Content marketing isn’t just about creating content. It’s about building a destination – a place where your audience goes because they see you as a trusted authority, and know that your content will help them solve a problem.
Content marketing isn't just about creating content. It's about building a destination. Click To Tweet
One of the challenges with serving up great content is that your audience will be at different stages of the customer journey. This means their content needs will vary. They will also have their preferences for the type of content they consume – some will favour videos, while others may be partial to the written word. This is where a content resource centre can be beneficial.customer-journey-map-template-for-print
A content resource centre is a central repository that houses all of your content, including Ebooks, infographics, guides, blueprints, playbooks, templates, reports, webinars and whatever else. It enables customers and prospects to easily find the information they seek, and encourages serendipitous discovery of content.
When prospects look on your resource centre for one product line or in a particular market segment, they may also notice content that addresses other questions they have. Customers are more likely to stay and browse when visiting a resource centre because they know where to return to find updated content.
Tips for a good content resource centre
Make it easy to find stuff
Thanks to Google, our expectations of search have changed. Users expect the search capabilities on your website to be just as easy and intuitive. So, to keep your visitors happy, make it as easy as possible for them to find, download and share the valuable content and resources you’ve created.
The search function
- Enable searches by keyword to allow users who know what they are seeking or know the subject that interests them to find information quickly.
- Enable searches by criteria like industry, product or content type to encourage browsing.
- Let users search by date to help them find recent content or content created at a specific time.
- Provide the ability to narrow results by a number of criteria to minimise frustration with a large number of results.
- Display the search term and number of hits clearly on the results page to help with navigation and enable users to better understand the results.
- Display the content title, a short description, and the date it was posted to clarify the results, enable scanning and improve users’ ability to select relevant content.
- Sort the list of results by criteria, including date and relevance, to enable users to narrow the results more easily.
The anchor page
- Display recent and/or popular content to allow users to see some content without first having to do a search.
- Arrange navigation so the link to the resource centre is available for every page, so users can find the page from anywhere on the site. Ideally, your resource centre should be part of your main website menu.
- You can categorise your content according to type or format e.g. reports, Ebooks, infographics, guides etc. to make it easier for your audience to filter. Likewise, you can also categorise content based on the different stages of your audience’s journey. For example, from starting out to more established.
- Include the ability to ‘like’ and share content.
MobileIron is an enterprise mobility management company that helps organisations secure their devices and data with different tools and solutions.
MobileIron’s resource centre contains a collection of useful reports, white papers, data sheets, webinars, and surveys that give comprehensive insights and information to anyone wanting to learn more about mobile security management.
It goes without saying that to build a content resource centre you need to have plenty of content to populate it. If you have just started creating content, don’t set up a resource centre until you have a decent archive of content. If you’re consistently producing new material, it won’t take too long to reach this point.
How to build your own resource centre
Understand how your users like to access information. Experiment with multiple types of content and take feedback into consideration. Find out whether your users prefer to read guides or watch how-to videos. Many search tools have analytics baked in, making it easy to see the types of queries people are entering.
Create individual pages to answer the key questions your customers have. These could be site pages you build, or blog posts you write over time. This is also good for SEO purposes. Answer one question per page. Keep the information focused. Make it easy to get a single answer on each page, and provide easy-to-follow steps and screenshots. Also, include links to relevant information (other articles, related blog posts about best practices, etc.) anywhere possible. If you create videos, keep them short and engaging.
Accept and listen to feedback. Resource centres are living, breathing entities that need to be maintained. There is no better way to improve your resource centre than to listen to the people who use it. After all, there’s a good chance that most of the people who use it are either customers or prospects, and if you’re not listening to them then your business is in trouble.
Give away your best content for free. While it may be tempting to save this for either paid subscribers or paying customers, you’re better off making everything available to everyone. Why? Because this is your chance to showcase your expertise and establish yourself as an authority in your field. If your content is good, and you slowly build up an email list you’ll have plenty of opportunities to convert people into paying customers.
HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.
HubSpot’s resource centre provides tons of useful freebies for marketers. It’s easy to search for things, and you can narrow down what you’re looking for by filtering by topic or content type.If your content is good, and you slowly build up an email list you'll have plenty of opportunities to convert people into paying customers. Click To Tweet
Solopreneurs, bloggers, and small business
It’s worth pointing out that content resource centres aren’t limited to just B2Bs. If you’re a solopreneur, a solo blogger (like me), or a small business, you can also build a resource centre.
From my observations, content resource centres for this crowd tend to be a little different. While they may offer a collection of Ebooks, videos, and podcasts, among other things, unless your full time job is creating content you may not have the time to perpetually add new stuff. Instead, you can focus on building up a page that showcases the tools that have helped you establish a successful business. Share the apps and services that have saved you money and time, or enabled you to be more productive. If they’ve made a difference to your life, pass them on to others so they can enjoy the same benefits.
I’m slowly building up my own resources page, which you can check out here.
Building a useful resource centre doesn’t happen overnight. It is an effort that takes time and dedication, but the long-term benefits make it worthwhile. Your customers / audience and prospects will appreciate a one-stop content shop that makes it easy to find the information they’re looking for. Remember, content marketing isn’t just about the content itself – it’s about creating a destination.
Content marketer, blogger, author and tech geek.