We need more content.
We need more content.
We need more content.
The Back Story
More and more businesses are realizing how valuable and smart Content Marketing is for building their brand, opportunity pipeline, and revenue. But inevitably, the other shoe drops and they begin to feel the anxiety of having to produce what can seem like an enormous amount of new content.
Once they understand the importance of delivering a regular flow of fresh, relevant material, a whole new type of stress often hits in waves.
Wave 1: “We Need More Content.”
Wave 2: “We Need Fresh Content.”
This article will help you manage that anxiety with some proven sources of great content for your marketing.
It is true. If you make a commitment to content marketing, you’ll have to produce fresh, compelling content consistently. Many businesses are starting from ground zero as they transition from a paper based, batch-and-blast mode to a more integrated and digital form of marketing. We know content marketing pays off because of the power of relevance. If you address your prospects’ true interests, needs, and concerns at the right time in their buying cycle, you establish credibility, trust, engagement, and… conversion. (We have a popular white paper on this topic, if you are interested.)
But, how does a marketer stay on top of the care and feeding of the content marketing machine? From white papers to case studies to hosted videos to email copy, the list of needed content can be long.
A real part of the challenge is sourcing all of these stories. And here’s the secret: you don’t have to be the only one coming up with fresh, interesting content ideas! Like the old school, always-on-deadline journalist, you can never have too many sources for good content ideas.
Here are four reliable sources that every great content marketer should have on speed dial. Each of these sources is easily accessible (and will accept lunch dates). 🙂
1) Your Top Sales Person.
Underlying the flowery ego of the great sales person lies carnal knowledge of what moves the meter of buyers. Over lunch, simply ask the quota-buster to deconstruct his or her last five sales. Pay close attention to the critical questions the buyer asked, as these questions will map to the problems your product or service is solving. If you dare, ask about the last few sales that didn’t close as well. Notes from these meetings should yield a treasure trove of buyer centric gold that can be turned in to key words and stories that convert.
2) Your Most Reliable Sales Engineer.
The SE’s role in closing a sale is sometimes undervalued, especially by that last guy you lunched with (sales hero). Sales Engineers won’t get all of the recognition, but their interaction with some of the influencers in the buying process is invaluable to the content marketer. Again, ask the SE to breakdown the last 5 selling cases. In many situations, the SE can describe the nitty gritty details of how a deal actually closes — including the sticking points, the barriers and the “ah ha” moments. Use this ground level knowledge to understand the buying process from a slightly different perspective and create nuanced content that speaks to these components of the buying decision.
3) Your Best Channel Partner.
Since these partners aren’t necessarily obligated to drink the company Kool-Aid 24/7, they can give you a relatively unfiltered view on your product’s real spot in the market. Don’t be shy here. Come right out and ask what the market “really” thinks about your company, its product suite, and brand. These efforts can assist you in creating content that’s very authentic — a requirement if you want compelling material. Additionally, many channel partners will specialize in a specific vertical market. By understanding and speaking to these specific verticals; your content can be used to dive deeper into a segment. Can you say “relevance”?
4) Your Product Roadmap.
While every marketer should be familiar with the product roadmap, we may not be skilled in mining all of the “Why’s” from these R&D efforts. Why are we investing in this product suite and not that one? Are we transitioning to a more service based revenue model? What are our customer problems of the future? Is there a “skunk works” operation that demonstrates the vision of where the company will reach beyond this next generation? The answers to all of these questions can lead to customer centric content that speaks to your client’s future problems, perhaps before these problems have hit the radar, and establish you as the sector visionary. Important: keep this content focused on the customer and on the “vision” level so as not to give away the company jewels.
Make a habit of interacting with these 4 sources once a quarter or more frequently if you are currently in a state content deficit. By honing your content mining skills in your area you should be able to quell those voices in your head (yes- we all have them) that are always asking for more.
Consider this the Valium (or a head-clearing workout) for your “we need more content” anxiety. And if you need more ideas or even a hand getting your content marketing machine off the ground, reach out. We’re here to help.
What are some other hidden sources you have found to be effective in mining for content? What content development approaches have worked well for you?