How to make best use of existing resources and client communication to source fresh B2B content ideas.
B2B marketers often have a wealth of good content hiding in plain sight, waiting to be reused. Existing research and marketing materials, client interactions and recommendations, and customer FAQs – all are great sources of ideas for fresh content.
B2B businesses tend to have closer and content-richer relationships with their customers than B2C ones. Fewer, more valuable clients mean more dedicated content created for each client, more personal relationships, more loyalty and engagement on both sides. Many of the questions your clients have will be the same as the questions your prospects need answered.
1. Sourcing Ideas: What are the top questions/concerns of your existing and future clients?
As a B2B marketer you should be ‘plugged in’ to the conversations happening in relevant forums, in your customer support teams, your social feeds, and your sales teams; making sure you are aware of the core issues that are being raised at every level.
Online forums are a particularly useful source of ideas. Industry feeds and groups are great places to discover what’s trending and gauge the mood-music of your target audience. Find the right communities in tools like Quora, Reddit, LinkedIn and Facebook; then get involved in the conversations. See what questions are being asked, find the questions that your product can help answer, and answer them with great pieces of content.
From the other side, you can also look to use the interactions you have with existing clients and make sure that you stay on top of the concerns and questions – totally relevant to your product – that are being raised. Any question that your clients want answered is a potential topic for a new piece of marketing content.
2. Repurposing content for multiple uses
Whichever team first puts together an answer to these questions and issues, the other teams should also be able to benefit and make use of that work. When the best minds and resources in your organisation have been used to answer a question for one client, it makes sense to repurpose it for a wider audience. So, the work of a customer service agent could form the basis of an informative article or video showcasing your expertise and winning brand loyalty by sharing useful information.
When one of Bizmut’s clients requested advice on which webinar tools to use, we formulated an email response based on our wealth of experience in setting up and tracking webinar events with other clients. It was then easy to reformat this answer into a post on the Bizmut blog, with a little added info on pricing and features for each platform. This ensures other B2B marketers can benefit from his experience too and meant next time a client asked for some advice on the same topic, the answer was ready to go.
3. Harvesting recommendations. What do your B2B clients have to say about your services?
Never let a good recommendation go to waste. Social proof is a great seller and your existing clients can tell the story of your product better and more authentically than all your carefully crafted words and sleek creatives.
As a B2B service, you are most likely to have a customer base willing to give feedback. Don’t let this resource go to waste. Survey your clients, interview your clients, and actively request their recommendations and reviews on external sites and social media; then harvest those recommendations and republish. Here is an example of how Bizmut did this with its results from a customer survey.
4. Leveraging existing content. Have you already answered this question?
A long-established company will have told and re-told the story of its brand many times and in many different ways. While your content needs to be fresh, it’s a shame to repeat work unnecessarily. The impetus to create often pushes marketers to start with a blank page, but spend a little time reviewing what you already have and you could find there’s no need for you to do more than edit a great piece of existing content. At the very least your review will make sure that you use all the information available to you. Search through your old blog posts, search your company’s social media feeds, review your existing R&D publications, sales and FAQ literature.
If you’re setting up a new campaign, ask yourself if you need a new video or article. Can you instead use fresh creatives, a new ad or landing page and link back to a great piece of content you have already created?
Top tip: So much great marketing content is wasted because it is not catalogued properly. Create a filing system organised by topic and keep it up to date. You will save your future self and future selves (others in your role) a huge amount of time!
5. Bringing a fresh angle/making your topics relevant. Can this existing piece of content answer a new question?
If you have a good handle on your existing content, then you’re ready to respond to whatever topic comes your way. Often your existing marketing materials will just need a bit of tweaking to help them answer current issues and newly emerging stories.
So an article entitled ‘How best to plan your social media feeds for maximum exposure’ can turn into ‘How best to plan your social media feeds during the corona crisis’ with much of the basic advice remaining constant and just some topping and tailing of the great piece of content you already have live.