Kill Your Resources Section And Relaunch A Streaming Service
The resources section of your website sucks. It’s not you; it’s all resources sections. It’s that collection of pages on your website where content and visitors go to die.
You think it’s the right move to build these resources, but when visitors hit those pages, they find too much content organized in a way that makes it too hard to find anything. As a result, they go back to your site’s other pages, or worse, they leave altogether. Neither action is the action you’re going for when you originally built your resources section.
But, as you might expect, I have a solution for 2022 and beyond that will get you thinking differently about your content marketing, how you deploy it and how you give it a major facelift.
You need to start thinking like Netflix and stop thinking about content as a filler for your resources section.
It’s time to say "goodbye" to your resources section and "hello" to your new streaming service.
Take A Page From Netflix (And Amazon, Hulu, Disney, Apple, Etc.)
You don’t have to look too far to see how people want to consume content in 2022 and beyond. Massive streaming companies have already figured it out and you just have to take your cues from them.
But you might be thinking, "These sites are for consumers and I am a B2B company."
That thought would be a major mistake.
People are people. If people go to streaming services for their personal content, why would they not like them for business content?
If you’re still not convinced, check out what Salesforce is working on: its own streaming service called Salesforce+.
This is the future of content.
There is some very good news here. You don’t have to recreate the wheel. You can just create something that resembles any one of these services.
Think about your personas, go deep on understanding their challenges and questions, and then start creating content and organizing it just like a streaming service provider. This includes the user experience, website and types of content you’re going to provide.
Just to be crystal clear, this isn’t a paid streaming service, at least not now.
It’s just a way to better organize, present and keep your prospects engaged with your content.
Start Creating More Audio And Video Content
I hope I have your attention. But you might be asking yourself, “Do we have enough content or the right content to do something like this?”
That's a very good question. The answer might be no, but that’s not a reason to live with your old-school resources section and it should be a signal that you immediately need to start creating more audio and video content.
By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017 (Cisco). In fact, as of January 2018, 85% of all internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly on any of their devices (Statista, 2018).
Audio and video content is easier to create, easier to scale and easier for your prospects to consume. A simple one-hour interview can be turned into a podcast episode, video episode and multiple snippets of video for social media.
That same video can also be edited for use on your website pages, in blog articles, in email campaigns and even in sales outreach.
You can gain all of these pieces of content from a single one-hour interview, a solid strategy and some post-production editing magic.
In just 30 days, you’d have enough content to get your streaming service launched, and more importantly, you’d have the rhythms and process for producing ongoing content to continually add new items to your new streaming service.
If this process feels overwhelming or you feel like you might need more professional help, we've created a resource that will help.
In addition, Square 2 offers post-production services that also make this content creation challenge much more manageable. If you’d like to talk to us about creating a scalable content strategy that includes video and audio assets, click here to schedule a call.
What To Do With All Your Written Content
Now you might be wondering what to do with all that written content in your existing resources section. The answer? Consider ungating some of your content and gating other pieces while strategically placing them throughout your website to drive more active engagement with visitors.
We very often see prospects house all of their high-quality content in the resources section of their website and not on the website pages themselves. This is a mistake and the transition to a streaming service approach will allow you to actively move content out of your resources section and use it to drive leads on your website.
First, deciding on gated vs. ungated content is a big component of a content marketing strategy. Ungated content gets seen by many, many more people but you have no visibility into who they are. Gated content gets seen by fewer people but you know exactly who is downloading your assets.
However, it's not always an easy choice when debating on whether to gate or ungate your content.
If you want to learn more, check out our article on gated vs. ungated content best practices. It might help you with your decision.
The simplest approach, which is generally the best, involves gating some of your content and ungating other pieces depending on the intended audience. Typically, we recommend early buyer journey content be ungated. People in these stages are seeking educational information. Gating this content could push them away.
Then, consider gating middle and late-stage buyer journey content. These readers are closer to being ready to buy and more likely to engage with your company. Asking for contact information from them is a step they’re expecting.
The trick is properly creating and or assigning content to the right stage of the buyer journey. This is a big part of a content audit, content strategy and prospect journey map that we do for all our clients. This type of review and planning answers a lot of these questions in a very short time.
Once you know what goes where the execution is much easier. You designate some content as ungated, and other content is gated. Through this process, you’ve spread your written content across your site, placing it on the correct pages and you've unlocked all that wonderful content that was hiding on your resources page.
How To Launch And Manage Your New Streaming Service
Now that you have a plan to both create new content and repurpose your existing content, let’s get your new streaming service up and running.
First, we have a wonderful example of what this would look like for a B2B company. Check out our brand new Square2+ page.
Next, let's review what goes into building out your own streaming service.
1. Create Content
The very first thing you need is content. You may not need as much as we have on Square2+, but you need some critical mass of content to launch a legitimate page. I’d suggest at least four or five video or audio segments for at least one show.
2. Organize The Content
When building the content structure, consider your personas. Who are you trying to get engaged with this content? Create a channel for those people. It might be organized by vertical, or it might be filtered by role, like our page. This type of on-page organization will help people find what they're looking for quickly.
3. Design The Experience
Next, design and build the page. Again, there is no need to recreate the wheel here. Use one of the streaming services as an example. It’s not cheating. It’s smart. These streaming companies have been serving content to subscribers for years. They know what works and people are comfortable within that framework. Use what works.
4. Promote The Service
Once you have this up, start telling the world. Email everyone. Ask them to subscribe to the service for updates on new content and for special offers. Don’t forget to tell people it’s free. They might think there’s a charge.
5. Continue Creating Content
Finally, you’ll need a plan to create new content. If you never add anything new, there’s no reason for anyone to come back or subscribe. This is the biggest and hardest part of this strategy.
You should be creating new shows and new content at least once a week. That means you’ll be adding four new shows to your page each month. You could consider doing two shows a week if they’re shorter. For example, we do an hour video show and audio podcast each week. That provides two pieces of content each week. You could do two 30-minute video shows and audio podcasts during that hour and produce four shows a week.
I think the general consensus nowadays is that longer is better than shorter, but you should work on finding a format that fits your content, style, and audience. Some podcasts are 10 minutes long. Some highly popular videos are only three minutes long, but I prefer the ability to go deeper on an issue and spend more time discussing the specifics.
Our audiences seem to like the longer-form format better. You’ll have to iterate on this until you find what your audience wants.
6. Customize The Subscription
Finally, make sure the subscription experience is solid. Ours is an MVP experience: a minimum viable product. It’s quick and easy. In our next release, it will allow visitors to select preferences and be a bit more personal.
Remember, done is always better than perfect. You can fix things, make improvements and optimize once you start to get some visitor and user data. If you wait for it to be perfect, you’ll probably never launch.
Introducing Square 2+
I never like talking theoretically, so here’s a practical example of exactly what I think the future of content is going to be for all B2B companies. Take a look at Square 2+, our new streaming service.
Our first release of the platform features all our podcasts, videocasts, on-demand webinars, and other video and audio content organized in a way that makes it easy to find, easy to access, and it's presented in a role-specific and issue-specific way.
Visitors, prospects and interested parties can subscribe at the top of the page and we send them updates when new content is added to the site. Typically, we’ve been adding new features weekly. Looking forward, we have a few weeks coming up where we will be adding two or three new items each week.
If it looks familiar, it should. It's modeled directly after Netflix.
We already put gated and ungated written content and other interesting conversion offers throughout the site. This means I don’t have to go through the practice of moving content out of our resources section and into the site.
But we do have to create CTAs and links on our site to drive people to the Square 2+ section of the site. That work is still in progress.
This is an exciting time for content, especially audio and video content. If initiatives like this are not at the top of your content strategy checklist, reconsider how you’re thinking about content and elevate to a 2022 version of your content plans.