The old adage “change is the only constant” seems to become ever more accurate as time goes on. Meaning that the pace of change is accelerating. Try to think of a business sector that hasn’t been impacted by any of the myriad changes that surround us and the phrase “relic of the past” comes quickly to mind. In most respects change is very positive – new technologies, new processes, greater efficiency, better results and so on. But there are downsides too – obsolescence, a constant need for training and, perhaps the biggest of all, risk. As the pace of change increases so does the risk of making the wrong decision, particularly when investing in infrastructure, technology or any purchase with a long payback period. When decision-makers evaluate new purchases they need to weigh the impact of change and the likelihood of success.
Enter dynamic thought leadership content. The role of thought leadership content is to help prospects evaluate the business opportunities and benefits that new offerings can deliver along with the risks and ways to mitigate them. The more educated buyers become on these factors, the more likely they are to invest in more capable solutions that offer ways to avoid risks. That is, to buy on the basis of value versus price. However, thought leadership content must not only keep up with the changes but must stay ahead of them. Thought leadership that focuses entirely on certainty and known results quickly loses its usefulness. What’s needed are on-going research, evaluations and discussions that take in each new piece of relevant news and provide additional insights based on the new information.
But generating regular, new, and insightful content is a lot of work. Success requires narrowing your scope to focus on one or a small number of market segments, prioritized by where your business proposition holds the most value. Connecting with these segments in an on-going manner requires creating content that is not only adaptive, but relevant and timely. That is, it must resonate with a clear understanding of prospects’ evolving issues, while providing insight with respect to potential solutions and their business impact. Easier said than done, perhaps, but here are 5 steps to that can help you prepare for creating dynamic, adaptive marketing content:
Step 1: Assemble your sources and identify relevant drivers & challenges
Great content is all about relevance, and relevance is based on accurate information that paints a complete picture. Look to industry news, blogs, and analysts for industry insights, but also look to social media to gain the popular perspective. Pay attention to the questions being asked and the content being shared.
Step 2: Verify your insights & assumptions via social media
After gathering and synthesizing your information, take those gleaned insights and ideas to various social media platforms and see if they resonate appropriately. Join in discussions, ask your own questions, and refine your information.
Step 3: Match your solutions to the needs of your market and test
It’s important to test your assumptions about what topics are truly relevant and which will resonate with your target audiences. Use existing customer meetings, social media questions, focus groups, prospect and customer surveys etc. to determine if your ideas and solutions generate enthusiasm among your specific prospects and customers.
Step 4: Develop content
After researching, refining, and testing your ideas, you should be primed to create content that will resonate with your target market as being timely, relevant, insightful, and unique. By making your messaging broadly relevant to your offerings, you will be better positioned to engage your prospects by being a useful resource, rather than risk boring them with unwanted sales pitches.
Step 5: Monitor changes & adapt
Keeping ahead of changes and remaining adaptable, requires that you implement a system to monitor those changes. You’ll need to stay abreast of new products and solutions, competitors, legislation and regulations, technology, resources, etc. Part of this monitoring should include the curating of content and commentary, and the continuation of testing and refining. Rinse and repeat (and repeat).
The process is, by any definition, an involved one – but it is also one that will yield corresponding value. Today’s ever-evolving market challenges us all to stay ahead. Those who take the time to create a process and implement systems to allow monitoring and the subsequent, vital adaptability, will see themselves well positioned to be a critical source of value for their customers.
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What approaches to creating dynamic content do you use? Please share your ideas.