Marketing departments are busy creating content, regional teams are at it too, high level executives and even product development guys are getting in on the act. Quite simply, many are awash with content.

But recent research shows that over 60% of B2B marketers are unhappy with the effectiveness of their content marketing – why?

It’s no good if it’s not on message

It’s quite a shocking figure, but according to the Content Marketing Institute, nearly three quarters of B2B marketers have no corporate content marketing strategy. They could be firing an awful lot of blanks.

In order to maximise the reach of existing content, curation is key. Content curation is not just filing content by type – a whitepaper, blog, press release – it’s curating the content under the key company messaging that sets the company apart from its competitors and positions it uniquely in the marketplace.

So first, look at your target markets and target persona in those markets, and then build a messaging matrix in order to curate copy to support the sales and marketing processes. This ensures the curated content is on company message – and touches industry hotspots.

Write once, re-use many times

The volume of corporate content lying in ‘information silos’ gathering dust never fails to amaze me. This content is never used for anything beyond its original purpose – be it a whitepaper, webinar or blog – a lot of content creation effort for a single use.

This is where curation is vital. With the right skillsets and a centralised approach to content management, taking your messaging to new markets and to new geographies can be easily co-ordinated from a single ‘hub’. This requires creation of a centralised knowledge base which allows content to be managed, re-purposed and reformatted quickly and effectively, allowing marketers to always get the right message to the right audience in the right media.

It is important to stress that re-purposing content is not merely reposting existing content when a specific opportunity arises. Google is notorious for limiting the visibility of non-unique content when searching. The key is to retain key themes and messages while wordsmithing the tone and format for new audiences to keep content fresh and relevant.

Local issues for local audiences

Too often corporate marketing departments, and indeed international PR agencies, think local and then try and go global. Well it just doesn’t work. We have to think global and then go local.

It is important to understand and meet the requirements of different markets and geographies. Multiple pieces of content across multiple formats can support your core theme, but you will greatly increase your chance of generating interest by using local spokespersons, updating content with compelling market- or region-specific statistics and examples, addressing the right business issues for that market.

Research, research and more research will ensure you are armed with the local market knowledge to confidently tailor content to audiences in your target region.

Go social, but ensure platform relevance

Bringing content to different geographies is one thing – but let’s look at different platforms. As one of my colleagues wrote recently on the Level Pitcher, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest may be great for the individual, but hold little opportunity for B2B companies. Research indicates that LinkedIn remains the Facebook of business and the best social media platform for B2B content due to a relevant, professional user base.

It is really powerful when adapting content across multiple social formats, that marketers retain the same themes for LinkedIn posts, blogs and Twitter. It means that you’re always ‘on’ corporate message and supporting the sales funnel out there – which is surely what a lot of marketing is about!

Simon Woolley, engagement specialist, IBA Pitch&Place team

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