Education & Thought Leadership Will Drive Most B2B Content Production Plans to Be “Brick Heavy”

Last week, Chris Sietsema wrote a great post on Convince and Convert about creating a content production plan with a combination of “bricks” and “feathers” that makes sense for your company, asking us all “should you be focused more on building substantial content productions or presenting your audience with a steady array of minute snippets that define your brand and message?”

Quick definitions:

Bricks are larger content productions such as research reports, events, white papers, video series, mobile apps, etc. They typically require decent budget and time to produce but have the potential to make a larger splash when executed and promoted correctly.

Feathers are comprised of simple text and photo content published via popular social media tools likeFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc. Less intensive than bricks from a production budget standpoint, feathers are created consistently to maintain an ongoing stream of communication between a brand and its audience.

Many B2B companies focus on providing helpful or educational information for their audience, focusing less on creating social signals than providing enough of a reason to convert (whatever “conversion” may look like for you).  They also often include thought leadership as one of the primary ways to achieve their business and marketing goals.

Additionally, short, consistently valuable pieces of content are often more difficult for a B2B company to sustain, and may not be as compelling for their audience. As Chris says, “Those brands that simply cannot provide entertaining, enlightening and/or educational content on a daily basis (e.g. law firms, insurance companies, some medical facilities, etc.) should focus more on building bricks for the purpose of conveying their value to prospects and influencers.”

Because of this, it’s likely that producing more Brick Content will strategically align your B2B content program with your overall marketing goals.

Larger, more in-depth pieces of content allow a company to support the agenda of a thought leader and information provider.  Blogs, white papers, video series etc are an opportunity to showcase well-formulated, first-party, expert-driven ideas.

This is not to say that Feather Content is not helpful.  Short-form content and third-party content are excellent choices to reinforce Brick Content.

I did a quick and dirty numbers check on Other Side Group‘s portfolio, and about 85% of the Brick Content we write is for B2B companies – with the exception of blogging, which is about 60% to B2C companies vs 40% B2B companies (this probably due to the fact that blogs can come in a variety of formats….more on this later perhaps).  Some of those clients supplement their Brick Content with Feather Content, and some don’t (please note, this isn’t necessarily statistically significant, but certainly directional).

We’d love to hear more about what your Content Marketing Strategy is?

One thought on “Education & Thought Leadership Will Drive Most B2B Content Production Plans to Be “Brick Heavy”

  1. These are not either/or.

    The centrepiece is the thought or research. This can then form a long, in-depth document and/or a a host of shorter ones, more focused to an audience, stage or message. Often the shorter documents act as standfirsts for the longer one.

    In many companies, however, the long document is long because it is unfocused – it is like a newsletter trying to have an article for everyone. Often this is to appease a salesteam who still want their oldfashioned collateral, often it is because the delivery methods aren’t well focused but still send everything to everybody.

    If you stand back and consider the buying team and what will move each of them to the next stage, then you will have a much more focused set of documents with both light touch and deeper delve options.

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