Content Creation for Demand Gen

4 steps to developing relevant, personalized content to drive interest.

Answer the questions in this planning guide to create a customized document for your business.

Creating and maintaining a library of effective Demand Gen content is actually easier than it may sound. The following guide can help in your efforts, whether you already have content created or if you are working from a fresh slate. Demand Gen is about creating engagement strategies and audiences to reach. To do so, you need to have a deliberate approach to asset development as part of your overall strategy. This planning guide acts as a device to recharge the process and inspire a deeper level of thinking.

Along with providing thought-provoking questions, this is a no-strings-attached PDF download to act as a guide when going through your process of creating content. Based on your selections, you can use it as a discussion-starter or workbook, however you find it most useful.

Follow these steps...

to plan your content creation.

Answer these questions...

to customize your guide with relevant considerations.

STEP 1: Understand your market and where you fit into it.

This requires an honest, genuine assessment of what your customers buy from you and why. It’s a critical in determining how your brand and solutions are perceived in the markets in which you want to sell.

This unbiased view will help you develop realistic content marketing objectives for your Demand Gen efforts – and put you in a position to know what your content needs to accomplish to be successful.

When is the last time you’ve done an honest self-assessment of your brand / business unit / product?

6 months

1 year

2 years

5+ years

Never

Other:

What was the outcome of the assessment? (select all that apply)

It made us aware of changes we needed to make in our approach in aligning content with our buyer

It confirmed we were targeting the correct audience

It helped us understand why we were pursuing the wrong audience and helped us reset

Other:

Which factors most influence B2B decision makers in an initial engagement Business decision makers are morelikely to engage with salespeople who:1 Provide specific informationrelevant to their current job. 0% 0% Represent a well-known company with a strong professional brand.
The 4 most important factors for buyers’ willingness to engage with a vendor The 4 most important factors for buyers’ willingness to engage with a vendor 2 Understands my company’s business model Provides valuable consultation, education or tools Is a subject matter expert / thought leader Knows my company’s products / services 25% 25% 25% 26%

STEP 2: Establish your credibility and then reinforce your position.

According to CEB research, buying groups now average 6.8 people in making a B2B purchase decision – which means your content should help create consensus.

The understanding you gain during the first step will help you position yourself as a subject matter expert in your buyer’s space. This step is designed to help you decide what content is needed for your Demand Gen effort and how to build a story based on different buying roles.

What is your perceived credibility in the market (by your audience and by your competitors)?
(1=not credible, 10=very credible. Select only one rating per)

Audience (customers and prospective buyers)

Competitors (direct and indirect)

What percent of your Demand Gen content is created to speak to different buying roles within your audience? (please enter)

%

Which best describes your approach to content creation for Demand Gen? (select all that apply)

Branded content

Product-focused

Buyer-focused

Other

The number of people involved in B2B solution purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today The number of people involved in B2B solution purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today 3
Common obstacles to purchase as they align with buying stages Common obstacles to purchase as they align with buying stages: 4 DISCOVERY BUYER’S MINDSET BUYING STAGE Loosening of status quo bias Difficulty identifying meaningful information Trouble interpreting conflicting information COMMON OBSTACLES CONSIDERATION Exploring vendor options Competing priorities Different criteria for purchase Conflicting views on the need for change DECISION Justifying a purchase decision Overwhelmed by too many purchasing options Late introduction of new options is confusing Implementation plans unclear

STEP 3: Leverage your expertise and use it to build trust.

Steps 1 and 2 helped you to see how to address your audience and distinguish your offering. Now use the knowledge of your audience to build trust and confidence with your buyers by creating content that is purposeful, relevant and timely.

Collaborate with Sales to get their input on prospective buyers. Include Account Teams to provide a customer point-of-view. And utilize input from both to develop your buyer-focused storyline each content asset will support.

How often do your organization’s Marketing, Sales and Account teams meet to review and discuss your Demand Gen content assets? (select only one)

Once a month

Once a quarter

Twice a year

Once a year

Never

Other

How do you use the information gathered during those discussions? (select as many as apply)

Update existing content assets

Repurpose content assets

Remove assets

Develop net new content assets based on different audiences

Revisit content application up and down the sales funnel

Other

What are some of the obstacles that prevent the teams from meeting more frequently to take advantage of input on customer interest and market trends to influence your content?

B2B buyers expect a consistent brand message throughout their journey of engagement B2B buyers expect a consistent brand message throughout their journey of engagement. 5 B2B buyers who say consistent marketing and sales language about a product is very important (50%) or important (39%). Very important Somewhat important 50% 39% 48% B2B buyers who reported frequently or always getting different messaging from sales and marketing when learning about a vendor’s solution.
Top sales professionals were more likely than others to say that they work closely with marketing in prospecting efforts. Top* sales professionals were more likely than others to say that they work closely with marketing in prospecting efforts. 6 *those sales professionals exceeding their target by at least 25% 0% 0% Top sales professionals who said that marketing was highly important in closing deals... ...compared to those other sales professionals surveyed.

STEP 4: Create a cycle of continuous learning and improvement.

Monitoring what your audience responds to should be a daily activity – you can take your ongoing learning into consideration when your build for your next generation of assets.

Create a content development culture of: Revisit, Repurpose, Refresh. Collaborate and continue to adapt your content with the input of Sales and Accounts teams, and you will consistently improve your chances for Demand Gen success.

Do you have a structured feedback loop to revisit, repurpose and refresh your Demand Gen content on a regular basis? (select only one)

Yes

No

Other

How often do you revisit, repurpose or refresh your Demand Gen content based on internal and external feedback? (select only one)

Once a quarter

Twice a year

Once a year

Never

Other

Demand Gen focuses on shaping perception and creating interest in your product or service. The goal is to engage the largest portion of your total addressable market (TAM) as possible and make them want what you offer. Having a solid content marketing strategy supported with personalized, relevant content assets increases your chances of success with your Demand Gen efforts.

Reminder: This is a no-strings-attached download. The PDF with your selections will open in a new browser window, no email address required.
You can use this document as a starting point - print it out or email it to colleagues as a guide in your discussons for content development along the way.

Considerations: X

Consider incorporating a self-assessment of your brand, business unit or product into your annual planning. Determine what would be most beneficial to know about yourselves, your position in the market and how you are viewed by you customers and prospect audience and make it part of your annual planning routine.

Consider developing an action plan to prioritize needs, map your new assets to your buyer's journey based on their viewpoint, not your own.

Consider versioning your content assets to specific roles and responsibilities of your prospective buyers and then make sure your content is available.

In addition to your resetting your approach, consider what content may be missing and the most efficient and effective way to develop it.

Consider working with a third-party resource in surveying your customer-base and target audience to understand what is causing your low credibility score with these groups. Based on your findings, develop content that works to correct the perception and firmly re-establish and communicate your position.

Consider exploring what is contributing to your high credibility score among your target audience and leverage that information in your Demand Gen content creation.

Consider doing a SWOT analysis to help you understand why your competitors perceive you the way they do. Use your findings to develop a position that strengthens your core position and credibility in the market.

Consider exploring what is contributing to your high credibility score among your competitors and leverage that information in your Demand Gen content creation.

Consider developing ideal buyer profiles (IBP) of the different stakeholders who have a role in purchasing your offering and version your content to appeal to their roles and responsibilities

Consider personalization in more areas of your Demand Gen content and creating personalized experiences through the use of interactive content

Consider broadening your content library to include non-branded, buyer-centric content that relates to the needs of your buyer and demonstrates your understanding of their roles and challenges. Then align your content assets with the buyer’s journey and the organization’s sales funnel.

Consider growing your content library to include needs-based information to demonstrate you understand your buyer’s challenges and needs. Relate to them in a way that makes your offering feel familiar and builds trust.

Consider creating a balance between buyer-centric information and product-centric content. Having both will inform the buyer as their needs change throughout their process that leads them to a decision.

Consider working with an outside resource, schedule and help facilitate the meetings to get everyone on the same page and actively participating in the development of your Demand Gen content.

Consider collaborating with key stakeholders from Marketing, Sales and Account teams to discuss the benefits of having a feedback loop for Demand Gen content. This will lead to the development of more relevant, personalized and tailored assets.

Consider making a quarterly review of your content a priority to ensure you are putting your best foot forward in creating, and identifying, demand for your offering.

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