Research shows that producing enough content is now the greatest challenge facing B2B content marketers. (B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America) More than producing engaging content. More than lack of budget.
The volume of content that’s required to fuel effective marketing programs is growing exponentially for several reasons, including:
- The need to make content relevant for individual buyers at every stage of the buying process
- The short lifespan of content resources (particularly social media content)
- The need to publish content on a frequent basis
To create enough content on a timely basis, you need an approach to content development that will maximize the results you get from your content creation efforts. Believe it or not, B2B content marketers can boost the efficiency of content development by taking a lesson from French cooking.
In classic French cuisine, there are five mother sauces – Béchamel, Veloute, Espagnole, Hollandaise, and Tomate (tomato). These five mother sauces provide the foundation for virtually all the sauces used in traditional French cooking. To create other sauces, you simply add the appropriate ingredients to one of the mother sauces. For example, you make Mornay sauce by adding Gruyere and Parmesan cheese to a Béchamel sauce, and you make Bearnaise sauce by adding white wine, shallots, tarragon, and peppercorns to a Hollandaise sauce.
The same concept can be used to manage B2B content development. Here’s how the “mother sauce” approach to content development works.
Identify Value Propositions
As with most important marketing issues, the process starts with identifying the value propositions that are essential to your company’s go-to-market strategy. Value propositions describe how your products or services create value for customers, and they provide the foundation for your content marketing efforts. Most of the content resources you develop should be based on the value propositions you offer. If you work for a small or mid-size company, you should be able to identify four to eight value propositions that encompass the significant ways that your solutions create value.
Develop the “Mother” Resources
Once you have identified your critical go-to-market value propositions, the next step is to develop one or two substantial content resources for each value proposition. These core resources are the content equivalent of the mother sauces. They will usually be longer-form resources such as white papers or e-books, and they will provide a thorough description of each critical value proposition. In some cases, these mother resources may be more like “working papers” than finished content assets. For example, you may decide to create versions of your mother resources for specific industries or buyer personas, and if you do, you may never actually publish the mother resources in their original form.
Make Each Mother Resource the Matriarch of a Large Content Family
Each mother resource should provide a fertile source for many “child” content assets. For example, with a little creativity, you should be able to use a mother white paper or e-book as the basis for:
- A full-length webinar or 2 to 3 shorter webcasts or videos
- 2 to 3 (or more) articles for online or offline publications
- 3 to 6 (or more) posts for your blog
- A dozen or more social media updates (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
This approach won’t eliminate all of the work relating to content development. It doesn’t constitute an “Easy” button. However, it will focus your work and enable you to get the biggest possible “bang” from your content development efforts.
Image By: Dinner Series (www.flickr.com)