Yesterday, I spoke on a panel at Marketing Sherpa's Email Summit focused on how to develop content for specific buying stages. One of the panelists presenting a case study said that they chose to use 3rd party content because prospects don't believe what vendors say - that they lack credibility.
Her reasoning is sound, but B2B marketers need to look at the use of 3rd party content as an opportunity rather than a necessity.
Here's a scenario to consider:
You license a white paper from a 3rd party that is considered an expert by your prospect segment and industry. You're providing content they value and they respond by opting in and downloading the white paper.
Don't let their engagement stop there. Instead, use the white paper as a hub or launching pad for sharing your company's expertise in relation to the subject matter.
Consider that a solid white paper likely makes 3 - 5 key points which are substantiated by research and or reputation.
Take each of those key points and create a series of articles that include your company's take on them, showcase your expertise and use a quote or two attributed to the white paper to substantiate them.
These can be short articles you can use to further engage the people who opted in for the white paper - think 800 to 1,000 words. You could also write a series of blog posts that link back to the white paper landing page to drive more downloads and opt ins from those who may have missed your original campaign.
By using the white paper as a hub you can create much more ROI from that white paper than just a lead gen campaign. Hitching your expertise to a trusted source can help to transfer your prospects' perception of expertise and credibility to your company.
When tasked to create a high volume of content to drive marketing programs, you need to get creative about how to get more value from each and every resource. By looking at this effort creatively you can discover many ways to lighten the load and build credibility for your company at the same time.
Changing the status quo starts with elevating the awareness and respect prospects have for your company. As you do that you can also begin to shift their status quo about solving the problem you can help them with.
As you do so, you may find that your reliance on 3rd party content is reduced, or that you can expand the benefits you get from your investment. Or both.