07 Sep 2016
MDF B2B Content Marketing

How To Produce Great Content For Your Channel Marketing Program

Is your channel marketing content still focused on promoting the features of your latest products and services? That’s been the focus of market development funds (MDF) since they were introduced three decades ago but this outdated approach is no longer having the desired impact. That’s because buyers have so many other sources of information before they ever speak to your sales team. Instead of emphasising your strengths, you need to focus on what these people need.

The world of corporate communications has changed dramatically during the past few years. Thanks to mobile and social trends your target audience is always connected, highly active and willing to engage with the right content. Yet brands who abuse this privilege to push their own agenda are penalised by Google and ignored by everybody else. If you’re ready to try a new approach, the most important aspect to get right is producing great content. So what does this look like?

Five Attributes of Great Content

1. Align with business goals – Every piece of content you create should be aligned with clear business objectives. Always know what you’re trying to achieve before you start. If you can’t explain how a piece of content will impact any of your goals, don’t waste your time producing it.

2. Know your audience – Which job functions are most likely to make the decision to work with you? There might only be one or there could be a handful. What are their goals and challenges? Who are these people influenced by? This knowledge should inform all of the content you produce.

3. Share knowledge –  Now you know who the audience is, how can you help them overcome a problem or achieve a goal? You can no longer think of knowledge as something to be held onto because sharing it is your greatest currency. Great content must be useful and the best content will make your audience feel something. Does yours pass the test?

4. Build community – Remember the last time you wanted to share something with your network? Great content gets passed around and sparks conversation. Brands that do this well actively engage their audiences and encourage members of the community to help each other.

5. React quickly – The companies who are most successful with content marketing have a documented strategy. Yet there’s also great value in reacting quickly to new developments once that strategy is in place. Always be aware of opportunities to give relevant context to current events.

Summary

Buyer behaviour has changed so much during the past few years and yet the way most companies sell is still stuck in a land that time forgot. You don’t need a big budget to start changing the way your brand and channel partners reach and communicate with potential buyers. Start by thinking about topics where you can truly add value to the conversation and then develop a strategy for getting it in front of your target audience.

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