The Missing Step To Maximizing Your B2B Content Marketing Investments

Daniel Klein

You hear this advice everywhere: B2B marketers need to do more with less. Nowhere is that more true than with your cornerstone content. Unfortunately, B2B marketers underutilize their cornerstone content studies such as whitepapers backed by data and ROI/business case analyses. 43% of marketers in North America and a staggering 69% of marketers in Europe who attended recent Forrester webinars said they create four or fewer content  assets from a single cornerstone study. This is a travesty. It is a lost opportunity to maximize the value you get from an existing content investment. Creating too few assets limits the reach of this important content, and your prospect base won’t find the content unless some of the key information is in a format they prefer to use.

Activating your cornerstone content using a range of formats that align with how your prospects want to consume it and how your organization can deliver it greatly extends its value and longevity. For example, let’s say you posted a report for download on your website based on a survey of 200 IT/LOB professionals about their digital transformation adoption priorities, challenges, and desired outcomes. Typically, we see marketers building some of the same data into a landing page, an infographic, and a webinar. But that only adds up to four content assets. The best practice among top marketers we work with is to repurpose cornerstone content into at least 10 or more different formats. Here’s a list of additional assets you can use to activate cornerstone content, with limited additional effort or expense:

  • Data points in executive keynote presentations.
  • Sales presentations.
  • Investor pitches.
  • Click fodder for online ads or social media.
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Let's talk content marketing

Ryan Skinner

"What's at the heart of content marketing?"
"Why does content marketing make sense for me?"
"How do I do it well?"

Chances are, you're asking yourself one or, indeed, all of the above questions. And that is why I have decided to join Forrester's Marketing Leadership research team as a senior analyst.

I've been working with content marketing since 1998, well before it was called content marketing, and most recently at an agency that specialized in it, Velocity Partners. Before that, I helped major Scandinavian brands like Kongsberg and ABB understand how to weave content marketing in their marketing strategy and mix.

Every time I discuss content marketing with practitioners, two observations regularly surface:

1. It's very powerful. The idea of doing marketing that customers want, that they even seek out, is enticing. It can create a virtuous cycle that makes everything else (social media, email marketing, events and campaigns) much more effective. Red Bull is the consumer brand poster boy for this, but companies as diverse as GE, Hubspot, American Express, Ford and IBM are also doing it well.

2. It's very difficult. Most brands have very little experience making content that customers want and seek out. Producing great content-driven experiences, repeatedly, over time and with a limited budget, that deliver visible value for customers and prospects, and that drive business outcomes for the brand, is hard. It's particularly hard for marketers accustomed to a product-benefit or brand benefit frame of thinking, and the big bang ad campaigns that go with it.

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