Use a Content Tree to Grow Your Marketing
Why a content tree is the most effective way to develop B2B content
“Content” has been the preeminent marketing buzzword for the last decade. Agencies are built around it, conferences are centered on it, and consultants are brought in to ID it.
But all the content in the world does you no good if it’s not organized. And again, there are seemingly as many organizational methods as there are sands on the beach… Hubs and Spokes, Pillars, Groups, and on and on.
But there’s one term we use here at Goldstein that I think not only defines the best organizational structure but also best defines what content should be and how you, your staff, and your audience should interact with it.
Like all good marketing, “Content Trees” says a lot in a few words. It evokes organic, growing, natural, trunk, branches, roots, information, seasonal, cyclical, regrowth, and more. And the imagery it evokes is the perfect analogy.
Content needs to start with a subject matter expert, or SME—someone intimately involved and knowledgeable about your products and the industries your product affects. They have the seed of your content in the things they do every day. In order to become a tree having many branches, this content must be captured and nurtured.
Think of the roots of the tree as where your main documents—white papers or webinars—are found. Each year, you’ll identify main topics that will drive your entire content effort from these root documents, or “mother documents,” that then are repurposed and leveraged as additional content items—the branches, if you will.
At GGC, this is a team effort, involving specialists across marketing disciplines who develop the content for use in multiple ways.
Here’s how you can grow your own content tree. Conduct a 30- or 45-minute interview with an SME on five topics that affect the performance of the product your company makes.
- A technical writer turns that into a white paper and also provides 100-word summaries of each of the five points.
- The white paper is made free for download on your website and adapted into a PR article published in a trade publication.
- Each one of the summaries becomes a blog topic, providing six blog posts.
- The blogs and the white paper placement provide six posts for your social media team to place on Facebook and LinkedIn and send out as tweets, resulting in 18 posts, all referring to the same original piece.
- The summaries also act as the script for short explainer videos optimized by your SEO team to answer Google Ask questions, getting them (and you) on top of the search results.
- PPC campaigns are developed to focus on the keywords and snippets and offer a download of the white paper.
- The white paper becomes the script for a webinar, and a review of the audience questions points to your next interview subject.
Content trees make efficient use of resources
Many marketers have to beg internal experts to help with content. The content tree approach turns one precious interview into 27 pieces of content: white paper, article, 5 blog posts, 18 social posts, video, webinar, and more.
Because you are repurposing content, the work goes faster, and there is minimal impact on your subject matter expert.
It’s a living thing
The main reason I like to organize content as a tree is that it makes you think of your content as a living thing. It doesn’t have a defined border and a symmetrical shape like a wheel with a hub and evenly distanced spokes. It’s not a stand-alone pillar, left to age in elements until its ruins are roped off in a museum. A content tree grows, expands in different directions, and helps germinate new seeds that spread more content trees across your marketing landscape.
If you don’t have enough time to grow your own content trees, reach out to the content experts at Goldstein Group Communications.