The importance of great content in support of your sales efforts can’t be overstated. Quality content shows your organization’s ingenuity and thought leadership — which can help you impress new prospects, close on-the-fence leads, and retain existing customers.
The only problem is: Creating thoughtful, engaging content on a regular basis can be a lot of work. And, for an organization that’s already strapped for resources, it can be a challenge.
The key is to tap into quality assets that are right in your backyard. Here are five terrific resources that are easy to access, to help get the wind at your back.
1. Primary Research
Primary research documents are treasure troves of content. You may choose to publish an original research report, which is high-value content you can “gate” to generate leads. You can also pick out the most salient points of a report and create a white paper … or, take the most provocative charts and turn them into poll graphics.
Employee-generated content can go far in both building your brand and positioning you as a thought leader. But it has its challenges. Not everyone brings the combination of subject-matter expertise, willingness, and writing skills necessary to generate great reading. That said, there are several ways to tackle this issue:
- Invite all employees to participate in whichever area they’d like to contribute. You will be surprised at what you receive. You may have a highly technical engineer whose passion is writing about leadership, and a sales guy who can write technical articles with the best of them.
- Handpick your key thought leaders and ask them personally to participate. These people tend to be the busiest and most in-demand. The good news is, they may already have content that you can repurpose or be willing to develop something that they can then reuse for their own speaking engagements.
- Bring in a good freelance writer to help them out. You may have thought leaders who would like to contribute, but aren’t writers or don’t have the time. Ideally, you want a freelance writer who will “get” the thought leader enough to be able to write in his/her voice. It doesn’t need to be a large time commitment for the executive — maybe just an interview, and a review of the piece once its written — and often they are grateful to have their thoughts and ideas published.
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to let your staff know what won’t work for your brand. There are employees who will bring you articles that are not aligned with your strategy. But encourage them to post it to their personal profile, if appropriate. These folks are often willing to write about whatever you want them to. Use them. They are a free, willing resource.
Look at your ecosystem for other sources of material. Talk to your suppliers, indirect channel partners, and adjacent industry partners. Chances are that they’re already writing articles or white papers, and would be more than happy to be included as a contributor on your site, since it will increase the engagement on their articles and position them as thought leaders.
4. Case Studies
Case studies are a no-brainer. But they can be tedious if you don’t have the right process in place. Consider partnering more closely with your digital marketing and PR teams. If they are creating reports and/or developing customer win announcements, you can piggyback on the metrics and customer interviews and get the information for the case study at the same time. To make it easier, build a template to follow for the information gathering and the end-product, so your process is professional and expedient, and your case studies have a consistent format.
5. Repurpose Existing Content
Most of us are familiar with “chunking down” articles into a series of smaller articles. But there are many other ways you can use existing content. Do you have a great thought leadership presentation you created for events or other sales activities? Transfer it to Slideshare, Citia, or another digital-friendly platform. If you have recently held a webinar, post the recording along with the slides. Make sure you give your speakers the link so they can promote it too. You may have videos you created for post-sales customer training. These may also be used in pre-sales to educate prospects on your differentiating features.
You get the idea. You can increase your content volume exponentially with a little creativity … and hardly any budget.
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