Did you know?
45% of B2B marketers reported using social media to drive inbound search performance.
With 2013 planning season on the horizon, it’s easy to focus on the obvious elements of your B2B marketing strategy, like what’s the next big campaign, new product launches, securing a media schedule, etc. Equally important to consider is how you’re going to organize the workhorse of next year’s plan, content.
Message Mapping, Workflow and Calendars
Once you’ve identified your message, it is often helpful to map those messages to all of your paid (online media, print ads) and owned (website, press releases, social media channels) collateral. From there, develop a content workflow to keep track of how content travels through your organization—from creation to publication. A workflow will document how content is requested, sourced, created, reviewed, approved and delivered.
Another helpful tool is having an editorial calendar. Typically in spreadsheet form, an editorial calendar helps keep track of such items as:
Additionally, a governance document that clearly defines roles, responsibilities, workflow and content maintenance helps align expectations and keep the internal content pipeline running smoothly. Do not skip this step, as this will be your bible throughout your content lifecycle. Managing marketing content for a B2B company is a contact sport. Operating without some sort of governance guidelines would be akin to a football game with no referees.
Photo by Crystal Berg.
For companies with limited internal resources, a streamlined way to approach content planning is to:
If there are too many cooks in the proverbial kitchen, and a slew of approvals are needed, designate a gatekeeper (aka, project manager) who upholds the governance document, follows the outlined workflow above and keeps everyone on task.
Whether you’ve got too little resources or too many rounds of approvals, having a plan in place helps with efficiency and allows for the creation of future content to flow seamlessly. In other words, think like a publisher and not a broadcaster. You also can’t think like a writer. As a B2B marketer who must manage the creation of content to drive your marketing plan, you have to consider your brand, high level messaging and resources. Copy—actual words—come later.
Download our handy infographic and use it as a quick reference when planning your content. (272 KB PDF)
Governance Grows Up by Erin Kissane
Tinker, Tailor, Content Strategist by Rachel Lovinger
Cutting the Complexity of Content Marketing by Jayme Thomason