Why You Need a Content Factory to Go to Market Successfully

March 26, 2013

If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I am writing a series of posts about why every company needs a content factory. This week, I’m picking up the topic again to explain the important role a content factory can play in your company’s go-to-market strategy.

The basic pitch is familiar: Companies need high-quality content to convert customers and prospects and ultimately drive sales. But — and this is a big but — to be effective that content can’t just be an after thought, a one-off, or a plug to fill a gap. Instead, it needs to be a steady stream that’s carefully crafted to resonate with your target audience. Fundamentally, that means ensuring that content is in lock step with your go-to-market strategy.

To see what I mean, let’s take a step back and look at OpenView’s approach to designing a go-to-market strategy.

In our view, the first step to designing your strategy is understanding your customers and, specifically, your very best customer. For the purposes of this blog post, let’s call that best customer Steve. Once you have identified Steve (that’s him in the picture), the next step is to get sharply focused on understanding everything you can about him.
Specifically, you’re trying to get your head around which characteristics make Steve your best customer and which of his characteristics will help you find other customers just like him. If Steve is a general consumer, you will be looking for personal information about him (e.g., demographic information, product interests, lifestyle, etc.). If, on the other hand, Steve is buying on behalf of his company, you’ll not only be looking for personal info about Steve (the same info as before, but with the addition of title, role and other job-related details) abut also about his company (industry, size, location, products used, etc.).
In your quest to understand Steve and customers like him, you also need to understand his buyer journey and the points along the way where he and others could get stuck.
It may be that once buyers become aware of you, something prevents them from becoming interested in your product. Or, once they’re interested in you, some aspect of their research prevents them from making a purchase. No matter what the case, you need turn those sticking points into leverage points.
How do you do that? Well, if you’ve done everything outlined above, this is where you use your insights to create high-quality content that speaks to your target buyers and addresses their concerns at those sticking points, thus creating leverage. Specifically, you need to focus on creating content that:

  • Reflects your understanding of the buyer’s situation at that leverage point (what are Steve’s concerns, priorities, goals, etc.?)
  • Has a specific conversion goal (subscribe to your newsletter, register for a free trial, etc.)
  • Works hard for you (by being optimized for search and conversions)

The last piece of the puzzle is figuring out how to get your content to your buyers through a combination of inbound and outbound contact. That, of course, is a huge topic in and of itself that I won’t get into here today.

The bottom line…bringing it back to the content factory

For your go-to-market strategy to be successful, it needs to be underpinned by great content. This is so critical because the combination of good content plus good contact leads to good conversion.
Importantly, remember that in addition to needing content for your buyers, you also need content for your target influencers and partners, as well as for indirect sales channels. Factor in that you may be covering multiple segments, and things quickly get complicated. Simply put, you’re going to need a lot of content.
And that’s where a content factory comes in. It’s the infrastructure that allows marketers to create great content for every buyer’s situation, thus driving conversions. Without a content factory, there’s no way that you’ll be able to efficiently create all of the content you need to target your buyers during their buyer journeys and get them to convert. It takes an up front investment of time and resources (more on that in future posts), but the payoff is well worth it.

Content Marketing Director

<strong>Kevin Cain</strong> is the Content Marketing Director for <a href="http://www.bluechipcommunication.com.au/">BlueChip Communication</a>, Australia's leading financial services communication firm. Before joining BlueChip, Kevin was the Director of Content Strategy for OpenView.