A lot of clients want to make more effective use of content marketing. Unfortunately, various economic pressures, and yes, a few penny-wise/pound foolish preconceptions stand in the way. However, even within limited budgets, it’s possible to maximize your content investment and exploit any resulting content to its fullest.

First issue to is view content as a function of the sales continuum. Content is not a one-off: shoot out that video, that whitepaper, that infographic and hope for the best. Content marketing is a process. The strategy should be tied to your sales processes and your customers’ journeys. Is your sales cycle long or short? Are the decision-makers C and D-level, or more technical or administrative personnel? Who are the influencers? Content strategy should consider each of these. It should shadow your sales journey, nudging, encouraging, and informing prospects along the way.

Consider where each specific piece of content should sit in the sales process. Have marketing confer with salespersons to determine what content would be most valuable at what stage. What are principal objections that content could help answer? What competitive pressures are costing you sales?

One way to amass this information is voice of the customer (VOC) research. Interview customers you’ve won and those you’ve lost. With the latter, identify where your competition bested you, and use content to help narrow that gap.

Many companies are also turning to podcasts and vlogs to get their message out. Consider adapting substantive content from these into other media – from presentations to papers – to maximize value. Evolving from a podcast to a written piece opens opportunities to expand upon the theme, add third-party validation, and perhaps tighten the message sufficiently that even those who’ve heard or seen the audio/video presentation can still gain value from the readable format.

Don’t limit content to prospecting. Strategically tie content strategy to your customer journey, and extract every ounce of value from any piece of content you create across multiple media. With these steps you’ll get more from your content.

-Leonce Gaiter, Vice-President, Content & Strategy