Guest blog from Rob Skinner, MD at Skout PR, a specialist business to business PR, social media and digital content consultancy.

Skout PR logoThis is the second in our series on delivering B2B content marketing. In the first post we touched on the challenge of making your B2B content really compelling and connected so that the recipient remembers and reacts to it. This second one focuses on why planning is important, whatever your starting point.

There are generally two approaches we see in B2B content generation. One is an overzealous urgency to adopt new methods, which can render large volumes of content poorly linked to marketing strategy. The other is an underlying conservatism which can result in high calibre content being underutilised and therefore not performing. It rather like the proverbial tortoise and hare, however, careful planning can help the put the best of the zealot and the conservative into one great content strategy.

For the zealot wishing to embrace digital content quickly the planning process brings essential structure and purpose. It helps to link the ‘doing’ of online and digital content back to the core proposition and sales and marketing targets of the organisation. The opportunistic content (driven by market issues and the news agenda) that the zealot favours is always important, but as with any marketing or communication there should always be a reason behind why you should do it – a measured contribution made to the greater marketing machine! Although not always the case zealots can be tempted to place quantity over quality in terms of content priority.

In reality quality and quantity of should be of equal importance in a content marketing strategy. So zealots, take heed of the plan and ensure your content delivers engaging quality as well as a message to the people your organisation needs to influence!

The conservative excels at creating highly considered B2B marketing content that strikes to the core of the target customer’s pain point. But they need planning to ensure that they drive sufficient volume of good content to really ensure that they sweat these high value content assets. While their content approach might be fully aligned with their sales and marketing strategy they may fail to fully leverage digital opportunities and platforms to take their content far and wide. A content plan not only helps them keep to a regular schedule, but work out how to create a pool of varied linked content that works across numerous platforms. In contrast to the zealot, the conservative tends to put content quality over quantity which can lead to missed opportunities or a lack of return from significant effort.

So conservatives, ensure you are not only creating well targeted core content, but you are planning how to wrap and present that content for different platforms and have a schedule of targets for doing so.

So are you naturally a content marketing zealot or a conservative? Don’t worry there’s room for both! Whichever’s the case, you will benefit from taking a carefully structured and balanced approach to your content marketing. The future posts in this series will examine the other essential steps of compelling content marketing – creation, utilisation and measurement.

If you haven’t already done so, you might find our Guide to B2B Content Marketing a useful reference. Click here to download a copy.

Rob Skinner