Content marketing consultancy

Content marketing consultancy: technical B2B e-book

When I am asked to provide content marketing consultancy for a client it’s often because they’re dipping a toe into content marketing and are yet to employ a dedicated team. Another common scenario is that they’ve decided to employ specialist content marketing or editorial support to launch a new platform, perhaps a brand magazine (either print or digital) or a suite of white papers, and the team is more experienced when it comes to other marketing and communications channels.

In this case, however, I was brought in by an agency as a bolt-on resource for a particular e-book project. The client relationship hadn’t always run smoothly, so when a first draft of a technical e-book hadn’t quite hit the spot with the client, the decision was made to bring in an agency-experienced content marketing specialist to bolster the agency team.

Advising on content strategy
Initially, I was tasked with editing the existing copy, but after skimming through I could see that a complete re-cast would be more successful in supporting the brand’s marketing communications objectives. I proposed that it would be more successful to refine and clarify the purpose of the e-book – nothing in the content was particularly ‘wrong’ as such, it was more about making sure the target audience of B2B decision-makers would be immediately aware of how useful the content would be to them, to maximise its perceived value and engender trust in the client’s brand.

Positioning the client as a helpful expert in their field, to ensure the brand would be front of mind when the prospective customer needed them, was a particularly important aspect, since the topic of the e-book was a service that is a distress purchase.

My first step was to write a proposal for the newly structured e-book, which gave the reader a clear ‘why’ for its existence, and conveyed just enough technical information to assure them of the brand’s expertise on the subject. I re-jigged the order of the existing chapters, slanting them in a more reader-centric way, and added an introduction which explicitly set out why the information in book would be useful for business owners and decision-makers.

Content marketing project management
Once the client had approved the concept, I set about writing a quick and dirty first draft while the client-side marketing team gathered the additional information I had requested. This was a project with a tight turnaround, so we ran these two processes concurrently. I attended videoconference meetings at intervals throughout the e-book project, leading discussions about the written content wherever required, while agency employees took care of aspects relating to design, production and distribution.

Ultimately the e-book was turned around within the required tight timescale, and both the speed and quality satisfied the client – in fact barely any amends were made after the first full draft was completed. The agency were very happy with the outcome of my marketing content consultancy, and I received a lovely message of thanks and praise from the agency’s Head of Content.