Here are 5 critical steps that should be taken to ensure content is at the heart of your demand generation efforts.
1. Assign Ownership.
Assigning accountability within an organization for content strategy and development PLUS the budgets to support these items is a critical first step. I’ve seen the role/title of Content Strategist emerging over the past few years, and we’ve had one within our organization for 5+ years.
Ideally, this person needs to be senior and have a seat at the planning table (and again…budget). Along with that comes the need to provide measurement around content alignment to buyer and content usage, effectiveness and efficacy.
2. Define Audience Segments.
Define audience segments with two primary criteria: WHO and HOW.
- Who: individual, industry, region, company type/size and key behavioral findings
- How: what is their typical buying process, and what is their role/needs at each stage in this buyer’s journey
3. Identify Information Needs and Preferences
Once you know the “who” and “how,” ask these questions at each stage in the buyer’s journey:
- What questions does that buyer need answered at each step in the journey? This may range from “why should I change” at the early stages to “why should I trust your company” at the later stages.
- What sources should be considered: peer information, vendor information, analyst insights, trade publications, etc.?
- What delivery formats are best suited for conveying this information and connecting with this audience based on the objectives (e.g. whitepapers, peer referrals, case studies, etc.)?
4. Audit and Map Content.
Review and map each available content asset based on:
A piece of this audit/mapping process should also include an evaluation of which content should be gated or not.
5. Fill Content Gaps.
Gaps will be easy to see following the audit and mapping processes. Start by focusing on meeting the information needs of one audience segment in a pilot fashion (that is, don’t try to bite off too much).
Keep in mind that you will likely be able to adapt content from elsewhere in your arsenal—for instance, you might transform a webcast into a series of blog topics or 5 tip sheets.
If you’d like to discuss content strategy and planning in further detail, please feel free to connect with me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.