I’m going to show you how to optimise bid success with a content library.
To some people, a content library is also called a “knowledge library” and it’s. become every bid team’s staple tool for improving both time efficiency and key messaging.
But what separates a good and bad content library?
Well, if you’ve been working in bid management for a while like me, you realise that as soon as you amass a large amount of repetitive content the way you set your library up in the first instance can make all the difference between having a searchable database of current and relevant content at your fingertips versus a messy repository of random files or hundreds of similar answers that can be a minefield to work through.
When a content library becomes nothing more than a content dumping ground this is where companies are at the greatest risk of sourcing out of date or low quality content, or worse – making cutting and pasting from old bids more tempting.
To reduce the time and effort involved in recreating content each time while keeping a tight rein on quality and accuracy of information, content libraries serve a purpose where content is repeatable.
We’ve set up the Bidhive content library as a best practice single source of truth where you can build a content library branch structure; tag it; and prepare best practice baseline – or boilerplate – content that is factually correct and importantly, current.
Let’s show you how.
Your content library will be blank when you first set it up, so now might be a good time to set one up or to clean out or update any old content libraries that you have.
And don’t feel you need to do it all at once. I’m going to show you how you can still reference your old material while you’re setting up your new library.
The content library structures are very easy to set up – it has a top level parent, and child branches, as well as an editing area, and a side drawer for you to tag, make notes and attach relevant files that you might want to bring over to your bids.
Files such as insurance certificates or licenses can be kept here.
Once this content has been added to your content library you can then set a content owner to maintain it, and you can also set expiry dates and even star rate it.
Content can then be inserted directly into a bid with a simple search, point and click.
Anytime you insert content into a bid the platform will automatically assign the related bid section to your content library to improve the search experience.
Despite the obvious benefits of having a centralised library, often a problem that emerges over time is the duplication of content – and this can typically happen if you set up your library as questions and answers rather than by topic.
The problem with having a library that only searches questions and answers is that you can lose control over having a single source of truth for company.
What we strongly advocate for is a content library that aligns to common evaluation criteria specific to your sector and which aligns to your core business lines and go to market structure.
What we did was audit thousands of tender documents and we identified a number of common topics that we then mapped to evaluation criterion that worked for virtually any sector, and you can see it here on screen.
In the orange boxes you can see broadly, the high level selection or evaluation criteria that are common across bids.
We’ve then mapped this to the frequently asked questions linked to these criteria which we’ve highlighted in grey; and we’ve group them into common factors or topics which are shown in the light blue in the middle.
Following the headings in the middle section makes for a very clear and logical architecture for your content library and now you can begin crafting your boilerplate information across the common dimensions of management, your related experience, past projects and track record, your approach to working with customers, key personnel, safety, quality and price.
If you have multiple business lines you can map the categories or topics in a couple of different ways. One is to make your business line the parent branch, and then add the sections or topics underneath, OR, you could run your sections or topics as the parent branch, with business line-specific information underneath.
The approach you take I think really depends on whether you have an integrated business, or if you operate each of your business lines mostly as separate business units or entities.
If it’s the latter then within the Content Library you can still set up a branch for your corporate information as a shared resource, and then your business lines can be locked down to only those who need to access and view them.
Here are a few examples of different structures to give you some ideas.
We’ve put this same information in the top level branch of your Content Library as reference to get you started. Once you’ve established your structure you delete our content.