The bar for great B2B content marketing is being raised since brands have become publishers and no longer need to rely on traditional media sources for exposure. Unfortunately, budgets and resources don’t always match the required output.
Not many B2B marketers realistically have the budget to hire journalists to compete with industry publications. Even those that do, are still struggling to create engaging content on a consistent basis, improve content effectiveness and provide a variety of content.
The wisdom of your community is a bank rich with useful marketing content and can help scale a B2B content marketing program. In his session at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, TopRank CEO Lee Odden made the case for why adding participation to your content can help solve the problems above, and three examples of content co-creation in action.
6 Advantages of B2B Content Co-Creation
Lee describes participation marketing as the democratization of content creation and promotion by co-creating content with subject matter experts, influencers and your community. Content co-creation has many benefits such as:
- Authenticity: A content program that includes advice from multiple sources can provide inspiration and advice from real people that understand what your audience is going through.
- Quality: By tapping into subject matter expertise, the quality is often above and beyond what copywriters on your staff are able to produce, as they may not have the deep expertise of other experts.
- Variety: Again, internal resources may be proficient in creating certain types of content, while enlisting co-creators can create additional opportunities for variety in content type and information.
- Engagement: When you collaborate with other people you are actually creating a relationship with them. Additionally, there are the marketing benefits of creating engaging content for your audience to consume and share.
- Reach: The participation can inspire amplification and action. If you create a good experience for your co-creators then they will be inspired to share on their personal and professional networks.
- Scale: Increase in the quantity of quality content by breaking content creation out of the silo of marketing and including other departments and groups inside and outside your business.
How to Approach Participation Marketing
Create A Project Brief
As with any content program, the essential first step is to create a brief that describes:
- What is it?
- How does it solve a problem for customers?
- What do they do next?
- How will you measure success
Picking Your Co-Creators
Customers, internal and external subject matter experts, industry influencers and your online community are all prime candidates for content co-creation.
Always strive to understand what makes your contributors tick and find a way to create mutual value. Make it easy and exciting for people to participate and even consider creating some incentives for participation.
Sample B2B Content Co-Creation Ideas
- Case Studies
- White Papers
- Blog Posts
- Expert Resources
- Social Content
Examples of Co-Created Content in the Wild
Community Sourced FAQs
Dell’s IT Ninja – This is a community created website that includes over 7,000 software tips, 350,000 software titles and commonly asked questions. This website has approximately 500,000 visitors each month.
Co-Creation to Drive In-Store Purchases
Kraft Foods – Kraft Foods wanted to find a way to sell more of their products in Target stores specifically. They recruited 180 food bloggers to create and promote branded that included Kraft products and included a coupon that was only redeemable at Target. Their ROI on the program was 3,100% and their per recipe cost dropped from $500 to $200.
B2B Partner Content Library
RingLead – This company partners with other companies that have credibility and offer complimentary solutions to create a content library. They treat contributions from other companies as ingredients. The information is categorized and used in more of a modular approach.
Small Business, Big Game
Intuit – Another great example is Intuit’s Small Business Big Game. Small business owners are asked to enter videos explaining why they want to win a commercial for their business during the Super Bowl. The people that submit are then invited to get lots of shares on their submission. Part of the program includes giving tasks to the businesses to answer questions about their small business. So, they are essentially micro-blogging information that can be useful to other small businesses that could use Intuit’s products. This program had thousands of entrants and millions of votes casted for the entries.
B2B Influences Co-Create Wonderland
Content Marketing In Wonderland – For the past few years, TopRank Marketing has partnered with Content Marketing Institute to promote their conference, Content Marketing World. This event is ripe with influencers that can easily become contributors to a co-creation asset. We created a series of eBooks that functioned as the hub and were supported by other content assets. Other people, who were experts in the topic that they contributed to, created 80% of the content.
Keep Your Participation Marketing Accountable
If you focus on an attract, engage, convert model, it provides a simple way to keep your content accountable to business objectives. The best content marketing is the kind that informs people and leads them to the logical conclusion that you are the best answer for their needs.
In his session, Lee also provided access to a brand new B2B Participation Marketing Toolkit for anyone that wants to learn more.