With any large organization there is a bit of scattered thinking and energy. Perhaps not everyone is on the same page due to lack of internal content sharing tools. Maybe teams are targeting specific parts of the sales funnel with content rather than taking a full-funnel approach. In some cases, there is simply a lack of clear strategy from top executives, making any efforts by teams equally unclear.
Instead of creating more content that spills haphazardly through every marketing channel, unlinked to a specific stage of the buyer’s journey, why not try to just do less.
That’s right, do less. If the B2B content your organization is floating isn’t reaching sales goal targets repeatedly, the hiccup may be in the execution of the content creation process rather than the content itself.
Marketers must have a plan for collaborating with one another across a broad set of teams, tools, and channels. Time to get “the hive” in order and ask key questions to tap into what you really need to know about the whole content creation process.
Take a Time Out to Dig Deeper into the Current B2B Content Creation Process
It’s no secret that process is the key to efficiency. It’s also no secret that B2B organizations need to be asking the right questions to get to the heart of how to improve the content creation process.
Here are a few questions to get things kicked-off:
- Are teams collaborating effectively or is there a lot of rogue, ad hoc content?
- Has the marketing leadership collaborated with key stakeholders to identify a clear marketing plan to use as a base for tactical execution?
- Is there a clear and organized process to help foster collaboration?
- Are key messages being shared internally to get everyone in alignment?
- Do you find most marketing content is focused top of funnel with sparse support to lead them down the funnel?
Good plans often fall flat in the implementation phase due to poor planning. Asking questions similar to the ones listed above reveal insights to help revamp the planning phase. This, in turn, can help create a solid, consistent content creation structure from the start. Then, the process is easy to reuse for each marketing campaign.
Execution of Content Creation Process, Otherwise Known as Making the Honey
Execution of B2B content creation requires a high level of organization and collaboration. To make things simpler, standardize workflow, and clarify accountability, why not use templates?
Templates help lead to greater efficiency while seriously limiting the amount of back and forth between people and teams, it enhances intra-team communication and clarifies roles and responsibilities to improve the flow of content creation overall. It also encourages collaboration because people truly understand their role, what they are responsible for, and how to execute their part while keeping in communication with all other stakeholders.
The templates can be general or very targeted, then reused for a variety of purposes throughout the process. Templates also offer some serious project management hacks to increase efficiency for managing approvals and reduce the need to reinvent the wheel with each new campaign.
Each team (content, campaigns, product marketing and social events) can have their own initiative template and associated content assets to help approve content and monitor progress on a regular basis. With this clarity, it’s also easier to escalate or scale as needed. If content is missing the mark or deadlines seem to slip off without action, then managers know the best ways to escalate in order to alleviate production issues.
A content board monitoring process is also a great tool to help teams track the progress and status of initiatives currently in the execution phase. When things are falling through the cracks, having an external point of view to get things moving again can help make the tough decisions teams need to keep the project stay on track.
Think Big Picture by Creating Full Funnel Content
Leveraging content to move audiences down the sales funnel should always be the goal. Start with a full-funnel vision, where each step in the content development process has a purpose. Be sure to hit all channels and go beyond clickbait that fails to move prospects down the funnel. The best rule of thumb to focus on in the content creation process is to be clear on how it helps customers move from brand awareness to consideration, intent, and action.
Remember, bigger is not always better, and more isn’t always helpful. Instead, shift the focus onto how to build a framework to make the content execution process work, while helping teams create effective material that converts.