Often, new clients will come to us with a specific content need for a specific, short-term goal. A keynote presentation that can set the tone for an upcoming conference. A telesales guide to equip third-party reps for customer calls. Three dozen partner profiles ASAP for a website launch. Of course, we’re always willing (and usually able) to bring out the quick-turn content guns. But when we ask them about their bigger goals and how this content supports them, they don’t always have an answer.
A lot of this has to do with defaulting to an outdated content paradigm. To this day, some B2B marketers approach content as a finite means to an end (for instance, getting the content needed to complete a single campaign stage). Yet their customer journey isn’t finite. Audiences, markets, and business priorities move quickly, making the customer journey a continuous, evolving relationship. Thinking of content as a process, rather than just a thing, and designing content plans to evolve with customer relationships is what separates businesses with short-term wins (and short-term relevance) and those with long-term growth.
To deliver continuous content that resonates as your audiences and priorities shift, you need a continuous content engine, plus the expertise and corporate latitude to tune it to meet future needs. According to Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute:
“As our research, again, shows [in 2018], a successful content marketing organization is strategic, has involvement from the highest levels in the organization, focuses on building audiences, and uses content at all stages of the buyer’s journey. In short, businesses that are successful content marketers are integrating a combination of changes to install the function of content as a business model.”
Do you have these content planning and delivery capabilities in house? Or is this something better suited to a partner with expertise across the content lifecycle? The following scenarios may help you answer these questions, so you can start on a path to evergreen content.
- “We’re struggling to keep our content current” – The nature of content is ad-hoc and reactive. Whether you’re executing on an existing content strategy or need to start from scratch with a foundational narrative, any effort to keep content current will take a lot of time and effort. And oh, so many questions. What’s working already? Where could we do better? What’s the ideal cadence? What’s worked for others in our situation? And what kind of return can I expect from this content? If you don’t have the in-house team to meet this demand or honestly can’t answer these questions, it may be time to engage a partner who specializes in this.
- “We need to get more bang for our content buck” – Similarly, employing an in-house team that covers all facets of content strategy, development, maintenance, and refinement is a huge expense. Salaries, benefits, computers and workspaces, onboarding and ramp time… Even if a company has the money to invest in this, they probably don’t have the time to wait and see if a fully in-house content team will pay off. On the other hand, the right partner can save you money and time.
- “We’re so close to our content—are we missing the big picture and bigger opportunities?” – When your content pays off, life is so good. But it’s so, so disheartening when you put a ton of effort into a new campaign or program, only to see leads plateau or engagement fall off. Was the plan difficult to execute? Was it out of sync with the rest of the organization? Being laser-focused on each part of your content lifecycle is great, but you can fall into the trap of only focusing on the parts vs. the whole. The right partner, however, can help you identify those gaps, opportunities, and tailored solutions to put evergreen content within reach.
If you need help, choose a partner with an evergreen content state of mind. Most marketing and sales orgs are already busy with existing goals and don’t have the time and resources to discover, build, and activate a foundational content strategy, let alone run a cyclical, evolving content engine. By partnering with a content lifecycle expert like Audienz, you can:
- Gain a partner that understands you—your industry, your customers, your internal stakeholders, and your business goals
- Save time by having a team ready to execute, when you need it, without ramp up
- Save money with ongoing engagement that creates economies of scale and increases your impact over time
- Predict content needs and deliver content at peak relevance
Truly, evergreen content is the difference between a business with short-term relevance and one with staying power. See for yourself at Audienz.com/solutions.