Developing content for demand generation may be what intimidates my clients the most. And sadly, statistics show that over half of content posted is never even read. So how do you develop effective content without paralyzing your resources? Here are some tricks I use:
- Start with understanding your customer journey and your objectives. What is it you want prospects to do? What is the first thing a prospect needs to know? What pain points are they experiencing? If you can develop a story arc for the buyer’s journey, the rest is a snap.
- Now, map out content to match. If you sell technology that eliminates paper documents, maybe start educationally with something like “Introduction to Paperless”. And then more detail, maybe something like “Definitive Guide to Paperless Documents”, then content like “Top Ten Things you need to know about Paperless” would be a fit.
- Focus your efforts on just those assets. Fun, cute stuff that doesn’t support your company’s value prop? Don’t do it. Easy stuff that has no value like holiday surveys? Nope. If it doesn’t move folks down the funnel, don’t do it. (Note – I’m not saying that light content isn’t helpful for things like social media, search and blogging, but prioritize content that brings in revenue.)
- Here’s my usual list of basics to start with:
– 2 min video – a quick intro into what problems your company solves. This is particularly useful on your website and your intro email.
– Introduction to (the pain point that your product addresses)
– Dollars and sense of (products like yours)
– A guide – a full explanation of the problems your product addresses and best practices to solve those problems. This is a good piece on its own and later can be broken into one topic cheat sheets.
– Selling to the c-suite or some sort of asset that tells how to make the business case for your product
– Case studies
– And if implementing your product can be intimidating, some sort of pilot guide or implementation checklist.
- Stumped? Visit your competitors’ sites for inspiration. You can’t copy their content exactly and you won’t be able to pull metrics on what works, but those sites are usually a wealth of ideas.
- While it doesn’t have to match, your content should have a professional consistent tone and look with each asset looking like it came from the same company. And a sales pitch won’t work for demand generation. Corporate brochures and price sheets are not going to engage prospects – they’re tools for your sales team.
- How much content do you need? If your sales cycle is short or your product can be bought with a click, you may need only 3 or 4 things. If what you’re selling has a long decision process, you’ll need enough content for 6 months or more.
- Get outside help if you’re stretched thin. A good writer knows how to ask the right questions and can work independently to provide you content. Sometimes it will take an extra draft since they aren’t subject matter experts, but isn’t it easier to edit something than start from scratch?
- When developing content, be mindful of anything with limited shelf life. Things like cultural or sports references and talking about the holidays can limit how long you can use content. This is particularly critical in blogs. So, either keep things generic or note to go back and remove anything dated at a later time.
Not sure where to start? I bet I can create a great content program out of practically nothing. Contact me and let’s talk.