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Picture this: A new prospect reaches out to your SDR, asking them for a rundown on a specific feature of your product. They reached out to you because they’re unable to find that one asset meant for this purpose. You spend hours hunting it down—only to discover that it’s not the one you want.
Unfortunately, this happens far too often. Due to this, companies are unable to maximize their content’s conversion potential as internal teams can’t access it when they need it.
Fortunately, you can overcome this issue by building an internal content library. But, making one can be a huge task—especially when you have a backlog of hundreds of assets across the board.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a content library is, how to build one, and how to make the most of it.
A content library refers to an inventory of all your content assets (internal and external) that are used to promote your offer to your target audience. Previously, content was mainly text-based, like e-books, whitepapers, blog posts, etc.
But now, it includes various formats like infographics, podcasts, webinars, research reports, and social media posts. These formats allow potential customers to access relevant information in a variety of formats—helping you generate and nurture leads.
Content is meant to encourage the reader to move across the different buyer stages—finally reaching a point where they’re ready to buy. So, having an inventory that includes all your internal and offsite assets categorized by various funnel stages can help both your marketing and sales teams.
Plus, as B2B brands are more likely to experience better ROI from inbound marketing and organic content—it’s important to have access to the right asset at the right time.
You already know that maintaining your content assets is essential, but how does a marketing content library fit into that picture?
Typically, content marketers create content and then plug those links into several tools to measure its performance over a set period. While it’s nice to see that X piece is getting 1200 monthly visitors—your content’s ultimate goal is to generate leads and revenue. You can only do it when you understand the _true _conversion potential of that asset.
Over 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategy through sales. So, if you’re struggling to prove the ROI of your content, especially in terms of leads and revenue growth, it’s high time you create a dedicated library of content and track the right performance metrics within a single tool.
Also, if your sales development representatives (SDRs) or account executives (AEs) struggle to find the right asset every time a prospect reaches out—you know it’s an internal operations issue.
Think about it this way: what’s the point of creating all that content if your ideal buyer isn’t seeing it?
There are several other benefits of creating a content library:
But, even if marketing teams have one—they still struggle with maintaining it.
Alex Birkett, founder of Omniscient Digital, says, “Maintenance is hard for me because it often feels emotionally like an opportunity cost. I’m much more of a forward-facing person, so my question is usually “how do we publish more,” not “how do we maintain what we have? Even though optimizing existing content is often a higher expected value, it’s more of a psychological and cultural battle. Producing new stuff LOOKS more productive than archiving, optimizing, and maintaining assets.”
So, let’s look at how you can create a B2B content library with an internal performance tracking system to get the most out of your content.
Creating an online content library from scratch isn’t easy—but it’s not impossible.
Here’s a 5-step process to help you create an accurate inventory of your assets:
Before building your library, you need to identify which assets you’re going to include and why they’re making it into the list in the first place. So, finalize solid criteria to identify and categorize them into different content buckets.
Also, your content archive ≠ content library.
Your archive hosts _every asset _you’ve created in the past. But your library needs to list the most relevant content that can educate customers or encourage them to buy from you.
So, don’t just gather everything you have and start building it. Instead, collect all your assets and match it with your criteria. If it does match, it goes into your inventory. If not, discard/archive.
Grace Cartwright, Senior Content Specialist at Klaus, adds, “If you have a large (and growing) back catalog of content, repurposing and updating is as important as creating anew. A content library is invaluable in that endeavor. Although our blog was organized by sections, the content and product had outgrown these designations. So, reorganizing the content into new topics was a challenge. It was important to bring it back to the customer—what our product could do for them and how we could expand their knowledge.”
Pro tip: We recommend surveying all your internal teams, so you don’t miss crucial assets.
But how do you decide what your criteria are in the first place? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Note: You must remember that this library is not just a sales content library; all your internal teams access it. So, it needs to include assets for the entire sales cycle (pre and post-purchase).
Now that you know what you need in your library, pick and choose your assets and drop them into your content management tool.
You need to take stock of what you already have and tally it with your in-house messaging document and the criteria you’ve set.
If your current assets address the different stages of your buyer’s journey and directly speak to your current audience—you’re good to go. If not, there are two options: either update them with a little more research or remove them altogether.
Note: You need to go beyond the assets you’ve created and include those published externally (Gartner/Forrester/McKinsey research, social testimonials, etc.), as sales teams can use them in the sales enablement process.
Once you map existing content to each funnel stage, you’ll be able to identify gaps within your library. You can also reach out to client-facing teams and ask them what prospects are asking for.
Pro tip: Your colleagues can directly request these assets within Content Camel’s tool.
You can take this a little further and do a complete competitor and market analysis for:
You can use a few tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, Buzzsumo, and TopicMojo to do your research.
A Demand Gen study found that 30% of respondents consumed between 1 to 3 pieces of content, whereas 10% consumed as many as 10 pieces before making a decision.
So, creating one dedicated asset may not do the trick. Instead, build a topic cluster and create different assets in various formats to address their concerns. You can also conduct a taxonomy analysis to cover all possible subtopics, which positions you as the authority in your space.
Essentially, build an editorial/content calendar and put things in motion.
Now you can create a research dump in your preferred content library software. You can use several tools for this purpose, like Notion, Airtable, Asana, Trello, or even a good ol’ spreadsheet.
For example, Anna Burgess Yang, a freelance Fintech writer, organizes her content library using Airtable and Zapier. She tracks the Name, Publication Location, Date, and URL for each new piece. Then, she selects topics and uses automation to pick PDFs for other assets she creates. Those assets are then added to Dropbox after which Zapier adds them to her content library in Airtable.
Anna’s Airtable hosted content inventory
While these options work well, they don’t allow you to automatically track performance metrics or new content requests in a central location.
With our content management solution, you can drag and drop files and links. You can add articles, eBooks, images, videos, podcasts, social posts, and more with just one click.
You can enrich the data you already have by giving more context, like who made it, the content’s goal, when it was updated, its conversion rate, and more. By doing so, internal teams know precisely why this asset is under a specific category and what to use in which situation.
Add the required metadata for each asset—and categorize them as needed
After you’ve created your library dump, categorize it based on the criteria you set earlier. This process is crucial because it ensures team members can access what they need when needed, and prospects receive the right assets depending on where they’re in the buyer’s journey.
According to Demand Gen’s report, prospects prefer it when content is organized by topic (56%), industry/vertical (54%), and issue/pain point (49%). So, here are a few tags you can use within the tool:
Next, look at the data you’ve received from client-facing teams and create microsites with the relevant assets. You can add these assets to a specific collection and publish it to receive a shortened link. Whenever a prospect reaches out to you regarding a particular issue, you can give them that link.
An example of a microsite that can be used for specific clients based on their current requirements
After you’ve created your library, your job’s not done. You need to have a robust performance monitoring and feedback system in place so that you know what’s working and isn’t. While you can get this information using tools like Ahrefs, Google Analytics, SEMRush, Buffer, Hootsuite, and more—you don’t have to.
Instead, you can consolidate all that information in one place. For example, you can create shortened links using Content Camel and share them with your audience or on different channels. Over time, you can monitor how many people clicked your link to understand if your audience is interested.
You can also create a feedback system where client-facing teams can upvote assets contributing to conversions, analyze what’s working, and eventually double down on it.
Access your entire inventory’s metadata and performance in one place
Moreover, these teams can also request assets directly within the tool and include details like:
Basically, helping you tie content to revenue right from the get-go.
Make a wish feature allows internal members to request assets when they need it
Sifting and organizing multiple assets is a daunting and time-consuming task. Companies need to invest in a content library for streamlined access to relevant and engaging content to avoid wasting time and money.
By incorporating this tool into your sales, marketing, and communications processes, you’ll make the most out of your content and ensure that your messaging is consistent across your channels. As maintaining a library takes time, money, and long-term commitment, a content management software can give you a more organized and sophisticated product.
If you’re looking to save hours of your time and your company’s $$$ in building a content library, sign up for Content Camel today.
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Content Camel is a sales enablement tool used for sales content management. High-growth sales teams use our system to quickly find and share the right content for each specific sales situation and measure content use and effectiveness.