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From the Trenches

B2B Lead Generation Step #5: Take a Content Inventory

Mike Sweeney | March 11, 2010

For those of you reading this as an isolated post, fear not. Let’s get you caught up. This is the 5th in a series of posts designed to help B2B marketers design an effective B2B lead generation strategy. Here’s what we’ve covered thusfar:

B2B Lead Generation Step #1: Start with the Right Mindset
B2B Lead Generation Step #2: Build a Strong Roster of Stakeholders
B2B Lead Generation Step #3: Identify the Metrics that Matter
B2B Lead Generation Step #4: Revisit, Refine and Simplify Your Core Message

If you followed step 4 and your messaging is now in good shape, the next step should seem very natural. Regardless of the type of lead generation programs you are going to execute, you will inevitably need content. If you are running a content-free lead generation program, you’re likely an advertiser – not a marketer. That’s ok, but this series may not provide a lot of value for you.

While taking a content inventory and prioritizing content holes may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. I am going to give you a very simple method of attacking this step.

First, I need to make a significant assumption. I need to assume that you have some sense – be it broad or specific – of who your buyers are and the types of content they prefer. These profiles are often called buyer personas, and you should have one for your decision makers, your influencers, and your users. If you were scratching your head as you read the last couple of sentences, take a step back and think about how your current customers fit into these profiles.

Let’s start with taking an inventory of your content, and remember we’re going to keep it simple. Spend at least a half day (often more) and do the following:

1) Collect every single piece of marketing content that exists within your organization.

2) Create a spreadsheet listing each piece of content.

3) Create three columns next to the list of content pieces:

  • Platform(s)
  • Keep, Revise or Replace
  • Optimized?

4) Review each piece of content, completing those three columns as follows:

  • Platform(s): Represents the residence(s) of the content. Where does it live currently?
  • Keep, Revise or Replace: Exactly what it sounds like. Don’t obsess over this, you ought to know the answer after a few minutes of scanning.
  • Optimized?: This may be a tough one if you don’t understand SEO. Any piece of content that resides on the web should be optimized for search. If you don’t know what that means, get someone involved that does.

5) Create a 5th column. I usually call it “Work?” and accept only yes or no inputs. This column indicates whether you have to do anything to address that particular piece of content, and the answer comes from these simple rules:

  • If the content is not placed in all appropriate platforms, and/or it is classified as revise or replace, and/or it is not optimized, then the answer is yes, it requires work.
  • If the content is placed in all appropriate platforms, and it is listed as keep, and it is optimized, then the answer is no, it does not require work.

You now know what you have, and what requires work. Our next step is to identify and prioritize the don’t haves.

Related Resources

About Mike Sweeney:

As Right Source’s co-founder and CEO, Mike Sweeney creates, plans, and implements our vision, mission, culture, and strategic direction as well as serving as an advisor to our clients. Mike received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing from the University of Notre Dame and has more than 20 years of experience in B2B marketing strategy, including digital, content, and marketing technology. You can find Mike on LinkedIn.