In the struggle to stretch your dwindling marketing budget, you simply don’t have time or resources to waste. And you definitely can’t justify doing the same task over and over again.
But for B2B marketers carrying the added burden of content creation, it might feel like you’re always searching for the same information. Think about it: All your posts should tie back to a well-defined strategy and work toward your overarching company goals. So when creating new content, you constantly need to refer back to old posts. But the time it takes to search for a blog post, skim to the right paragraph, and apply that knowledge to your new article is all time wasted.
By taking time on the front end of content creation to store key information, you’ll strip hours off the tiresome content-creation process later on. And it all starts and ends with knowledge management.
Simplify Content Creation With Knowledge Management
With an efficient knowledge management system in place, you can store crucial research, thoughts, opinions, and examples and access them when creating new articles. Here are a few other advantages of building a knowledge bank:
- Take the repetition out of content creation. With published articles, research, and opinions at your fingertips, you won’t have to constantly rewrite or search for this information. You’ll also free up time for refining your writing and doing research that can strengthen your argument (which editors love).
- Streamline company communication. If you’re unsure how the company has approached a complex or sensitive subject in the past, simply search your knowledge bank to consult a previous article. This also allows you to keep company communication consistent and avoid potentially contradicting yourself or the company.
- Leverage the collective knowledge of your team. Why limit blog posts to the scope of your own knowledge when you have dozens of experienced, intelligent people all around you? Imagine if you could pick the brains of senior-level management, every salesperson who interacts with your audience, and the technical team members who can explain how your software works. Effective knowledge extraction and management gives you the chance to crowdsource knowledge and capture these enlightening details.
- Earn team buy-in. You know that one senior vice president who doesn’t see the value in content marketing? Leveraging your knowledge bank can help get him on board with content. Simply send him two to three questions around a topic, include his answers in the knowledge bank for future reference, and use his insights in an article. When he sees his ideas come to life — and how easy you’ve made the content-creation process — he’ll be convinced.
Use Knowledge Extraction to Capture Your Team’s Insights
Knowledge management might seem like glorified note-taking, and in some ways, it is. With plenty of time and organizational skills, anyone could create a knowledge bank. But most organizations just don’t do it. Often, it’s because they don’t have a solid process for knowledge extraction.
Imagine if you sent 10 developers on your team a list of 20 questions about the technical aspects of your product. But because you know nothing about technology, the questions are ill-informed and somewhat confusing. The developers probably wouldn’t take the assignment seriously, and you wouldn’t get the information you need.
For experts who have a wealth of knowledge but lack the communication skills to share them — like your developers — we use knowledge extraction to obtain their insights. And with that information, we work a little editorial magic to turn them into polished, publish-ready content in the form of bylined articles, whitepapers, e-books, blog posts, etc.
Here’s how the process works:
- Start with thorough research. By researching our clients’ industries and pairing that with their expertise, we form unique article topics that fall within their wheelhouse.
- Construct targeted questions around a fine-tuned topic. Based on this well-developed topic, we create detailed questions to keep clients on track as they brain-dump any unique experiences, lessons, beliefs, and knowledge that apply (more on how we do that with clients here). When developing questions, make sure to address the specific audience the article will speak to and any follow-up questions readers might have.
- Store information on custom-built software. Our technology team built a portal to store our clients’ and company’s knowledge. Our account strategists handle the uploading, assigning, organizing, and expanding so we can build detailed knowledge banks for each client. We then use the information to develop future topic pitches and analyze where trends exist, differentiators the client could explore, and any examples that could help readers connect the dots.
- Rinse, and repeat. We create a robust foundation of knowledge during a client’s first month, but the learning and knowledge-extraction process doesn’t end there. Account strategists continue to upload those kernels of knowledge clients share over the phone, via email, when answering questions, or even in texts for future reference.
When applying these ideas to your own company, make sure to keep your team member focused on one narrow topic, audience, and question at a time. Welcome tangents, but recognize that all the information might not address the topic at hand. In any case, upload it to your knowledge bank, and save it for another article or blog post to avoid repeating the question later on.
To create the best content possible for your company, you can’t afford to repeat tedious tasks like gathering information and research. Implementing a knowledge-management process will not only save you time, but also lead to more detail-rich and educational posts. And as other team members join in and begin to see the value in content marketing, the life of a marketer won’t seem so stressful.