Lead nurturing, inbound pull, social networks, blogs and other eMarketing activities are all fueled by content. Lots of it. That puts a lot of pressure on limited marketing resources to churn out not only volume, but quality content that delivers a consistent storyline to a variety of target markets and customers.
So what's a B2B marketer to do?
Embrace the Rule of 5.
The rule of 5 is that each and every content development undertaking should produce content assets that can be used at least 5 different ways.
Whether 5 versions of the same article to align with different industries or segments; or 5 different assets from the same research, there are many ways you can get more use from your content development projects.
The secret to the Rule of 5 is planning and the biggest way to help yourself is by creating an editorial calendar to help you see how content development efficiencies can be achieved.
Let's say that you plan to create a white paper. When you know in advance that you need 4 additional content assets from the project, you can plan production with that in mind.
One white paper can help you create:
- a series of articles
- several articles and a few blog posts
- a couple of scripts for slidecasts (slides plus audio)
- a webinar on the same topic (give the white paper away to attendees as a bonus)
The trick is in planning for the additional development before you research. When creating a white paper there is always (at least in my case) more research than actually gets used. By outlining your white paper you can maximize your research time by gathering extra fodder to be used specifically in complementary pieces.
- Collecting information on the topic as it relates to various verticals.
- Addressing the topic from different angles to meet the variety of stakeholder perspectives you need to address.
- Customer scenarios that can be folded into other articles that aren't being used in the white paper.
- The needs of early stage prospects vs. late stage buyers. The same research can be used to produce educational content and then be blended with your company's expertise to create content used during the later stages by your sales team. (marketing content and sales content are different)