Covering Your Content Assets: A Marketer’s Checklist
May 31, 2019
In marketing, generating content is a lot like running on a hamster wheel. No matter how fast you go, how long you keep at it or how beautiful your stride, the wheel keeps right on spinning. You must stay competitive, relevant and timely. Your approach must spread across earned, owned and paid channels. Campaigns must be simultaneously creative, strategic and measurable. Content must be on-brand and consistent, without being overtly promotional or repetitive.
It’s a tall order. Half of B2B marketers say producing content consistently is a top marketing challenge (Content Marketing Institute) and 65 percent have trouble producing engaging content (Zazzle Media). Internal resources can quickly be tapped.
Finding and managing outside help brings a separate set of challenges (budget, quality talent, ramp up time, reliability, turnaround time, freelancer coordination, etc.).
We’ve seen countless clients struggle to adequately address these challenges. Companies with dedicated in-house content resources do have a leg up, but are often overloaded and have difficulty maintaining a holistic content strategy over the long term. Even getting a clear scope of the range of content needs can be challenging for many teams.
Like any successful endeavor, it helps to start with a checklist of what you need. Below is a roundup of the most common types of content today’s marketers need to produce. Our agency offers services and writing support around all of these, so you’ll see links to examples of our work included throughout the checklist.
- Whitepapers: The heart of content marketing, whitepapers are important for awareness building, product positioning, lead generation and customer support. We’ve worked with a number of clients to create in-depth technical and educational pieces to bolster their resource libraries.
- Blog posts: As one of the first places buyers will go for information, a fresh and informative blog is arguably a company’s most critical content asset. We provide clients with support and guidance for their blogs, help with writing and editing, and can take over editorial ownership for clients that do not have internal resources to manage their blog.
- Contributed articles: Today, any good PR plan will include a strategy for thought leadership and contributed articles. Our writers approach projects as journalists and make it easy for executives to share big ideas and elevate opinions without a huge time commitment.
- Case studies: Whether you’ve read about it on our blog or heard it from your account team, you know we believe in the importance of customer validation. Nothing is more impactful than a customer who evangelizes your story for you. Our team is experienced in the delicate nature of working with our clients’ customers to write and develop case studies that bring customer success stories into focus.
- Reports and surveys: Data is your friend, and an invaluable resource for content creation. We can help you strategize about the best use of commissioned research or industry data, create the story around it and do the heavy lifting of writing the reports.
- Paid media/advertorials: It often makes sense to leverage paid and branded placement alongside earned media. Our team helps filter opportunities and develop original, useful articles that will grab readers.
- Video: Seventy percent of B2B buyers and researchers are watching videos throughout their path to purchase (Think with Google Survey). Clients can lean on us to collaborate on video strategy, fine-tune scripts and select top-notch production partners.
- Web copy/newsletters: As the face of your brand, your website must be a priority. The look, feel and content should tell your brand story and make it easy for visitors to find information. Your Barokas account team will advise on messaging, bring in writers to help create web copy, find and guide design partners and help create additional company materials that reinforce your narrative.
- Sales materials and brochures: An offshoot of content marketing, product sheets and brochures make up another category of content that typically falls on the marcom team. Unlike thought leadership content, these materials are allowed to be promotional in nature. Still, they should incorporate a strong narrative supported by facts. We’ll work across your sales and marketing teams to draft content that strikes that perfect balance.
Content is more important than ever before. Nearly all B2B buyers now believe vendor-related content can be trusted (Demand Gen Report) and 82 percent of consumers feel “more positive” about a company after reading custom content (Demand Metric). In response to this evolving media and marketing landscape and emerging client needs, we’ve spent the last year plus building out our suite of content services outlined above. Our approach is rooted in aligning with our clients’ broader PR and marketing plan and existing account team, so we can keep projects simple, straightforward and consistent with established messaging.
We’d love to help you. Feel free to reach out to your account teams, or me, anytime – even if it’s just to pick our brains about your content ideas and challenges.
-Ashley, Director of Content