Streamlining Content Development to Serve Customers Better with New Rules of Multichannel Marketing

Today, marketers can connect with potential customers everywhere, which requires marketing teams to create, manage and share a high volume of content on multiple channels. But most teams are merely getting by, applying antiquated, manual content development processes like email chains and spreadsheets to create and store creative assets instead of upgrading the process entirely.

Streamlining Content Development to Serve Customers Better with New Rules of Multichannel Marketing
Streamlining Content Development to Serve Customers Better with New Rules of Multichannel Marketing

In fact, teams don’t need “just another place to put stuff” but rather they need tools and processes that help them work together smartly. In this playbook, readers will learn three new rules of content creation that can streamline their processes, including:

  • Understanding what you have and how it connects to your business goals
  • Implementing a workflow that makes the best use of your creative talent
  • Maximizing distribution by making decisions informed by data

Table of contents

Understand what assets you have and how they connect to your business goals
Implement workflows that make the best use of your creative talent
Maximize distribution by making decisions informed by data
Reach buyers where they are

“WHEREVER YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE, your brand should be.” This simple yet challenging truth has taken on new meaning for B2B marketers operating in an environment where more than three-quarters of B2B buyers and sellers prefer digital self-serve and remote engagement over face-to-face interactions.

Simple, because the data support digital content as a cornerstone of the B2B marketing and sales process.

Challenging, because marketers must wade through an explosion of digital and print marketing and sales channels, all of which require customized and up-to-date assets.

Today, marketers can connect with potential customers everywhere, which requires marketing teams to create, manage and share a high volume of content through multiple channels. But most teams are merely getting by, applying antiquated, generic content development processes, like email chains and spreadsheets, to create, track and store creative assets instead of upgrading the process entirely.

Digital marketing leaders continue to strive to deliver relevant content at every touchpoint in a customer journey. This content can vary from ad copy to digital images, and even FAQs, technical specifications and the answers given through a call center by chat or telephone. All content represents the brand and must be consistent and correct to appropriately benefit the recipient. As the types of content used in marketing and communications continue to proliferate and marketers prioritize the delivery of consistent messaging in real time, their need to plan, develop, manage and deliver content at scale is critical.

While there are many places companies can store assets, many companies don’t access or utilize purpose-built tools and functional workflows to make their processes effective or productive. As a result, team members are endlessly requesting assets, managing permissions, or worse — wasting time and resources re-creating content.

Generic storage methods simply aren’t up to managing the complex needs of today’s multichannel B2B marketing. In fact, in one survey, as many as 54% of employees admitted using a search tool like Google to locate their own company’s logo.

“The complexity involved in matching creative assets to your audience and the channels they’re on is incredible,” said Ross Paterson, CEO at WoodWing. “Multichannel B2B marketers must manage the entire lifecycle of thousands of creative assets as those assets are pushed through a process that might involve dozens of people and hundreds of formats or channels. To do so without a content orchestration process invites a large amount of inefficiency and uncertainty into the marketing process and — at the extreme — runs the risk of jeopardizing your brand value.”

In a marketing environment that requires companies to create, manage and share a high volume of content for specific end-user demands — often in a fully remote work environment — there’s no room for antiquated manual systems or ways of working.

Here are the three new rules of content creation that will allow organizations to streamline their processes and prepare marketing content:

Understand what assets you have and how they connect to your business goals

EVEN THE MOST BASIC MARKETING CAMPAIGN ends up as a complex, multidisciplinary process that requires input from many parts of the company, including marketing, product, legal and creative. The components of the campaign — a set of assets to be pushed out into many unique formats — creates a web of comments, permissions, and versions. In companies where an archive of assets stretches back over years, this web can contribute to a significant bottleneck for creatives and employees to understand which assets are available to be used in a given campaign.

Content orchestration is people and tools working seamlessly together to plan, create, manage, and distribute content. Content orchestration builds confidence, allowing employees who are creating assets to identify and access the most up-to-date versions of all the creative assets a team owns. When a team has a clear understanding of the creative assets on hand, it can more easily map that content to business objectives and desired outcomes, identify the most important gaps to fill, and avoid creating redundant or unnecessary content.

“There are layers and layers of new complexity added to the content development process every year, from the number of people involved in the development process to the explosion of channels to increased sensitivity to global privacy concerns,” said Paterson. “Combined with an added urgency to capture and understand real-time data about the performance of these marketing efforts, marketers have to establish a baseline of content and understanding around their biggest priorities if they want to be successful in the long run.”

Implement workflows that make the best use of your creative talent

THE TRADITIONAL CREATIVE PROCESS involves a lot of back and forth between stakeholders within an organization and contributors that may be outside the organization. Without consistent workflows in place, that back and forth can devolve into long email threads full of attachments, misinformation, and confusion, delaying decision-making and leading to errors and conflicts within teams.

While this might get the job done in many organizations, it doesn’t get the job done well. The process lacks visibility into asset status and fails to solve the complex versioning issues that can plague creative teams when sharing finished assets with other departments, such as the sales team. As the organization grows, the inefficiencies compound, and every new hire and new asset build up unnecessary friction in the multichannel marketing process.

Content encompasses everything communicated by a brand to an audience, whether it is internal or external. Marketing leaders must plan their content operations ecosystem to be adaptable for ingesting, organizing and managing all of these content types as well as being aware of new types, such as those used in augmented and virtual reality.

Implementing structured workflows removes the inefficiencies that keep your creative team from doing their best work. Designers, copywriters, and project managers have access to the most up-to-date content at all times, so they can get right to work instead of waiting for input from other team members. And as they scale, those teams can remain efficient and deliver higher volumes of work instead of succumbing to increased inefficiency and confusion.

Navigating increased importance, complexity, and budgetary constraints, marketing leaders must build enterprise-scale systems that create and connect the right content to the correct customers in the right place. These systems need to deliver efficiency, transparency, and scale for diverse user groups across an entire organization. This is the promise of content orchestration, integrating a variety of technologies to empower marketing leaders and their teams to be successful.

Teams don’t need “just another place to put stuff” but rather they need tools and processes that help them work together smartly. They need ways to ensure content is ready to go, wherever and whenever it is needed and where it can be most effective.

Creatives are there to create. Proper workflows allow your creative team to focus on creating, rather than the drudgery of searching or re-creating assets they can’t find. The process frees them to be better creators and marketers, instead of asking them to become better technologists.

In one example, a leading global pharmaceutical company, Cipla implemented a content workflow process and reduced its content workflow by an astounding 98%. This reduction in the number of employees and hours involved in creating, distributing, and sharing creative assets such as product packaging and marketing collateral also enabled the company to make a smooth transition to a flexible, remote environment towards the end of 2020.

WoodWing frees up time by automating and triggering all the processes – and this extra time means teams can put more focus on design and content. So, this enables teams to produce a better product. You could produce the same end product without WoodWing, but it’s going to be more chaotic for sure.

Maximize distribution by making decisions informed by data

EVEN JUST 10 YEARS AGO, the number of distribution channels that were a priority in B2B marketing was a fraction of what they are today. As consumers adapt to new forms of technology, B2B buyers adapt as well, leading to well-known B2B brands taking part in traditionally-B2C social media platforms and distribution channels. For example, Deloitte Insights with more than 520,000 followers on Twitter and IBM with more than 280,000 subscribers and 71,000,000 views on YouTube.

Creating the right content for the right audiences for the right channels is just the first of two challenges marketers must master to succeed in this multichannel marketing landscape. The second is to learn which content performs the best with your audience. Once an organization has better control over the assets it puts out into the world, it can focus on capturing a better understanding of how its target audience engages with those assets. While few brands will be able to completely close the feedback loop between asset creation and audience engagement right away, there’s much to be gained by putting the processes in place to be able to close it eventually. This effort lays the groundwork for advances in technology like artificial intelligence that will be able to suggest changes to content based on how past content has performed.

“With a system of checks and balances in place for distribution, teams can quickly iterate and improve without starting from scratch each time,” says O’Connell. “From a strategic development perspective, this increases the bandwidth of a team to meet these extensive distribution requirements and unlocks the capacity to personalize further and customize creative for individual platforms, audiences, geographic regions and beyond.”

B2B companies can’t leave these complex processes to individual contributors and hope it works out. The need for a streamlined workflow from the point of origin through the distribution and engagement measurement is only going to increase.

Reach buyers where they are

If you want to meet today’s buyers where they are, you must be able to efficiently create and distribute high-quality content and creative assets for any number of formats or platforms. These demands will only grow, given all the new ways content will be created and shared in the coming years.

IS YOUR ORGANIZATION PREPARED TO DO SO?

To win, you must prioritize the delivery of consistent messaging and your ability to plan, develop, manage, and deliver content at scale. Buyers will make connections with brands that do these things well. Content orchestration allows your organization to connect what you have to your business goals, make the best use of your creative talent, and make informed distribution decisions. The result is an efficient and streamlined approach to content organization and development that allows you to meet your customers where they are — wherever they happen to be.

Source: WoodWing