Have you ever tried spring cleaning? Doesn’t it leave you exasperated at the end of the exercise?
You’re left wondering what if you had taken it up much earlier in the year. Getting everything done at one go leaves a lot of things still uncluttered.
Imagine if you were a content marketing manager at a company that has all types of marketing collateral that you can think of: websites, blogs, case studies, brochures, e-Books, white papers, spread across different content types like PDFs, PPTs, MP4, JPEGs/PNGs, MS Word and more. Add to this the target audience segments - employees, internal/external uses, vendors, customers, and resellers.
Content can become an intertwining mass of disjointed stuff that cannot be unknotted easily. Assimilating and organizing content based on your business needs in one go will be a never-ending task. What you need to do is to organize content periodically to derive maximum ROI from it.
Organizing Content - A Tiered Approach
We recommend a tiered approach for organizing content that should be a part of an organization's content strategy, as outlined below:
Tier 1: Content Organized For Everybody
Splitting new content into different layers like core company themes, cross-company initiatives, and industries is an excellent way to let people know of its use. This tier is generic and applies to everyone. It can even overlap between different layers.
Tier 2: Purposeful Content Grouping
Specific business units can have content separately tiered for them. An apt example is the case of banks and credit unions who group content for micro-segments like high net worth individuals, middle-income groups, and more granular segments - customers based on their demographics, propensity to save, ambitions, and more.
Tier 3: Content for Specific Goals
When you launch campaigns, or host events/conferences, customer meetups, you need separate content stacks that are entirely different from others can be stacked together. This content might have an expiry and may become redundant after an event is over.
Content Organization: Best Practices
Mastering the art of organizing content will not take you ages. All that it needs is staying true to your company's content strategy and never letting any content piece abandoned.
Here are a few the best practices for organizing content across a business:
1. Use a Content Management System
Content should serve audience needs teams for whom it is intended. Use a content management system to host content. This content management system is a core component of a business’s content strategy that serves as a hub for everybody using content in an organization.
A content management system not only lets you publish, store and manage content, but it can also help you discover content when you need it. For example, sale teams can use a content management system to find content related to their leads and demos. Using a content management system’s nifty features such as ‘drag and drop’ enables you to move content around without breaking a sweat.
2. Organize Content for Discoverability
It is about exploring content churned by a business. A user (internal or external) might not know about a company and could be searching for answers to learn more about their geographical presence, management, investors, and vision. No matter how much content you have, making the content discoverable is key to spreading your brand's message.
3. Find Appropriate Content
In this instance, users might know what they are looking for, but do not know its location. So, whichever content management system you use, make sure content is searchable within it. Users can search for content using keywords or phrases that they recollect.
4. Create Groups and Sections
Organize content in different groups and sections. A content marketer at a conglomerate can group content based on different business groups, organization's marketing themes, industries served and more.
Similarly, a content marketer at a small and medium business can group content according to their customer segments or user groups such as millennials, native Americans, elderly citizens, college students, and more.
5. Tag Content Assets
We're not talking about SEO tag optimization in here. This is about meta tags for existing content. When you take meta tags and title tags seriously as part of your SEO strategy, then why not do it for content hosted in a content management system.
Tagging for keywords helps in searching for germane content. A video on growing Chinese consumerism can have tags like #China, #ConsumerSpend, #Consumerism, and #Growth. This way, content can be found when needed. Content management systems let users tag content for easy findability.
6. Describe Content Artifacts
This feature is critical for a content management system, and a content piece without description is like hotel rooms without numbers on it. Guests don't know which is theirs until someone puts a number on it.
Including a brief description tells a user what a content piece is all about and aids easy discoverability. Description fields could feature HTML links to make them comprehensive.
7. Update Content
When there are newer versions of a content piece, a content marketer should be able to replace them without breaking a sweat. Uploading newer versions of the same content piece can be misleading. Users might get lost in getting to the appropriate content piece that they need.
8. User Accessibility
Not everybody should have access to all content due to confidentiality issues. Company expansion plans, employee remunerations, customer data, company financials are sensitive and hence restricted to a select audience. It could lead you to more serious trouble if you do not take accessibility seriously. While setting up content groups or categories, ensuring access restrictions will prevent content misuse.
Now, let us see a few use cases to organize content across a business.
Organizing Content: Use Cases in B2B Scenarios
B2B companies must organize their content in proper shape to realize a higher ROI from it, more so when their content has touchpoints with external parties such as customers, vendors, and value-added resellers. For example, sales teams use sales content extensively during conversations with prospects.
In one of our earlier posts titled, The Basics of B2B Sales Collateral, we explained how sales teams use it to convince their customers. The objective of sales collaterals is to provide prospects with the requisite information to help them decide their best option. In this section, let us look at a few use cases of how B2B companies can organize their content.
Use Case #1: ORGANIZING CONTENT FOR AUTOMOBILE COMPANIES
Automobile companies (e.g., Audi) create content for their dealers, customers, and partners. Each of their car models (sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, and more), inventory, technology, and accessories can each have sub-folders created for them.
Content meant for customers and retailers such as videos, brochures, and price lists can have separate repositories. Car companies also have forums/communities that have buyers talking to each other solving problems. Content marketers at automobile companies can dive into buyer discussions to know key topics and help sales reps with relevant content in neat stacks accessible during demos.
Use Case #2: ORGANIZING CONTENT FOR MANUFACTURERS
Large manufacturers such as 3M produce content that covers broader company stories and specific application processes. Along with a good presence on social media, their content strategy weaves along with overall company objectives.
It is imperative for manufacturers to organize content according to corporates (energy, transport, oil & gas), consumers (home improvement, school supplies) business segments (safety, electronics, communications), markets, brands (Avagard, Scotchlite). Organizing content for its intended purpose (educational, informational, recreational) can help improve productivity.
Use Case #3: ORGANIZING CONTENT FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES
80% of small businesses do not invest in content marketing, which is a mistake. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) find it hard to create content that their customers will love, let alone organize it due to a lack of resources or funds.
But, small businesses who create original content via blogs, short videos, and distribute via social media or niche magazines can host them in a content management system with minimal effort. Since SMBs have much lesser volumes than large enterprises, grouping it can help alleviate pain in the long run.
Use Case #4: ORGANIZING CONTENT FOR EDTech COMPANIES
EdTech companies (e.g., Udemy, Khan Academy, and Kaltura) produce a lot of content for their target audience, which is extremely varied in their tastes and preferences. It includes school and college students of all ages and working professionals looking to hone their skills in new subjects. As a result, their content varies across different genre, topics, and categories.
Sales reps at EdTech companies use sales collateral to exhibit the utility of their courses to their target audience comprising of schools, universities, institutes, trainers, instructors, and corporate houses. Sales reps targeting these individual customer segments can have their content ready in folders, groups, and themes for use during sales meetings, conversations, presentations, first-time pitches, and campaigns.
Struggling to manage sales content?
CONTENT ORGANIZATION: CONCLUSION
If you’ve worked in sales or marketing teams, there is a high chance that you have seen content rattling around. Our customers often tell us feeling helpless about it. However, organizing content on an ongoing basis helps to align with your content strategy and derive greater value.