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Think Strategically: Content Without Context Is Fluff

Despite buyers’ expectations of compelling content along every step of the buyer journey, many organizations still don’t follow a content marketing strategy or have one that’s poorly defined. These companies may produce and publish eye-popping content — for example, Ned, owner of a high-end fitness center, who hosts a gorgeous virtual reality tour of his gym on his website. Assuming that content of high quality alone will move the needle is a mistake. Even though Ned’s production values may be Spielbergian, if his video doesn’t answer buyers’ burning questions (“Are there baby-changing stations?”) or falters when playing on a smartphone, the effort and money are wasted.

Don’t be that guy. Think strategically when you create content. Devising a content marketing strategy requires thorough research and planning and thoughtful implementation. It can be daunting if you haven’t developed a strategy yet. Fortunately, there is a wealth of online sources, including free tutorials, booklets and templates, that can that can guide you through this process. We recommend several excellent ones in our Resources section.

Below are a few guidelines to help you think more strategically about content marketing:

  • Know your buyer intimately: When creating new content or updating existing assets, draw heavily from your buyer personas, input from sale reps on buyers, especially those working in the field, and data from buyer activities captured via your marketing automation or CRM system. Use this information to help predict buyers’ wants, needs and pain points.
  • Document what buyers need during each step of the journey: Consider your buyers in the context of each stage in the buying process. Anticipate the most important questions they will ask and make that the basis for developing every piece of content. As a prospect moves further down the funnel, make content increasingly more personalized.
  • Pay close attention to buyers’ content consumption habits: Draw on your intel to ensure buyers can consume each content asset in the way they expect. If your reporting shows an upward trend in reading analyst reports on smartphones, make sure to optimize those reports for responsiveness on the widest range of mobile devices.
  • Set a clear goal for your content marketing strategy: Clearly define the value and utility you want to provide to leads, prospects and opportunities through your organization’s content program.

Like what you saw here? This is just a sneak preview of some of the content that will be in our Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement, debuting at the end of the year.

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