By Ellen Barnes Pfiffner, EBP Business Consulting and Darby Mason-Werner, Director of Client Solutions, Signet
In our last blog we talked about the importance of the role of a Center content curator. It is essential to have someone assigned and accountable for curating content. You may have a dedicated content management position on your program staff or a shared resource. In a recent study by Salesforce Pardot, “76% of B2B buyers prefer different content at each stage of their research and decision to purchase process” so it is imperative that you create and distribute impactful content.
The Client Center program needs a strategy to identify and manage content. Like other plans, the goals of the Client Center’s content strategy need to be stated. Without well-defined goals, you won’t know if the Center strategy has had the intended impact or not. To develop a successful plan, you need to clearly define the target audiences for your content. The customer or visitor personas often mirror your corporate customer segmentation. For example the audience for your content may be global enterprises, national accounts, and large regional customers and prospects. It is also useful to include targeted vertical industries such as Healthcare, Finance, Transportation, Communications, etc.
Next, do an inventory to determine what the Centers need including the step of gathering media definition and specs for each endpoint. While analyzing the content it is also helpful to utilize a content audit worksheet to review and prioritize content that needs to be replaced or updated. Different types of content have different life cycles and will expire before other content. Socialize the plan with your peers and the program’s leadership to ensure you have no gaps. Note developing a content strategy can be daunting and time consuming. It is for these reasons that many programs rely on partners that they trust to create, source and/or publish their content and often on a regular cadence. Keeley Lundquist, Center Experience Leader with the IBM Global Solution Center in Dallas, shares, “we recently went through an important content transformation exercise. Signet did the heavy-lifting to create a whole new visual language that represents our new solution initiatives. We partnered to define a new content strategy and schedule while implementing technology that allows me to trigger personalized content for tour visitors. Through their platform’s integration with our BriefingSource scheduling tool, Signet ensured customer aligned content is distributed to all digital endpoints within our Center.”
After developing a strategy, the next step for the curator is to identify who else in your enterprise is using and creating content. Some companies have a centralized process. If so, the Client Center curator needs to connect with the team and, with assistance from Center leadership if needed, get a seat at the table. In other companies it is a dispersed process. In a decentralized model the Client Center curator needs to work across departments to identify the people who use and/or create B2B content.A good place to start is the internal Web and Events departments because typically they have large content budgets. Their content tends to be focused on large audiences but can often be edited and repurposed to meet the needs ofClient Centers. It is also important to meet with Marketing to get information about corporate and product campaign schedules and content releases to ensure that visiting customers will see the latest from your company in the Center
An essential step is to identify the corporate content governance team or committee. It is usually comprised of other content managers, graphics teams and a legal representative. Governance teams manage production rules; for example, talent and stock footage releases and terms. They sometimes have budget to reformat content. For example, if there is existing tradeshow content with 4K resolution media, the governance committee may have budget to scale itto 16x9aspect ratio that can be used on widescreen monitors in the Centers.
The ABPM Advisory Board suggests a best practice is to staff and budget for both the creation and curation of content. Some Client Centers such as the Boeing EBC in St. Louis have a full time Content Manager on the staff, whose role is to establish a content stream across business units and re-purpose content for the EBC. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for the EBC to have budget for content. The budget can be used to reformat and edit existing content as well as to create new content. To reinforce partnerships, the EBC is able to share its original content with other departments.
It is critical that the Client Center curator attend governance meetings and interface with all content creators. Participation enables the curator to communicate the Center’s standards, identify relevant content and advocate for the Center program as a whole. On average the governance committees meet every six months and more often with the release of new products/solutions or during mergers. By participating on the committee the curator can build agreements with internal teams to understand what content is available, how often it will be updated and where there are gaps.
The final tip is, when you can, hold the governance meeting in the Client Center. Centers are often a place of pride within companies. Invite them to the Center and make the other content owners advocates for the Center.
In our next blog we are going to discuss how to manage content to create consistent customer experiences and messaging across multiple and global Centers.
Below are the other articles in this series:
ARTICLE 4: Consistency Across Global Centers
Ellen Barnes Pfiffner, M.Ed.,CMM – Ellen is the principal of EBP Business Consulting and offers benchmarking, tools, and consulting to executive briefing programs globally, on-site ABPM Competency courses, and customized training programs including Facilitation Skills. Active in the ABPM for 15+ years, Ellen has published Briefing articles on numerous topics and , has served on the ABPM Advisory Board . She can be contacted at: www.ebpbusinessconsulting.com, Ellen@ebpbusinessconsulting.com, or at 214-789-3571.
Darby Mason-Werner, Director, Client Solutions – Darby has been a member of the briefing profession for more than 15 years having built and managed the Xilinx Corporate Briefing Center Program before joining Signet in February 2016. She has been an ABPM member since 2003 and served on the ABPM Advisory Board. Darby is a frequent presenter at ABPM conferences including Core Competency Curriculum courses. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-472-8181.