The Rule of 5 for B2B Content Development
It’s a multipurposing world out there. So many platforms, so little time. It’s time to learn some ways to make your life easier. Writing content for more than one use is a good way to go about finding more time in your day and PTC Computer Solutions has five rules for helping to make this happen with some help from Interactive Marketing.
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)
The only way to achieve economies of scale with content development is to have a plan that addresses storylines (themes) across your prospects’ buying stages. When you’re building a consistent story that pulls buyers through their purchasing process, developing multiple content assets during one project can help you produce enough fuel to feed your eMarketing strategies.
This insight is right on the mark. To be successful with ongoing content development, you really do need to leverage the research and content into multiple assets. Planning is critical–and having an editorial calendar is a huge benefit. Keeping a calendar of posts or items to post is very helpful. One of the things I recommend firms do is to scope out content on a calendar that is available for sharing. This offers a great visual so team members can see at a glance what’s scheduled to publish when. As a white paper is added, for example, take that opportunity to ensure that consideration of all the other content assets you wish to develop with that research have been thought of. Reviewing the calendar regularly can also help you see links between content, common themes, and “holes” that need to be addressed. It’s also a great idea to add events (seminars, trade shows, etc.) to the calendar–as these can trigger additional content such as a series of newsletter articles, a Q&A interview, slide show, etc.
There is a single cautionary note to all of this – make sure the content is adapted to each vehicle. At PTC Computer Solutions, we see far too many collaterals and brochures that are just copied and pasted to web sites or other formats like social media, for example, resulting in crowded pages that are not easily scanned and much less effective than they could be.
Contact us here at PTC Computer Solutions to help understand the retail market and business technology of today. For more on the ever evolving Retail market and how to stay involved and relevant, contact us today. We work hard to stay ahead of the cutting edge and can assist your projects in understanding where you should be putting your efforts.
David WB Parker is a principal of Parker Associates of Jacksonville, Florida, marketing consultants to the real estate industry; President of PTC Computer Solutions, IT Specialist, and an active real estate sales professional with PARFAM REALTY based in Jacksonville, FL. He can be reached at 904-607-8763 or via email email@example.com.