts on the right audience and create the most effective content possible.
If your team and your sales counterparts are currently siloed, this blog post can help you start to connect with them and align your efforts to your ideal buyers.
Creating content just to have something to pblish is a common pitfall for content marketers. Maybe they read that publishing a certain number of new blog posts every week nets the best results, or their current content offers aren't performing and they want to write new ones that will hopefully get better results. This strategy is bound to waste a lot of time on content that doesn't perform.
Instead, content marketers should consider their overall marketing goals, what they hope to accomplish with any given piece of content, and what topics and messaging engage ideal customers and then ideate and prioritize content.
When Google released their most recent search update in May of 2022, they didn't share a lot of information about how the update would change things. However, they did reinforce that the best way to improve search rankings is to focus on "E-A-T," which stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. These are the most important considerations when developing content — not an arbitrary publishing schedule.
If you need help deciding how often you should publish new blog posts and how to decide on topics, this blog post can help you develop a plan.
Most marketing activities, like ad campaigns, nurture campaigns, and email marketing, are geared toward a particular audience and designed to accomplish a specific goal: moving leads through the marketing and sales funnel. Content should be treated similarly and designed to move leads through the funnel.
Mapping content to the customer's journey helps content marketers develop content with a goal in mind, makes it easier to measure success, and helps them create and utilize consistent messaging. And if a piece of content doesn’t map to a step in the buyer's journey, marketers can ask: Is this piece of content necessary? Can it be modified to fit into the buyer's journey? Or does the purpose and goal of this content warrant an exception to the rule?
If you're unsure how to map content to the buyer's journey, this blog post can help you get started.
While this is a good rule in general, content marketers who need to save time and maximize theircontent’s value can’t afford to waste time on autobiographical content. Autobiographical content is not as effective as content focused on buyer needs, challenges, and goals. Even late in the sales process, when content is focused on specific products or services, it should still focus on outcomes for the buyer.
It can sometimes be challenging to work with others in developing and writing buyer-focused content. Content marketers may probably understand the importance of buyer-focused content, but sales managers, salespeople, and others outside the marketing team may not understand why company-focused content isn't effective. Data that demonstrates how buyer-focused content performs can help here.
This blog post can also help you illustrate the difference between autobiographical and buyer-focused content so that your colleagues can see the difference in how it appeals to buyers.
Data about past content's performance can help content marketers develop ideas for new content. Data on which formats, topics, and messaging have the highest conversion rates can help content marketers break eliminate content that won’t move the needle towards measurable growth from their to-do lists.
Using past data to inform future content will also result in content that has a better chance of performing well. Instead of starting from scratch every single time, content marketers can build on the foundation of past content's performance and start with what works.
If you're not sure where to start with looking for data about your content, this blog post discusses five data sources you can use to find ideas for content.
Not all content formats are created equal, and they help content marketers achieve different goals and provide different experiences for readers. For example, eBook present an opportunity to convert website visitors to leads, while blogs are more likely to educate readers and boost search rankings. Having a clear goal in mind and understanding which content format supports those goals will create better outcomes.
This blog post covers some of the most common blog post formats and helps you decide which one to utilize and when.
One of the easiest ways to get more value from content is to reuse and repurpose it whenever possible, instead of writing an eBook, blog post, or video script and then letting it get older (and less relevant).
This repurposing can also built into content planning to make it easier, especially when planning a big or time-intensive piece of content, like an eBook or video. Think about how to break it up, use it on different platforms, and continue getting value from it as it starts to age.
Videos can be broken up into smaller clips and posted on social media or added to blog posts to improve SEO and draw in more readers. Ebooks can be broken up into blog posts — or even created from old blog posts that are updated and packaged as a download.
Repurposing content will help you get the most value from your content. You can find more ideas for repurposing content here.
Content doesn't always perform the way we hope it does, but that doesn't mean we should consider it a lost cause and move on to the next project. Like any other marketing campaign or asset, content can be revised, updated, and republished to improve performance and make that content more valuable.
Iterating on content could include things like revising the title to reflect different messaging, reformatting copy it to include bullets or new headers so it’s easier to skim, or including updated data points to make it more relevant and authoritative. Through iteration, every piece of content becomes an opportunity to learn more about the audience and improve future content efforts.
Check out this blog post to learn more about the benefits of iteration in content and find ways to improve performance.
Many in-house marketers know what it's like to spend so much time helping salespeople put together powerpoints, one-sheeters, and other sales enablement content that they don't have time to focus on other marketing content. Sales enablement content is critical to the process, but it doesn't have to — and shouldn't — be created from scratch every single time.
With a thorough understanding of ideal customers and what they are interested in, content marketers can create sales enablement templates that salespeople can customize to support their conversations with each lead. This will make it quicker and easier for salespeople to prepare for meetings, allow them to customize templates for the variety of job roles involved in buyer groups, and free content teams up to focus their time on strategic marketing content.
This blog post will guide you through the process of developing a sales enablement content strategy that will empower both sales and marketing to work effectively and efficiently.
1Content Marketing Institute, 12th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2022, 2021
2Campaign Monitor, The New Rules of Email Marketing
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