One of the latest catchphrases in the marketing world is “content is king.” This phrase highlights the growing popularity of content marketing. 91% of organizations are now using content marketing, which involves communicating with prospects by providing valuable, engaging information rather than overtly selling to them, to move leads through the sales funnel.
However, successful content marketing often requires a large, robust collateral system with many pieces that can be utilized. To many marketers, building such a large system can seem to be a daunting task. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when building a collateral system:
1. Produce a Wide Variety of Collateral Pieces
A complete collateral system is composed of a variety of pieces, each with a specific purpose. These can include whitepapers, case studies, data sheets and more. When determining the types of content you produce, keep in mind your audience and their needs, as well as how the pieces will be used. For example, sales reps may need them for sales conversations and marketing may need content for trade shows.
When thinking about your audience, it helps to map the content that you currently have to your personas and sales funnel stages. This helps to ensure that you have enough pieces at each stage and know any areas that are lacking.
2. Establish a Cohesive Style
With so many different types of collateral pieces, it is important to maintain a cohesive look so that all of the pieces work together. Each type of collateral should have similar core elements, such as font styles and colors, headers and footers and imagery styles. Additionally, you should establish a voice and tone for all written pieces to reflect the personality of your company.
3. Use the Resources at Your Disposal
Producing a large number of collateral pieces can be time-consuming so leveraging available resources helps make this process more efficient. Your internal teams can be valuable resources for producing content. This is especially true of client-facing employees, such as your sales team, who interact regularly with prospects and understand their interests and needs. Additionally, you can leverage your executive team to produce content that carries credibility and name-recognition.
Another area that can be used to source content is customer interviews. While these are obvious sources for case studies, you can also use these interviews as an opportunity to understand the types of content that your target audience best reacts to, as well as specific topics they are interested in.
Additionally, content can be re-purposed across multiple formats and worked into various areas of your marketing plan. A whitepaper, for example, could be shortened into a blog post or used as the basis for a webinar . This way, you are using the time and effort spent to produce the content pieces as efficiently as possible.
The Conclusion on Content
With so many marketing activities utilizing content, it is important to have a robust collateral system with enough different pieces of content to use. While it can seem overwhelming to produce so many pieces of content, by thinking about it strategically and following the steps above, you can start to produce quality pieces of content that work together as an effective collateral system.
Need help building out your organization’s collateral system? Contact Launch today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.