Unlocking the content dungeon

As B2B marketers begin to plan for 2012, brows are being furrowed, heads are being scratched and a problem is beginning to rear its ugly head.

“We’ve just not got enough content.”

Or as the more astute marketers are saying: “We’ve just not got enough GOOD content.”

Whilst this is often true, it’s surprising how many businesses  when they start digging, would actually find a rich vein of content – often squirelled away across their business – which no-one seemingly knew about. Kind of like a content dungeon.

So what can you do to unlock it and feed your content marketing efforts?

First off, do an audit – creating a live working document.

Not just a ‘what have we got’ process, but a dashboard that is added to as content is created in the future (after the Great Dungeon Clearout, you don’t want to inadvertently create another one do you?)

And where to start?

How about the dreaded Intranet. Put some old clothes on, it’ll be mighty dusty down there.

Look at your external website – it’s not something you do on a daily basis, so you’ll probably be surprised at what’s already out there – white papers, research reports, case studies that could be taken for a new spin.

Ask your Subject Matter Experts. They’ll often be wearing white coats and blink when exposed to sunlight – but they are always a mine of information. Think hidden blog posts with 1,000s of active followers. Secret thought-leading inspirations captured on a local hard-drive. That analysis they wrote on a big industry issue that they thought only their team would be interested in.

Ask Sales. Yes, we did say that. Whatever you want to say about Sales people, they’re undoubtedly resourceful folk. And after moaning at you for lack of good content – they’ll reluctantly give up some highly useful stuff. That paper they pulled together for an RFP. That PPT positioning your business on a hot new topic (PPT Amnesty anyone?). That said, they’ll be plenty of stuff you’ll wish you’d never seen.

So now, you’ve unlocked the Content Dungeon, what on earth do you do next?

See what will stand up to scrutiny in the cold light of day. What could be cut up, repackaged and reused in different ways – to feed your inbound and outbound marketing efforts. But be disciplined. Don’t mistake all content for good content. Know what deserves to be locked up for ever. And when to throw away the key.

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