In the just-released B2B Content Marketing Report, 51% of respondents listed “not enough time or bandwidth to create content” as their number one challenge.
If you oversee the B2B content marketing at your organization, that probably sounds familiar.
Here are 9 simple ways you can fix that problem:
1. Overfill your pipeline.
Do you draw on internal staff—C-suite execs, department managers, marketing staff—to create content for you? If so, overask. What does that mean? If you need 3 internal resources at your company to create content each month, then ask 6 to 9 resources each month. Nearly everyone’s schedule fluctuates and half to two-thirds of those you ask will be unable to meet your deadline. Ask for more than you need to get exactly what you need.
2. Find your natural storytellers.
You know the guy I’m talking about…the one who always has a joke, always has a story, always has something to say. Good storytelling is a gift. Talk to this person and ask about his experience with the company, with vendors, with clients. You may just find a deep well of B2B content marketing that you never knew existed.
3. Ask employees on the front lines.
Often marketers only seek B2B content marketing material from company management or the board. But sometimes they are far removed from where the real stories are. Talk to customer service, to sales, to anyone who interfaces directly with the customer. Their conversations and interactions may spark multiple content ideas.
4. Ask everyone.
Beyond those who interface directly with customers, you can encourage all staff to offer ideas. Create a simple online “suggestion box” where employees can suggest good content to cover.
5. Write down your strategy.
According to the B2B Content Marketing Report, 72% of marketers have a content strategy but only 30% have it written down. You may ask, “How will writing down a strategy give me more time?” My take is that this helps with planning. If you have thought through what you need from week to week and month to month, then you’re in front of the curve instead of behind it. Having a written plan helps you create a road map. You can see gaps in the plan long before those gaps turn into emergencies. Be like print magazines and create an editorial calendar. That way you will know exactly what content you want to cover every month.
6. Partner with your customers and vendors.
Content doesn’t always have to be about your business. You can build goodwill and strengthen relationships when you tout and highlight your business partners. Some may have no content marketing of their own and jump at the chance to be highlighted.
7. Consume ideas constantly.
As a marketer and writer, you can never let your well of ideas run dry. Constantly look at other content marketing that you admire, keep an eye on those that do it well, even if their industry is nothing like yours. See what is hot, what is current, what is trending, and think about how you can use. Keep an idea file to pull from whenever you’re running short on content.
When you’re terribly short on time, you can create content that curates other content. In other words, if you’ve found interesting items on the web that you think your audience would be interested in, create content that points to those posts, stories, or reports.
According to the B2B Content Marketing Report, 69% of content marketers outsource anywhere from 10 to 100% of their content creation. The activity most outsourced is writing (44%) and design (41%). Marketeres typically outsource the most production-intensive products, like reports, blog posts, white papers, case studies, eBooks, etc. Consider outsourcing in seasons when your marketers are overloaded by work. That’s one way to lighten the load when your marketers are already pushed to the limit.
Do you have other ideas for keeping your content pipeline full? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.