Nobody says digital is an afterthought in 2023, but it is often still treated as one – especially in the B2B realm. It’s an afterthought in the sense that all the digital components for a core piece of content are thought of after the core piece is created. This is wrong-headed.
Social media isn’t a place for shorter versions of existing content or jargon-filled blurbs that lead into existing content. Video isn’t just your existing content “with animation.” Infographics aren’t just visual forms of your existing content. Podcast channels aren’t just … well, you get the point.
In 2023, your digital strategy must be baked in at the concept stage of content creation. If not, get ready of another year of “awareness wins” that drive small conversions and get almost no respect from stakeholders. I imagine you’re looking for more.
Ever seen the content marketing turkey? You know – the one that shows a large cooked turkey labeled as your “core piece of content” with slices labeled “social media”, “webinar”, “infographic”, “video”, and so on? If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a Google. Those “turkey slices” are how people think of digital marketing components. They think they should only focus on the “turkey” first, then they will create digital slices later. My point here, and it’s a critical one, is that those slices have to be top-of-mind while you’re baking the turkey.
Front-load your Digital Components
So many people are still stuck on the “find a core piece of content and diversify it” model. You simply can’t think like that anymore. All of your digital components must be baked in at the concept stage of your content.
For example, if you’re on the marketing team of a medical device manufacturer, you can’t wait for the white paper to be written before you start thinking video, social, blog, webinars, etc. The authors have to be brought into the digital strategy meetings. This isn’t so they can provide input on marketing, but so that they can receive critical direction on how to craft the content.
If they know a webinar is planned, you can work with them to create clear subheads and section breaks that easily work as webinar chapters. If they know a video series is needed, they can help you think about questions that are interesting to the target audience that make for a great Q&A video series. If you ask for a general idea of their major content areas, you can already start thinking about a blog series. If they already have data on hand before they begin (which they will), you can get that now to begin assigning creative elements to a social campaign that highlights interesting data points. All of this and more happens before the core piece of content is created. And of course, all of these will tie back to the core piece of content (whether via a lead gen campaign or part of freemium model meant to result in purchase).
This simple action of front-loading your digital components can change everything about how you approach content. Your content will be created sooner, it will have more relevancy to the audience, it will catch the interest of stakeholders (who likely think you’re just throwing mud against the wall to see what sticks), and it will put you in the best position to receive meaningful, measurable results.