7 “Rs” for B2B Marketing Content Planning

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Content is the fuel for eMarketing. With a majority of marketing efforts going digital, that means even more content is needed. The instant gratification mindset of B2B content consumers means they're demanding more content, faster. Not just any content, but ideas, information and expertise they find relevant and helpful for answering questions they have about problems they're trying to solve.

Designing content for 1X use is wasteful. Marketers need to create a process for content planning that helps them maximize the return from their investments in developing the content resources that fuel their online marketing programs.



To get the most from your content, embrace the 7 "R"s of B2B Marketing Content Planning:

  1. Re-use – ideas for content development must be expanded to create multiple assets. See my post Rule of 5 for B2B content development. Additionally, when marketers create a nurturing program across the buying process, each new lead should start at the beginning of the program with touch 1. By feeding new leads into the beginning of a program (instead of just adding them to the list for the next send) you'll get much more use out of your nurturing program content and tell your leads a consistent story at the same time.
  2. Re-purpose – The same content can be modified for use with different personas and verticals to increase relevance and personalization rather than relying on general, one-size-fits-all content to meet the needs of a variety of audiences.
  3. Refresh – Content gets stale over time. Put it on a refresh schedule and spiff it up to keep it in tune with constantly shifting markets. For example, if you reference research conducted a year ago, is there a new source that will increase relevance?
  4. Recycle – Don't toss out content that's no longer pulling the audience it once did. Change the title, heads and subheads and reword the bullets or key points. The theme is probably still appropriate, but consider how you might also use it in different ways. For example, if you have 3 or 4 articles on a related topic, can you now combine them into an eBook with a fresh take?


  5. Re-route – Find new and interesting ways to use and distribute your content. If a nurturing program has run its course and the content wasn't publicly available, create a place for it on your website. If a video you used in a blog post relates, pull it through to the landing page for that content. Think about new "arrangements" of content as resource centers for prospects and/or customers.
  6. Response – When a content asset provokes a big response, figure out why and create more content with those characteristics. Another way to consider response is to plan for content as a follow-up to other content. Give your company a reason to reach out continuously to those who find a particular topic relevant. Hold some in reserve to use as an offer during an inside sales call to follow-up. This gives the rep a business reason for the call (to offer the content) which is much better than, "Are you ready to buy yet?"
  7. Retire – Even if you do 1 – 6 above, there are times when content should be retired. For example, if your company's positioning changes and your content doesn't match. If the market has shifted and it's no longer relevant. There could be a number of reasons. The point is that if content is no longer appropriate, leaving it hanging around sends a mixed signal to your audience. If it can't be re-purposed, refreshed or recycled, take it down.

To manage all of this you'll need a content inventory and a schedule for when each of the "Rs" should come into play.

This is only the beginning of the "Rs" we can use for B2B marketing content planning. The sooner marketers start thinking about content as strategic assets that must be managed accordingly, the more traction they'll start to gain from the ways in which they use it.



Who has more "Rs" to add to the list?

2 COMMENTS

  1. In addition to the R’s you referenced, one could add Reduce and ROI. In the context of marketing content, sometimes “less is more” just as in the physical world. Also, we are big proponents of ROI. Content that is compelling and relevant (another R word!) will outpull generic copy which is why the digital capabilities of today (and the variable four color imagery that can go with it) are just beginning to tap the surface … and are therefore providing a very strong ROI in both the digital and physical worlds.

    Loved the post!

    Best,

    Brook Spaulding
    CTO of 7R Communications LLC
    http://www.7rcommunications.com
    [email protected]

  2. Hi Ardath:

    Greetings on a warm spring evening! I just came across your wonderful post. I’m sorry I’m late, but thank you for an excellent piece. May I add 1 more R to your comprehensive list?

    I would also add that maximizing “Recall” is important. Recall is defined as the level of relevance content retrieved in a search query. It is defined statistically at Wikipedia. When your customers are searching for content around the topic or issue you are delivering content to engage your customers, is your content the MOST Relevant to the query?

    Unfortunately, original content is not sufficient to deliver high Recall as it’s impossible to know all what your customer needs to understand around a topic or issue. However, there is a solution. Content Curation.

    Curated 3rd party content or relevant industry insights around a specific topic of issue critical to customer pain can deliver increased relevance and increased Recall around customer and prospect searches.

    You can have a content marketing strategy without a search strategy. If your customers can find all your excellent, original content, that’s great, but should they not consider your bran the leading authority on the big issues you are solving? Should they go to other sources if your original content cannot answer all their questions? Increased authority comes from improved Relevance and improved Recall, which are easily improved with content curation.

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