Key Capabilities of Distribution
One of the biggest problems marketing organizations face is the speed at which they must move in the digital era. Getting content where it needs to go and making sure it is found by those who need it is critically important–and increasingly difficult. If it takes too long to publish content or for your sales team member to find the right content, you have a big problem.
In the distribution phase of the content lifecycle, content is delivered to internal and external audiences for consumption. Accessibility to publishing tools and channels must be provided so content can be delivered to the right person at the right time. Likewise, content should be easy to find by internal content consumers, such as sales, in order to fully realize its impact potential.
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“A high-potential asset activated in the wrong way (or never activated) fails to create value for the organization and represents a wasted content investment.”
—SD Introduction the SiriusDecisions Content Model
To quell the content waste problem, two key capabilities need to be built out at this phase: accessibility and findability.
Making finished content accessible is crucial success. According to SiriusDecisions, about 70% of finished content goes unused— a huge waste of investment, resources, and time. With content being the backbone of marketing, a wide scope of people need access to finished content in order to distribute to their channels.
The key to streamlined and scalable content distribution is to build accessibility directly into the process. Once a piece of content is finished, where does it go? Who is responsible for delivering that content, via which channels? These questions should be decided during initiative planning by the content board but it’s important that teams are empowered to follow through with activation of content assets.
Here are few questions to consider when building out your process for content accessibility:
How are content assets published once they are finished?
What are our primary channels and who owns these channels?
How is content uploaded and distributed to the appropriate channels?
How is content performance tracked once it’s been distributed?
All of the benefits of good content production can be squandered if it can’t get into the right channel at the right time given the fast-pace of digital content.
Best Practice: Streamlined Publishing
The process of distribution can be greatly simplified by documenting content types and their associated channels ahead of time. Documenting and socializing detailed publishing information gives content stakeholders clarity around which content types they’re responsible for activating. They also have the foresight to ensure they have access to the their channels and content.
Start by listing out all of your content types, and then assign it a publishing destination.
Only list the content types the team currently produces. This will help keep content creators focused and empower them to deflect random content requests. If a new content type is needed later, it can be submitted to the content board for consideration.
This exercise also acts as an audit for distribution processes and technology. By listing all of your content types and their primary publishing channels, you may uncover channels and technologies not being utilized by the team, or that key individuals don’t have access to the appropriate channels.
Once all content types and associated channels have been listed and level of access granted, wide-scale distribution can be largely automated and processes improved for even greater efficiency.
Timely and efficient distribution to internal channels is just as an important as external channels. Outside of marketing, many other teams also rely on content, such as sales and customer-facing roles. Without a process for delivering content to content consumers, outdated or off-brand content is more likely to be used simply because these teams don’t have access to or can’t find the right versions.
“For internal users, a single source of truth with excellent accessibility and flexible navigation is essential. If you don’t have that, then people will damage your content integrity by copying content into separate repositories to fill the gaps of the central repository.”
— Kathleen Pierce, Dir., Content Operations, Illumina
To support internal distribution, a process for storing, organizing, and revising finished content is needed—starting with a central content repository.
Building a Content Repository
The first step to supporting content findability is to designate a central content repository. Having a designated place for finished content answers the question, “where do I find content?” asked all too often by content consumers. It also gives content creators control over version control, giving them a single location to provide updates and revisions to old content to consumer teams.
Without a designated repository, content often lives in a various, nebulous file and other teams don’t even know it exists, where to find it, or how to use it effectively. It’s expensive, it’s wasteful, and, unfortunately, it’s extremely common. As marketing expert Barry Feldman puts it, “It’s like pouring money and resources into works of art, only to store them in the hallway closet.”
When considering how to reorganize your content into a central repository, remember that successful content becomes “ART”:
It’s fast and easy for teams to access the content catalog.
Content is tagged with metadata making it easy for consumers to search and filter for specific content.
Which assets are consumers using and which are collecting dust?
Best Practice: Sales Enablement Process
When thinking about delivering content to internal consumers, it’s important to involve them in the conversation.
Here are a few key considerations:
Understand content consumer use cases
How do your internal teams use and search for content?
Establish SLAs between content creators and consumers up front
What are you trying to accomplish with content?
Involve them in the review process
What would your consumers love to use? What do they never use? What do they wish was just a bit different?
keep it simple
Don’t over engineer the process. To ensure adoption of the new process, work with consumer teams to find out where they go to search for content. Deliver it to them in the places they already work.
Content Gallery for Salesforce®
The Kapost Content Gallery for Salesforce® puts content at the heart of the sales process, enabling sales with the right content in a tool they already know and use daily.