A resource centre is an area of your website that holds the pre- and post-sales content you create for your business. These could range from thought leadership, product information, white papers, case studies, use cases, infographics, videos, webinars, presentations and more. Built and updated properly, it can become a search and lead magnet, driving leads from the top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel to your website.
Resource centres are more relevant than ever today, with an exponential increase in the amount of content put out by tech B2B companies in recent years. There is increasing recognition of the fact that content marketing increases engagement: 72% of marketers agree. The same proportion of people also say it has increased the number of leads.
Marketers looking to support ongoing revenue growth, in sectors like telecoms, medical equipment, or IoT for example, have to create content-based campaigns on an ongoing basis, along the drumbeat of a strategic content plan. [For more info on how to create a content strategy and plan, check out our blog or resource centre]
So, tech B2B companies taking content marketing seriously are essentially looking at turning into mini-publications for their sector. They will be creating a large amount of content over time and as with any repository, it is essential to keep this content easy to find.
A resource centre is a perfect repository for all this valuable intellectual property, and increasingly becoming an essential item in the content marketing toolkit for tech B2B companies.
Making sure your resource centre delivers on its goals
Here are some best practices if you’re thinking of building a resource centre.
- Keep content well organised, tagged and easy to find. Enable better content discovery on your resource centre by organising it: by customer type, solution type, application type as well as content type. While it is easy to create a resource centre that is grouped into ‘white papers’, ‘brochures’, ‘infographics’ and ‘videos’, the chances are that your audiences will not be visiting your website looking for just any white paper. They will be looking for answers to specific industry questions. Create categories that address the different imperatives or pain points of your customers. The resource centre of the HomeByMe 3D planning solution, for example, signposts content with categories like ‘customer experience’, and ‘e-commerce’.
- Define and differentiate the roles of the resource centre and blog. Prior to launching a resource centre, it is likely that content was created and maintained in a blog. A blog is not too dissimilar to the cassette tapes or video tapes of yesteryear: despite search functions, finding specific content on a blog often involved scrolling through months of posts. There is no specific best way to use a blog in the tech B2B sector – some companies use it for company and product updates, while others to discuss ‘topical’ matters that are time-bound. The Cisco resource centre makes it easy for different audience types to locate content most relevant to their needs, from SMEs onward.
- Aim for content diversity. Ensure that your resource centre incorporates content of different form factors to cater to the preferences of different audiences. Given that a tech B2B purchase process often involves numerous people from various parts of the organisation, the resource centre is a good place to cater for the needs of these different buyer personas: senior decisionmakers, users, and influencers from various parts of the company. Here’s a good example of a resource centre for the BICS cloud communications solution that includes short-form, long-form, multimedia, graphical and downloadable content. Using different authors from both within and outside the organisation provides different perspectives: collaborative marketing is gaining popularity. Also aim for diverse content types: some readers or topics might warrant a video, others an infographic. If all the content on the resource centre is long-form articles, you’ve just created another blog.
- Create a content journey from one asset to another. After the recipient reads the white paper, what is he/ she meant to do next? This forms the crux of the content journey. The goal is to move readers from one stage to the next of the purchase or engagement cycle by increasing their understanding and preference for your solutions through a logical flow of content. The next step of the content journey depends on the objectives, audience and type of content of each asset. You can accelerate a prospect’s journey through the purchase cycle by pointing to different assets in the resource centre that can elaborate on specific points, or take readers to a more advanced understanding of the topic.
- Keep the resource centre refreshed and updated. It’s not just Google that rewards websites that update content regularly. A survey of tech B2B purchase decision-makers and influencers showed that people tend to identify their preferred ‘subject matter experts’ for different areas of expertise and come back to these time and time again. Ensuring that you reward these readers with new perspectives and content is essential to create loyalty, referrals and better engagement over the long term. Aim to post new content on your resource centre at least once a week.
- Have a mix of downloadable gated assets and free-to-read assets. While it is tempting to hide all value-added content behind a contact form to increase the number of leads added to your pipeline, it is advisable to gate only certain types of assets. Maintaining a balance between free-to-read content and gated content will reduce bounce rates and improve brand preference. It is also worth remembering that downloadable pdfs are not indexable on search engines so they will not help with search rankings. The Ciena Network Insights page does a great job at providing a fund of online resources that cater to readers of various levels of technical expertise, organised and categorised clearly.
- Promote it. Apart from search optimising the content on your resource centre, ensure you do other things to get it noticed. Socialise your posts on your key channels like LinkedIn and Twitter. Feature new content on your newsletter and include it in your marketing or drip campaigns. Share content with sales teams so they can create new touchpoints with their prospects.
Overall, a resource centre can be effective in taking your website from a static set of pages into a vibrant online destination that supports sales enablement, thought leadership and online visibility. Make sure you have your content is a wide variety of formats that prospects can use, you’re sales team may benefit from something like UsefulPDF to quickly merge and edit documents.
A little planning and investment into this key online asset can yield significant results over the long term. If you don’t have a resource centre at the moment, definitely include it as part of a website revamp.
Are you thinking of creating your own resource centre – maybe your existing resource centre is due a refresh? We’d love to chat. Contact us at [email protected].