This is the first in a two-part series. The second articles addresses how to create a wider variety of content and measure it more effectively.
The latest studies on B2B content marketing and B2C content marketing by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute are out, and in some respects they supports the old adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. That's because the major challenges facing B2B and B2C content marketers remain producing engaging content and producing it consistently.
For B2B, engagement and consistency are the top two concerns. For B2C, those challenges come in at #2 (50 percent) and #4 (49 percent).
Certainly our experience bears this out. Here's how we address the issues of engagement and consistency. In our next post, we'll address the second two.
1. Producing Engaging Content
With so much information coming at us, cutting through the crush is critical. The best way I know to do that is to focus more keenly on what your audience needs, where they go for information, and the tone in which they want to be addressed. The best way to gather this information is to ask your customers directly or talk to sales and customer service staff. Then apply this information to the content you create to convey the information they want on the channels they want it--and in a voice/tone they respond to and trust.
Your Action Steps:
- Unsure about the customer perspective? See how to integrate customer insights into content and messaging.
- Think your tone's off? Learn how to use voice to engage customers.
- Wondering which channels are the right ones? Use this channel chooser tool.
- Get even more tips for creating engaging content.
2. Producing Content Consistently
This is something we wrestle with every day. For just one of our content marketing clients, we've produced 255 pieces so far this year--and each one has to meet the quality standard. One way we produce consistently is to use feedback from our clients to hone our work. In some cases, the data we get is pure analytics; in others, it's as simple as, "we really liked this one". We analyze all the "best in class" content to identify what worked and then turn that into actionable information. That ranges from updates to content requirements (like length, a tighter description of our target audience, or guidelines on meta descriptions or subheads) to more creative input like voice/tone, visuals or content types. We share these exemplars and analysis with the team and measure each piece against them. This helps content producers get started and stay on the right trajectory throughout a project--and makes course correction faster and easier if it is necessary because producers and editors have a clear model to work with. Our process enables us to produce high-quality content consistently and quickly.
Your Action Steps:
- Wondering how to analyze content? Learn how to use models and criteria to produce consistent content.
- Uncertain about how to improve content? See how to give actionable feedback to content producers.
- Looking for a better process? Take a look at a process for streamlining content production.
- Get more content operations tips.