It’s no secret that crafting a summer editorial calendar for B2B has its challenges for one key reason: compromised customer attention.
With summer offering sun, fun, and nature, the few prospects that stick around the office are operating in a vacation state of mind, while thoughts of reading in-depth content and spending money are put off until September.
An additional challenge for B2B summer marketing is that it can’t always play off the same ready-made seasonal promotional opportunities that naturally work in the B2C marketing world, such as festival season, July 4th, and Labor Day. B2B teams need to be more calculating and show they truly understand their customer, while keeping content light and playful.
Last but not least, summer marketing requires engaging internal teams differently. Because they are also in summer mode or taking time off, it’s important to create content development strategies that keep things easy and flexible.
So what is a B2B to do to maximize content during the summer timeframe and plant seeds that can bloom into qualified marketing leads in the fall?
The quick answer: be strategic. There’s no reason why you can’t use the summer months to build interest and focus in a way that pays off in the long run. Here are ten tips to put the joy and positive energy of summer to good use in an editorial calendar for B2B, and set the stage for leads as the dog days of summer roll on by.
10 Tips That Maximize Resources and Minimize Effort
1. Keep Content Easily Digestible
For the next few months, you’re better off writing shorter posts with richer value. Leverage the news cycle if industry insights arise, or create more image-focused posts with minimal content.
Remember, people are not completely off the radar, but they do have a diminished attention span; engagement is a bit trickier. Think of content options that exploit mobile, like short-form blogs, emails, and social media ad content, as people will check their phones while lazing around at the beach.
2. Be Helpful
Other B2B organizations are suffering through a summer slump as well, so create content that includes industry tips geared towards helping them enjoy the summer months.
3. Repurpose Popular Posts or eBooks
One of the tried and true ways to maximize the value of content is to repurpose what’s already created.
Turn an eBook into individual, truncated posts, or create an audio version of it. Be sure to look at the statistics of high performing content before repurposing it.
For posting on social media, cherry pick times that resonate with summer thinking, like early morning or evening. Take advantage of your best posts and run a “best of” series, placing a curated collection of top ranking posts within one for quick clicks and easy accessibility.
4. Create a “Lessons Learned” Series
Start by looking at trends or ideas that were covered in previous posts. Put together a list of the lessons you learned since the post was first published, or feature what’s happened now that a certain trend has (or has not) come to pass.
5. Develop and Share Short Customer Feature Stories
You can create a short article series from a past or present customer interview.
Invite your customers to create short videos (45 seconds to a minute each) in which they share what they learned or brag about your brand. Use a simple video software like Periscope. Have clients record themselves, then approve the content before publishing. Send them video guidelines ahead of time to keep things easy.
If that feels too ambitious, start research on a way to develop a similar campaign in the more active business months.
6. Shoot a “Summer Fun” Video or Educational Campaign
Make videos that tie together key ideas to help customers get ahead in the fall—and can easily be watched on the road. Be sure your customers know you are in the office, available to answer questions. Also remind them them why the slow time of year is perfect for collecting more information.
7. Host a Bi-Weekly Summer Q&A with Internal SMEs
Consider hosting a morning call every other week to field a Q&A with a few internal SMEs. Then create content from what was covered to start filling the fall editorial calendar (see #10 below).
8. Host a Summer Incentive Program
Provide limited time offerings in which customers get a discount for reading and connecting on content. Or consider extending free trials during the summer to catch people surfing the web. Contests and incentives tied to a customer survey can also help provide insights on serious prospects while creating a reason to follow up.
9. Put More Effort into Social Media and Online Relationship Building
…because people will be on their phones. Drive them back to archived posts, or do more social mining by asking questions to improve overall customer engagement.
10. Content Ideas for the Fall
Use the light workload of summer for more playful brainstorming. Get an organized document in place and start adding ideas as they flow, then set a date in September to finalize them on the B2B editorial calendar. Look ahead to planned project launches and set timelines for marketing campaigns around them.
Your Summer Editorial Calendar Will Shine
A summer editorial calendar for B2B doesn’t have to be a chore when you add a little fun into the mix. Just remember to keep it simple, repurpose content where possible, and add value on social media that will pay off in the fall.