Great content communicates volumes about your value, but getting to great content is often a challenge for marketers. Lack of resources, overabundance of internal experts clamoring to be heard, and a noisy marketplace full of urgent ideas all conspire to make it difficult to create a focused, effective content agenda.
So where to turn to cut through the clutter? The best answer is: your clients. If you take the time to solicit their input and involvement, your clients can be a powerful content engine, helping you craft a content agenda and uncover the stories that matter, while you navigate through the internal commotion and get the attention you need to deliver content that sells.
In the course of our work helping marketers connect to executives—especially those in b2b and services environments—we see that the underlying principle of client collaboration applies very well in the area of content marketing. Here are a few things to consider to leverage your client relationships and involve clients in telling stories about success and value can help you make inroads in your content marketing struggle.
Client co-creation in content marketing
Co-creating content is about working directly with your clients to determine topic priorities, conduct research, analyze findings and implications, extract best practices and actions, and create and share stories of success. This can be as simple as interviewing clients for sidebar caselets in a white paper, or as in depth as conducting qualitative or quantitative research with clients on business issues to create a position on a market you care about—and anything in between.
Co-creating content with clients brings you five important ingredients for content marketing success:
- Credibility – Extracting ideas, solutions and best practices from your clients provides one of the most critical ingredients for successful content—peer insights. Executives value their peers’ experiences and perspectives above many other sources.
- Relevance – Input from executive leaders can get you on the right path to credibility, but working with your clients allows you to single out the highest priority issues and topics that they care about, making your content relevant and targeted to your most important audience.
- Authenticity – Storytelling sells as a way to move behind tech speak and features and functions. Authentic stories—those told by peers in the same situation—bring the value to life for executives reading your content.
- Efficiency – Co-creation helps sift through the myriad of topics and ideas within your own organization—across practices, business units, and internal experts—to focus time and resources on those your clients care about and where they see you adding the most value. Your clients can help you efficiently and effectively develop and drive a content agenda to keep you on target and waste less time on ideas that don’t matter.
- Evangelism – The ultimate test of the value of your content is whether your clients want to engage with and share what you produce, whether inside their organizations or with peers in the industry. The more your clients are involved in creating the insights, the more likely they are to claim ownership and share the piece.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a couple of your most strategic, interesting and committed clients and start working on your content.