Content reuse is becoming an important priority for B2B sales and marketing communication.
Buyers will not tolerate a different conversation with salespeople than the one they have been having with the content being consumed on the supplier’s Website. Congruence in sales and marketing messaging is required.
For companies that intend to pursue a content marketing strategy and distinguish themselves from the rising tide of effluent content, it means creating quality, relevance and insight for the intended audience. Velocity Partners, in their excellent Slideshare presentation entitled “Crap“, insist that content must be intelligent, useful and entertaining to be worth consuming.
Maintaining the consistency and currency of information components is extremely important and equally challenging to amplify brand messages as well as providing accurate information to buyers and customers.
How can marketing, sales enablement, contract writers and sales managers ensure that the information being accessed by content consumers across multiple sources and channels is consistent and current?
Here are 5 tips that will not only help to improve the quality of published content and the spoken word, but save time and improve productivity by reusing “on-message” content, while improving consistency of information across the organization.
1.Create Modular Content
Break large documents into smaller chunks of modular self-describing content that can be easily managed and used in multiple places in various contexts.
It is easier to consume bite-size chunks of content than multi-page documents. Buyers and customers expect to easily consume, precise and contextual information or response not wade through voluminous documents to find the precise information they need.
Corey Sommers article “The Death of Marketing Collateral as We Knew it” is interesting, radical and relevant to this conversation.
Breaking down large documents into smaller chunks of information not only helps address buyers and customers need but also enables re-use of content in multiple contexts. These content chunks can be readily adapted into multiple documents based on the context and relevance.
2. Assemble Modular Blocks
Instead of monolithic documents designed for one purpose, design documents, collateral, webpages and information products in such a way that they can be reproduces instantly by simply assembling self-describing content modules.
When a child sits down to play with Lego, they are constrained only by the number and shape of the individual Lego blocks in the set and their imagination. This is a useful and powerful concept for content creators.
Think of “Lego Blocks” as a metaphor to build Information components. Literally anyone with access to these information components can build any information product by using these Lego blocks of information. Apply a similar concept to construct documents and marketing material by assembling reusable content blocks from a library of self-describing content blocks.
3. Tagging Content Blocks
Finding the right information instantly and consistently is the key to successful use of information produced.
Significant effort goes into producing effective messaging content, but little has been done to make it findable. Providing contextually correct content to buyers and customers when they need it, will not only help buyers to make decisions faster but also helps to build the trust and rapport.
Capturing the metadata is extremely important to achieve the end goal of content fundability and consumption. Tagging is the simplest and easiest way of building metadata about the content. Careful consideration is essential to identify and assign the right tags based on the tone of the content and context in which it has to be found and consumed.
4. Content Collaboration
For successful creation, distribution and management of modular content components, it is essential to collaborate among stakeholders. It is critical to establish the ownership of these modular blocks to ensure that information is kept up to date. Multiple people may be involved creating, reviewing, approving and sharing the content.
Once the information component is ready for use, it should be indexed with proper metadata and published for consumption.
Distributed and loosely coupled collaboration on content creation and workflow management and version control ensures accuracy, consistency and currency of information. In addition, a mechanism should be established to capture the qualitative and quantitative feedback about the content for continuous refinement of information.
5. The Right Tool
Choosing the right tool is critical in a successful content reuse strategy.
There are many tools that exist for specific pieces of the content creation lifecycle, which have served well to date. But the need for tools that supports the content lifecycle and deployment strategy from end to end is growing.
Few tools exist that truly meet these requirements.
Here is the list of top 5 factors to considered while evaluating the tool:
1. Functional, intuitive and easy-to-use interface is crucial for successful adoption by stakeholders,
2. Ability to collaboratively create, and manage smaller chunks of content individually and assemble into documents, collateral and other output forms,
3. Ability to create, manage and capture rich metadata from diverse sources about information components and clusters of content, as well tag, index and comment on use of the content,
4. Intelligence to interpret and infer the user’s context to find the relevant content and present it to consumers instantly,
5. Seamless access and delivery of relevant content anytime, anywhere on any device is critical to the success of content strategy