The B2B Content Flywheel: How to Use Events to Drive Growth

February 28, 2024

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B2B buyers are done. Years of vague content and off key cold outreach have made them numb, skeptical, and just plain tired. And with the rise of AI, it's getting even harder to know what's real versus noise.

As a marketer, you don’t just have to win your prospect’s attention — you’ve also got to keep it. That’s where an events-fueled content flywheel can help.

But going from theory to practice in this arena isn’t as simple as it sounds.

In this article, we’ll explain exactly what a content flywheel is and share practical tips for how to create B2B content that fits the flywheel strategy using digital events as the central piece that gets the flywheel spinning.

What is a content flywheel?

The content flywheel model is a system where every piece of content you create feeds into the growth and momentum of the next piece of content. Just as a flywheel gains momentum as it spins, a content flywheel thrives off of the energy generated by previous content, creating a virtuous cycle of production.

This marketing strategy reuses, repurposes and redistributes quality content across a variety of channels to maximize reach and engagement, strengthen brand recognition, and ultimately drive business success.

A content flywheel can be broken down into four major categories: attract, engage, delight and analyze.

  • Attract: This refers to any content designed to captivate and educate your target audience. This can be anything from original research to downloadable playbooks, and of course, digital events.
  • Engage: In an effective content flywheel, content must be engaging. Modern prospects expect a content experience that feels as immersive as exploring content on streaming apps and social media.
  • Delight: By offering customer-centric insights in a variety of formats, brands can use their flywheel to provide exceptional content experiences and strengthen brand affinity in a crowded competitive environment.
  • Analyze: The right metrics are essential to an effective flywheel. Brands use data to understand which content is driving the most engagement and double down on what’s working.

When it comes to B2B marketing, the power of a content flywheel cannot be overstated.

But your momentum with the flywheel model is always going to depend on how fast you spin it, the amount of friction in your content workflows, and the size of your content flywheel.


Create a B2B content flywheel in 5 simple steps

For time-strapped marketers, the idea of using one piece of deep long-form content to generate a steady stream of other formats sounds pretty great. The question is how do you actually fit your sales and marketing strategy into the flywheel model.

Here’s where to focus your efforts when trying to implement a more customer-focused content strategy based on the flywheel theory.

1. Map the buyer’s journey

Part of what makes the flywheel theory so effective is that it centers on the customer experience first and foremost. Instead of pushing or “nudging” prospects through a series of sequential steps, a powerful content flywheel lets you meet them where they are.

With the right approach, your content flywheel can go beyond merely attracting and generating new leads to becoming a powerful lever for customer retention and referrals.

Start by mapping your customer journey:

  • Choose your framework: The five stages of awareness or jobs to be done framework are great places to start.
  • List the type of content a prospect would find helpful at each stage: Brainstorm ideas and consider which formats could fuel and accelerate your flywheel most effectively.
  • Consider repurposing potential: Consider how you’ll create on multiple channels, including social media, blogs to fuel your SEO, email marketing, sales templates and more.

To get the most out of your flywheel, you’ll need authentic, shareable content in multiple formats.

The first step to getting there is to simply break down the content you’ll need to create for each stage, plus ideas for how you’ll use it to maintain a high level of contact with prospects and existing customers.

2. Establish the flywheel’s scope

If you’re like most of us, you probably have a wealth of ideas you’d love to execute. But there’s only so much time (and budget) available.

The next step is to narrow your flywheel’s scope to focus on the fewest items with the biggest impact. What’s the minimum effective dose to deliver everything a customer needs at each touchpoint in their journey?

Your content flywheel is here to generate provable business impact. To work against a goal you can measure, consider your core objectives for your flywheel:

  • How will you ensure the content you create actually drives your flywheel?
  • What questions will your content answer? What problems will your content address?
  • How much budget and resources can you allocate to each category of the flywheel?
  • How will you measure the success of your content flywheel?

Last but not least: What are the overarching goals for your content flywheel?

There’s no right or wrong answer here. And the beauty of the flywheel model is that you can use your content to move the needle across a broad range of marketing goals.

Once you’ve got a plan you can measure, you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and start creating five-star content.

3. Align content to fit each stage of the customer journey

No matter where or when potential customers encounter your brand, you need to provide real answers to their questions.

But unless you’ve got an endless roster of copywriters, subject matter experts and designers to pull from, it’s not easy to provide the “surround sound” experience buyers expect.

The trick is to focus on creating consumerized content that can attract, engage and delight prospects across multiple channels on a repeatable basis.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your content:

  • Start with media-rich formats: Podcasts, videos, recorded case studies and digital events are like jet fuel for your content flywheel.
  • Position your content for each stage: For example, a problem-aware prospect could learn a lot from attending a customer-led webinar or live masterclass.
  • Plan to repurpose: No matter which stage a customer is in, an effective content repurposing strategy can help deepen the connection.

The key to a powerful B2B content flywheel is alignment: the right content, for the right stage, delivered in the right way.

With a clear plan that encompasses all your formats and channels, you’ll be in a great position to optimize and iterate.

4. Increase speed while reducing friction

The content flywheel is a virtuous cycle by nature. But that doesn’t mean it’s self-fulfilling.

Once you’ve got your content flywheel spinning, it’s time to dial in and find ways to accelerate your speed, while reducing any inefficiencies in the process.

Here are some ways to optimize your flywheel:

  • Offer content on-demand: Your prospects want to consume your content at a time that’s convenient for them. Create an on-demand content library to give them 24/7 access while expanding your reach.
  • Use AI and automation to save time: With close human oversight, the right tools can help you create more content, in more formats, in a lot less time.
  • Use data to inform real-time changes or make adjustments: Your content marketing plan can and will evolve. Collect customer feedback to adjust and fine-tune your content and make it as relevant and engaging as possible.

Kristen Nuñez, Global Event Manager with AspenCore, produces an average of eight to 10 virtual events per year. But it was taking an average of two hours just to create one video clip post-event.

By using AI-enabled tools like Content Lab, she and the rest of the marketing team have gotten that down to five minutes.

“It makes a really pretty video for us,” says Kristen. “We also now have different options of not just using the recording but using different layouts; so we can change it up and not have all of our videos look the same.”

5. Iterate and improve

No content marketing strategy is ever complete. Make sure you’re playing the long game by including key processes for content strategy optimization.

Be ready to continually review results, identify areas for increased performance, and update your flywheel with fresh approaches that center the customer experience. Inevitably, that’s going to include some, or even many, digital events.

Customer-centric events are a goldmine of authentic content. But in order to capture it, you need the right tools.

Look for an event platform that puts the experience first, including:

  • Engagement tools: Features and embedded apps that will foster attendee interactions, via Q&A, live polls, group chat and more.
  • High-quality video production: Modern prospects expect a Netflix-like experience. Find a platform that offers high-quality production without the need for external videographers.
  • Automated content repurposing: With a little help from AI, you can save hours repurposing key event moments into different formats to fuel your multichannel strategy.
  • Captioning and translations: Increase accessibility and create more connections by using a platform that offers easy captioning and translations.
  • Deep data and analytics: Your data can play a key role in determining what types of events create the most engagement. Look for a tool that can send your data straight into HubSpot, Salesforce and Marketo so you can take immediate action to deepen the connection.

Remember, the ultimate goal with your content flywheel is to transform organic moments of connection into content that will have a real impact on brand loyalty and ROI.

With the right tools to help you create, execute and scale your content strategy, you’ll be able to create a customer-first content flywheel that generates predictable results.

Goodbye funnel, the content marketing flywheel is here to stay

Marketers have long been skeptical of the classic marketing funnel model where a prospect enters and exits at tidy, clearly defined stages—from awareness to consideration, and ultimately reaching the decision and purchase stage.

Simply put: that’s not how the real world works. With the rise of the non-linear customer journey and concepts like Google’s “Messy Middle” theory, it’s becoming increasingly clear that marketers need new ways to meet customers where they are.

Unlike the traditional marketing funnel, the content flywheel is a cyclical and continuous process. It starts by attracting prospects through valuable content, then engaging them on an ongoing long-term basis to create a strong relationship at every step.

And as a source of content that can be easily repurposed across multiple media formats and marketing channels, events are a key part of any powerful flywheel strategy.

The role of events in the content flywheel

Your digital event strategy is the perfect place to anchor your flywheel.

Events are where the most authentic and relevant customer interactions happen. They also deliver wealth insights straight from the subject matter experts themselves.

Instead of seeing a webinar as just a way to nudge prospects to the next stage of the funnel, using the flywheel approach, you can leverage your event data to deliver need-meeting follow ups with attendees, build new relationships and cement old ones.

Take the folks at Drift, for example.

“We had incredible data post-event through Goldcast that our sales teams actioned on and this resulted in 3x more pipeline than what we expected,” says Janna Erickson, Former Director of Events at Drift. “Our BDR and Account Executive teams used the granular event data for post-event follow-ups and had 2x the demo conversion compared to our previous events!”

Get your flywheel spinning with customer-centric event experiences

B2B buyers want an experience, not just more content. By investing in media-like assets, such as events, videos, and podcasts, you can create a content strategy that breaks through the noise with a consumer-focused approach.

When you’re ready to set your brand apart with a content flywheel that revolves around real people and their stories, Goldcast can help.

Goldcast helps hundreds of B2B marketers deliver a GTM strategy grounded in authentic, media-rich content prospects love, then repurpose that content for multiple formats and channels.

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