There are few things more annoying to a content marketer than content waste.
When a team puts time, effort, and creative energy into a piece of content, there’s an expectation all the hard work was worth it. And yet, marketing inefficiency in the form of unused content seems to continue—that’s the estimated $958M in wasted spend we like to “forget” about.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
When we developed Modern Marketing at Scale: A Framework for B2B Content Operations, we were in search of a better way to unite teams, tools, and channels to end the cycle of content chaos. Then, we turned to our trusted advisors, experts in B2B content marketing, to hear how they approach the issue of a content waste, making the most of their content marketing efforts across the funnel. Here’s what they had to say.
How do you get the most out of content across the marketing and sales funnel?
Make sure every piece of content serves a purpose. There should always be a “what’s next” factor to increase engagement and inspire action. You have to connect the dots for people in a way that feels effortless, but is also perceived as valuable. This is how content can be used to build intent across the buying process and contributes to purchase decisions. Consider that content written for one persona can be shared with that persona by another. For example, you may need to influence the CXO, but the most engaged persona you have is director level. Rather than letting that content for the CXO sit unused, share it with the director and prompt them to pass it on.
I know I sound like a broken record but it all starts with gaining insights into your buyers and then aligning to how they purchase, what pain points and challenges they have, what they are trying to accomplish. It is not about what we want to say as organizations, but what they need to hear. It is not about what we want to sell as organizations, but what they want and need to buy. It is not about the funnel – what buyer has ever said, “I am in the sales accepted lead stage of my buying process?” It is about their buying process which in most if not all cases is not linear.
Look for opportunities to reuse, refresh, and repurpose content. Long form content can always be split into smaller, punchier assets, so look for opportunities there.
Encourage the sales team to adopt a sales process and really use it. Then encourage marketing to develop content that actively supports what’s needed at different stages. The common objection is that content can be used anywhere in the sales cycle, but that indicates that it isn’t being developed to support the sales cycle.This is a huge missed opportunity.
Enable the sales team to find the content they need, when they need it. This means that your search and navigation have to support all the different ways that sales and buyers think about content, and that your delivery engine can personalize content for each customers.