Win a free Smarter Summer content audit!
The recent spell of sunny weather here in the UK has got the nation in holiday mood and dispelled some of the Brexit gloom. It also got me thinking about two of the key challenges for B2B content marketing in the summer months – continuity and compromised customer attention.
Marketers, prospects and your sales team alike will all be in a holiday state-of-mind and easily tempted to put off big decisions until September. And of course, if you work for a global company, many of your American and European colleagues will be out of reach for some or most of June-July-August.
However, with a bit of clever planning, it is possible for your content marketing strategy to not only survive the holiday season, but to ensure your sales pipeline is as refreshed as you will be after your summer break.
Here are five tips to help you plan your summer content strategy:
Get to grips with content atomisation
You’ve probably been meaning to get to grips with content atomisation for months now. And if you’re like most B2B content marketing professionals it’s likely that feeding the daily appetite for white papers, industry guides and well, just stuff, has got in the way.
Take advantage of the summer lull to take a look at some of your standout pieces of content and think about how to extract every last drop of value from them. If the content was rich with insight and downloads were healthy, then most likely it is still relevant for your customers. With a little bit of thought it could become your summer sensation.
It really is worth investing some time to bring it bang up-to-date (remember we are not talking about a complete re-write here). Then split the content up into bitesize chunks to drive prospect engagement throughout the summer months. Maybe a blog series (remember Google likes long form content these days)? You can flag the blogs with social media posts to keep in touch with key prospects, until sales pick up again in the Autumn.
If you have a little more time on your hands and are feeling really creative, then think about using a new format. Perhaps an audio version, or even video? This doesn’t need to cost a fortune and could make a big impression, making sure you are not forgotten while sunning yourself on an exotic beach.
Make sure you include a clear Call to Action; perhaps you could invite prospects to register their interest in an Autumn marketing event based around the content? And then use your scheduling tools to ensure a regular flow of inspiring content throughout the holiday season.
Sure, it might not be appropriate for a B2B content marketing campaign to focus on summer fun, but remember your prospects are human too! There is always room for light and playful communication in the B2B world, if you think creatively and show an understanding of your target audience.
Ideas such as Summer Sound Bites could provide short form easily digestible content for smart phone screens. Why not take inspiration from your most-read blogs and invite their authors to provide some audio sound bites based on the content?
Or introduce a summer quiz which requires readers to answer some straightforward questions about their interests or preferences in return for a chance to win a seasonal prize.
Not only will you gather some useful behavioural insights to kick-off September’s marketing efforts, but you will also make your brand more memorable when your prospects are ready to buy.
Use your scheduling tools
A little time spent planning will make a favourable impression with your internal stakeholders and help you achieve a stress-free holiday period. Take a few hours to review available content and create a summer editorial schedule. Set up social posts, emails and even web pages to ensure a constant stream of new content throughout the summer months.
Highlight your strategic planning ability and find new inspiration by setting up some summer brainstorm activities. Get together with your sales team during the summer lull to identify customer pain points, or new industry trends, and work with them to make sure you hit the ground running in September. It’s also worth finding out when your sales team is on holiday and remind them to put an effective process in place to manage inbound leads when people might be slightly thinner on the ground.
There will always be some smartphone addicts who can’t help checking their email, or social media over the summer holiday. Make sure you attract their eyeballs with your short form mobile content. Just because you’re a B2B brand does not mean you can’t create visually compelling posts that entertain as well as inform.
Talk to your content agency and find out how they can help
Don’t wait until your summer content crisis is in full swing! Talk to your agency now to avoid a hot and sweaty last-minute panic. Maybe they can help with that atomisation project?
Isoline is practising what it preaches by offering a free Smarter Summer content audit for the first five B2B tech brands that contact us. So, if you want to be a summer sensation, contact [email protected] without delay!