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Cultivating content for customers

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Summertime: The garden is green and lush. And gardening offers lessons to help your content marketing flourish.
  • The view from the curb. When someone looks at a house, the landscape creates the first impression. Does your content look great from the curb? Is it organized? Alive? Fresh?
  • Plant evergreens first. Evergreen content provides customers information with enduring value. Buyer's guides, business tools, glossaries and how-to videos bring customers to your website year after year. Create evergreen content to draw buyers year after year.
  • Be patient with perennials. Ever plant asparagus? As the plant gets established, the first year you get no crop. The second year you get no crop. But you get two harvests of asparagus starting in the third year. And harvests continue for 15 to 20 years. When you create content early in the lifecycle of an idea, market trend or technology, it may take time to take off, but then it can flourish for years. When a piece of content attracts a good following, subdivide the topic to create more content, just as you'd divide a perennial in the garden.
  • See what takes root in your soil. Experiment with different topics and various media to learn what takes root with customers. What best feeds your customers' curiosity?
  • Diversify plantings. When you cultivate many varieties, you'll find something with a good yield, even under changing conditions. Create various forms of content on each topic—blogs, news releases, white papers, videos, infographics, magazines, podcasts, etc.
  • Find the right spot. Good content can get lost if it's in the wrong spot. Move it into the sun, on to the home page. And look for symbiosis: What are natural sidebar topics for your major content?
  • Weed out what you don't need. Not everything works, in the garden and in content marketing. Weed out content that doesn't draw readers. Is there a new angle you can take to bring your content back to life?
  • Hire master gardeners. Our content marketing relies on journalists who have covered the telecom industry for many years. Their trusted bylines are widely recognized and valued. So we include bylines in our magazine, Tellabs Insight.
  • Focus on the harvest. In the end, the best content is that which yields inquiries, qualified leads and customers. Plant more content like that, and weed out the rest. In the end, successful content marketing is all about the harvest.
George Stenitzer is VP-corporate and marketing communications at Tellabs (www.tellabs.com),, which provides equipment to help customers power the smart mobile Internet. He can be reached at george.stenitzer@tellabs.com.
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