Our experience working with companies to capture content and use it to showcase the cool things they do has allowed us to identify some common challenges people like leaders, bid writers, marketers, and account managers grapple with, trying to get their hands on focused, relevant, and insightful content.

Most content tends to grow up to be a social media post at best.  However, if the content is used correctly, it can create significant benefits like improved engagement from your client, creates brand awareness, connection with your audience proving capability and credibility, demonstrating thought-leadership and showing you as an authority on a subject, boosting lead generation and so much more…

Now.  When we say content, we don’t mean videos of funny animals or pictures of your dinner uploaded to Facebook.  We mean solid examples and proof of your lived experiences where you went above and beyond, ‘wowed’ a client, exceeded expectations, responded swiftly during a client’s time of need, learnt a lesson, educated your clients and the list goes on.  We call this type of content, Value-telling Content and it has superpowers.

Here are the top 5 most common content problems people face when they are desperately trying to get their hands on content to be used in a marketing campaign, a sales pitch, a team presentation, a bid – wherever and whenever you are trying to persuade someone.

#1:  Not enough content.

We are all so busy and life moves fast.  This means for many companies, examples of the great things that happen go unnoticed and are lost to the ages.  It is also common for those that do recognise the value in their good news story, that there is nowhere to record it, no process, and it quickly gets forgotten.

It is also common for content to concentrate on a handful of topics and a few stages of their sales funnel, meaning companies lack the assets they need to support a compelling campaign or goal.

Solution:  Undertake an audit. Work out what good content looks like and share it with your team.  Perhaps support them in allocating 15 minutes a day to ‘pause for thought’ and reflect on some of the achievements they have had that day.  There is usually a story lurking there.

The audit is a great way to find the gaps in the content you need. Why not list the key stages of your sales process and identify what content you need to support each stage? Consider doing this for your USP and stages of your delivery process, even the people that make it happen.  This sort of content is great for bids and tenders, sales pitches, mailshots, and blogs. Once you know what content you need, set about engaging with content creators to fill those gaps.

#2:  Unfocused content.

It is common for companies to lack focus and strategy when it comes to capturing and leveraging content.  This is often because they are unsure what they want to achieve, what their clients want to hear about, and how to use their content.

So many people are serendipitous with their content capture, and this approach relies on the opportunity presenting itself and your ability to react to it.  This also means that content capture can be unfocused, and the content doesn’t directly address buyer/prospect business needs.

Sometimes performance data of your content is overlooked, meaning the content you create isn’t informed by performance data and you could waste time on content themes that have very little ROI.

Solution:  Find out what your clients want to hear about.  Work out the things that are important to them. We call these Win Themes. They can be things like innovation, diversity, responsiveness, and security.  Once you know this, ensure you capture content that reflects these needs and how you satisfy them.  Keep an eye out for general, anecdotal content that is not targeted to a specific segment or buyer.  Another thing to keep an eye out for is promises with no proof or generic claims like ‘we work hard to improve the environment’.

We recommend you identify a Win Theme Champion and set clear goals on the amount of content you want to capture and also what performance benefit you are expecting to receive from the campaign.  Perhaps it’s 100 leads, 2 proposal wins, or 1000 downloads from a Blog. Try and forecast when the next content capture moment may present itself, perhaps a project milestone or an event, and plan to seize it.

#3:  Poor distribution.

Content can often get stuck and the good news stories never make it to the right people. The right people are those that can turn these raw stories into compelling content.  We call this content constipation.  Problem 1 contributes to content blocks, but one of the other main reasons content gets stuck is because there is nowhere to put it, no process, no set standard and it is unclear who needs it.

Also, a lack of a distribution plan, meaning it’s unclear how you will get the collateral you create to the audience that will consume it.  Sometimes this is in a sales pitch, a mailshot, your website, social media posts, and adverts to name a few.  An unclear route to your audience will slow the performance ramp and impact on your campaign.

Solution: Set up a place for people to record their content.  Somewhere central is always best.  The solution to problem 2 above helps to identify how the content will be used and therefore who needs to have sight of your content.  Try and agree on a standard of content, like what information will be recorded.

We also recommend agreeing on a distribution plan that defines a campaign tactic and channel to your target audience, inclusive of deadlines, targets, and budget.

#4:  Content that is not converted and reused.

Imagine having a portfolio of white-hot examples of the cool things you do, but these potent stories never see the light of day or at best grow up to be social media posts.  It is common for companies to convert some of the cool things they do into a social media post or turn them into a case study that hides away on your website and gathers dust.

This may be because of a lack of resources, skills, or creativity in the company. Investing time, effort, and skills into creating powerful collateral will turn your mediocre story into something compelling.

Solution:  Develop people and a process to take your content and use it across a range of channels, perhaps most of your content gets turned into social media posts, maybe a Blog or a mailshot. Why not convert the good news story into a sales deck or script and look to re-use and re-purpose the content? Budgets can be tight, so squeezing more juice out of that lemon is a must.

#5:  Can’t find content.

This is one of the biggest frustrations that people face when it comes to content. They can’t find it, or they struggle to get their hands on it and waste time and effort hunting. It is common for people to waste their time looking for content or nagging their colleagues to share a glimpse into something interesting.  The consequence of this is pressure mounts as the deadline looms and people are delivering a ‘that will have to do’ performance and having misplaced hope that the campaign will work or the bid or sales pitch will win the day.

Solution: Just like the solution above in problem 3. Have somewhere to record your content and your collateral. Preferably the same place. Great index for your content, making it easy to find. File them in a way that best suits your business, like content linked to a particular client or Win Theme.  Most people are using spreadsheets.  Why not look to use an on-line tool to help save time and quickly and easily find the content they need?

Related High Value Content