Every company needs a strong content strategy to get the most out of its sales and marketing team. Good content delivered effectively generates leads, but what does it take to create an effective strategy? Natalie Nathanson, president of B2B tech marketing agency Magnetude Consulting, shared some of her content strategy secrets on LinkedIn recently. We talk to her over the phone to dig a little deeper in what she had to say.
B2BNN: In your post you mention content mapping strategy. What do you think is the best frequency for a content mapping strategy for a B2B firm?
Natalie Nathanson: There are a number of variables depending on the company size, the amount of content they’re putting out, and the diversity of their target audience. The most important thing is that the first time you do it, you’re putting that spring board together, and then on at least a quarterly basis you should take an inventory of your content. You need to look at what gaps you might have, and what you might have planned, and then build your content plan around that.
B2BNN: At these quarterly meetings, what are some of the main ROIs you want to look at?
NN: It depends on how you’re distributing the content. You can look at site traffic of certain pages where you’re promoting that content. If it’s through a PR program, then look at how the content has been promoted elsewhere on the web or in other publications. You should be able to see actual downloads of that content and where that is in your sales funnel.
B2BNN: Can you think of any specific examples of companies that have a good cross channel marketing platform going on right now?
NN: I don’t have one example to share, but I think the companies that do it well might limit the volume of content that they produce. They’re very smart about what they produce, what purpose it serves, and then how to take one piece of content and repurpose it for various mediums.
B2BNN: That’s another thing I want to touch on: repurposing content. What are some of the guidelines you might have for a company that has content it wants to repurpose?
NN: If you have a white paper you can break it up into different blog posts and things of that nature. There are always ways of taking any data in your white paper and turning it into an infographic, but that does take additional work. One of the fallacies about repurposing content is that you can just take something you’ve written and slice and dice it. The reality is that you need to do some additional work to get the content into the new medium.
B2BNN: What types of content strategies tend to work best for small business?
NN: It’s finding that balance of content that’s educational in nature, so more of the thought leadership content, and sales-oriented content like case studies. You have to look at this a little more holistically as part of the broader marketing program. If you have a really strong list of email addresses within your target audience and you have say, a strong inside sales program, then you can afford to create more educational content to engage your audience and have the inside sales person follow up to mark the connection, to uncover the need, and put them into the sales pipeline. On the flipside, if you don’t have a strong sales team in house, more of that might have to fall to marketing, so your content might have to be more in the vein of case studies and ROI to show the value of your solution.
B2BNN: Another thing you mention in your post is about using WordPress as a CMS. The basic WordPress package isn’t enough and you need to invest in some upgrades to get the most out of it. What are some of the best upgrades for companies to invest in?
NN: The first one is to make the investment in a WordPress site that’s built from scratch. A lot of companies will buy a theme and try to configure it themselves; especially small B2B tech companies where they have some comfort level with the technology. The problem is that those themes are rigid. Although, even in the short term, you can get a site that looks good, it does create more work down the road with the back end when you’re trying to incorporate different plugins, or page layouts, or integrate with other marketing systems.
B2BNN: Do you have any other useful tips or tricks that you didn’t have the chance to mention in your LinkedIn post?
NN: Content can seem overwhelming to some companies, especially to some companies that don’t have anyone on their team who actually wants to sit down and generate content. The tip would be to find a creative approach for generating high quality content that works. Sometimes that means hiring a marketer who can put out an interview with a thought leader in the company. Sometimes it entails doing a Q&A with a subject matter expert in the company. There isn’t one correct approach to content development. It’s really about understanding what works best for your company.
Image: Natalie Nathanson, Magnetude Consulting.