Content Production

What to produce, how to produce, how to gain credibility?

Also refer to the section on Content Marketing Channel, and Content Marketing Team for more related information.

The Bare Bones of Content Production and Distribution.

There is too much content out there on content writing itself (about 2,01,00,00,000 results in my Google search in Aug'20) 😱 , and I just added this post to it 😁 .

However it is not a rocket science. Ultimately it comes down to:

  • accurately identifying what content to produce.

  • do 'deep work' and produce content which is worthy of distributing.

  • place it on your website and distribute on suitable channels.

  • optimize it (seo) as per the channel's characteristics.

  • engage with relevant responses, add value in relevant conversations.

  • measure what's working and what's not.

  • repeat !

[ for the sake of continuity, this block is here and elsewhere. ]

Build a Capability, Not a Head Count.

Your content writer gets pulled into tasks ranging from proofreading an internal email on rangoli competition to product messaging on the website. Sounds familiar? Do you think this happens only in early-stage startups? Nope! 🤷‍♂️.

You are setting up a robust capability to produce content, and not hiring "a content writer". You got the gist!

Why Build a Centralized Content Team?

Multiple stakeholders need support on their content needs:

  • Product Management team - product FAQs, help sections on website.

  • Product Marketing team - sales decks, battle cards, product-centric content on website.

  • Demand Generation team - landing pages, ad copies, drip emails, white papers, etc.

  • Brand Marketing team - event collateral, PR releases, social media posts.

  • Sales teams - RFP responses, emails to opportunities, clients.

  • Business Development team - provide joint PR, co-branding collateral.

  • Outbound Sales team - sales call scripts, outbound emails.

  • Customer Success team - marketing collateral to drive product adoption.

  • Finance / Leadership team - investor decks, talking points.

  • HR team - employee communication - posters, emails.

Depth of support on content often varies:

  • Proof-reading

  • Draft in totality (often the case - "can your team only does it please?")

  • Research, brainstorm and draft

A central content production unit ensures:

  • Tighter control over the quality of content and communication going out.

  • Makes it easy to measure the effectiveness of the content

  • Makes it easy to measure performance of content writers.

  • Saves costs as each stakeholder team can't have its own content writer.

Make the content team report to the 'Brand Marketing Manager'.

If any of the stakeholders' content need is high, it is better to dedicate a content writer or two from within this unit for them. This helps in avoiding undue back and forth, saves cost, and needs are served well.

Structure of the Content Team

Create a panel for industry research

Create a panel of 10-15 thought leaders hand-picked for their industry and technical knowledge. The team will be responsible to generate research papers, presentations, webinars, videos and articles.

The members' profiles and the panel's agenda can be published on the company's website. The CEO should sponsor this initiative, making executives feel it worthwhile to contribute. Panel members can be rewarded financially as well non-financially (flying them off to speak at industry events).

Here is an example of a industry research unit set by IQVIA - one of the world's largest HealthTech firm - The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science led by Murray Aitkens (as on Aug'20). The institute's global research efforts are partly supported by delivery teams operating in Bangalore.

Build a team of technical analysts and field-specific researchers

Task them with carrying out primary and secondary research and generating thought leadership content around key themes relevant to the customers, customers' customers, and important stakeholders in customers' ecosystem. Apart from operating on their own, these members can even fully support the firm's Research Council.

Have a team of generic content writers

Usually this is where every firm starts - hiring content writers who can produce content on a broad variety of topics. And that's okay. You will most certainly continue to need versatile content writer(s) for a variety of purposes:

  • Re-purposing the thought leadership content for posting on other channels.

  • Non-technical or generic blog posts.

  • Proof-reading multiple pieces of content.

  • Customer newsletters with company announcements.

  • Managing the content on the website.

  • Event collateral - backdrops, brochures, visiting cards

  • Social media posts.

  • Project managing the content development projects and asks.

However, if your product is for a niche area - such as high finance or high tech, then content writers without technical background will soon hit road blocks.

What to Produce?

Thought leadership content

White papers in the form of:

  • technical papers - explaining a technology view point.

  • business papers - covering broader industry issues.

  • research papers - in-depth research via primary and secondary research.

To be transformed into:

  • Webinars

  • Seminars

  • Podcasts

  • Videos

  • Blog posts

  • Printed books

  • e-Books

  • Digital newsletters

Be aware. Content quality often goes down as it gets re-purposed.

Also serves the purpose of:

  • Filing award nominations.

  • Talking points for executives.

  • Feeding the journalist with the latest research.

Experiment with NOT keeping your thought leadership content gated on your website i.e. "give me your email ID and family history to download this PDF" 😁 . More on this in the Content Marketing section.

Add Credibility to Thought Leadership Content.

Customers often doubt if you toot your own horn via your content. Involving a generally respected third entity adds credibility to your content.

To add credibility, consider partnering with:

  • Reputed academic institutions.

  • Industry media journals.

  • Industry consulting firms.

  • Research firms.

  • Strategic partners.

Non-thought-leadership content:

  • Festive greeting emails to customers.

  • General announcements - funding, new office, etc.

  • Organic social media marketing posts.

Content for customer success, and customer enablement

Once the product is purchased / goes live, customers typically seek help from the suppliers to:

  • promote the product internally among employees, and other stakeholders.

  • promote the product to their customers, and resellers.

  • promote the adoption of product / technology externally via PR.

Content production team will be tasked to help product marketing team who in turn need to support the customer success and account management teams with providing educational content in the form of emailers, posters, offline kiosks, or event dedicated website pages such as this one by AWS.

Refer to the section on Content Marketing Channel, and Content Marketing Team for more related information.

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