Content marketing plays an integral role in an organization’s overall strategy and success. As a result, content marketing is heavily relied on by many different departments for a multitude of requests and projects – but especially by the sales team.
Content marketers, how many times have you fielded these questions from the sales team?
- Can we get a case study on XYZ company?
- I have an awesome video idea for our blog. Can we chat for 30-45 minutes?
- Quick heads up, I saw a few grammatical errors on the content your team posted this morning. Can you fix this now?
- When is our next webinar? Thursday, really?
- Our team has been waiting on that infographic for three weeks… any updates?
- When is the next blog post going up? I haven’t seen any in the past two days.
- I need content about this specific topic to close a deal… can you get that done for me by Tuesday?
As a sales professional who speaks with marketers (across a wide range of industries) on a daily basis, I’ve learned that questions like these from the sales team are the thorn in many marketers’ sides. I’ve heard ‘asks’ like these within organizations that I’ve worked in, and I’ve even been the one doing the asking more than a few times.
The abundance of one-off requests from sales and other departments can distract and detract a marketer from the work required to make a content marketing strategy effective. In an effort to merely keep up, content marketers are finding themselves creating content just for the sake of creating content – rather than providing real value to the reader. According to Sirius Decisions: 60% of the time, the content is not being viewed, downloaded or aligning with customer needs and converting into a tangible result. So, the ineffectiveness and the disconnected one-off requests are leaving content marketers with questions like:
- How can I add structure and accountability to our current content marketing lifecycle and process?
- How can I drive efficiencies within our teams without having to hire or add new team members?
- Is our content truly addressing our ideal customers’ needs?
- Can we scale effectively with five or six point solutions in our content marketing stack?
- How can I ensure our execution ties back to our content marketing strategy?
In my experience working with content marketers, it’s vital to consider the following to ensure that your efforts and execution tie back to your content marketing strategy:
- Clearly define your content marketing strategy & personas – keep them handy and accessible to everyone that is involved in content ideation and creation.
- Document your content marketing strategy. It’s not effective and sustainable to solely verbalize your content marketing strategy in bi-weekly meetings. This critical framework requires documentation and team members obsessing about it.
- Once documented, don’t hide your content marketing strategy in a PowerPoint or GoogleDoc folder… until there is an internal QBR or board meeting. Keep your documentation at the forefront, available and visible to all your team members, all day, every day. You can also provide access to cross-departmental functions and stakeholders.
The above will help you ensure all content, campaigns, programs and social interactions are tightly aligned to your content marketing strategy and every piece of content delivers on a core objective and customer need. It will also make it easier to say no to requests that don’t fit within your strategy. As Content Marketing Institute (CMI) states:
“Think of a content marketing strategy as an outline of your key business and customer needs and a detailed plan for how you will use content to address them.”