Originally published by MarketingProfs
I write whitepapers for a living. Thanks to my background in engineering, I typically handle high-tech content for complex products and services. But in working with clients I can tell you that even the most complex material can be fleshed out in simple ways to produce amazing whitepapers. Here are my top 10 ideas that I share with clients to harvest information so I can quickly write high-quality whitepapers that engage their target audience.
Chances are good that you have lots of thought leaders within your company that have a wealth of great stories and knowledge to help make your content marketing efforts soar. Thought leaders can be engineers, product managers, product marketers or anyone who works with customers (see more ideas here).
However, if you ask a thought leader to provide content and to write it themselves, it will rarely get done. They will always have priorities that are higher than helping marketing. Even if they have good intentions, it is difficult for them to clear their schedule to have a continuous block of time to write. And if you do get content, it likely isn’t in a format ready for the target audience. Instead of waiting for a miracle, here is a simple way to extract content from these thought leaders without causing pain for you or for them.
The shift toward revenue as a marketing objective has been happening for years. Being responsible for only leads leaves zero incentive for making sure they are high quality. Businesses have started to realize this and continue to move the goal line from leads to qualified leads to qualified accounts and eventually revenue.
So if marketing is going to share a revenue goal with sales, it is now of the utmost importance that marketing do what it can to help sales close those qualified accounts. Unfortunately, this is the biggest gap in content marketing responsibility and output. This may fall to product marketing or even a dedicated sales enablement team. But most organizations don’t have those extra resources and content marketers need to step up.
You might have a board member that swears by the “dialing for dollars” approach or a former enterprise executive that wants to go big with broad inbound marketing. But the reality for any startup or emerging technology is a harsh one – very little budget and very little runway. You’ve got to take on a strategy that makes efficient use of spend and can be counted on for success. Enter ABM — Account Based Marketing.
Whitepapers are a lot of work. Which is why it is incredibly disheartening when they underperform. The good news is that the common issues with whitepapers can be easily fixed by modifying your approach at the start of the project. Read on for the most common mistakes I see during client audits and my simple tips to fix them.
As a content lead, you care about the quality of content that your team is releasing to the wild. You likely spend a great deal of your time planning content strategy and brainstorming themes. You make sure that everyone knows their role in the orchestration of the content engine. But is auditing a part of your role? If you truly want to improve content performance, you may need to take a closer look at your content—and I don’t mean your assets.
If you’re a marketing leader, you are likely struggling with more on your ‘to do’ list than your team can handle. Part of that is lack of resources relative to your objectives, but the other factor is inefficiency of internal resources. And while I’m sure most of you work hard to be as efficient as possible, studies show that most corporate employees spend over half their time in meetings and managing email. It’s just part of corporate life no matter how much we attempt to protect our teams from it. So what can marketing leaders do?
The answer is to embrace the gig economy. In this post I’ll do my best to explain what the gig economy can do for marketers and how to take advantage of this growing opportunity.