I attended my first Content Marketing World last week! As someone working in a marketing firm, managing a content team, and fulfilling content marketing, this just made sense.
But after four immersive days in Cleveland, Ohio, learning from the industry’s experts, I’m here to share with you:
Content marketing is for everyone.
That’s right. Whether you’re in sales, operations, account management, or are a top-level exec, you play a role in content marketing. Here’s how:
If I had a dollar for every time “Sales Enablement” was said at the conference, our accounting team wouldn’t be having to process any expense reports from the trip.
But it’s here, and it’s one of the most crucial practices an organization can implement for 2020.
If you’re breaking your types of content up into products, challenges, and journeys, who better to speak to those topics than the sales team?
Sales needs content. Content needs sales. Your salespeople are on the front lines hearing the pain points and objections from prospects. Those conversations are content topics. With them, you’re able to provide those materials to prospects at every point along their buyer’s journey, thus enabling sales.
As Pam Didner, author of “Effective Sales Enablement”, said, “If you want to get ahead, you have to think beyond your role and responsibilities. If you want to move up, think beyond. Think strategically and connect the dots.”
The Law of Ryan Seacrest, a concept created by Content Marketing Institute’s founder, Joe Pulizzi, states that only Ryan Seacrest can be good at everything. The rest of us have to choose a specialty—that one thing we excel at—and stick to it.
And you know who does that extremely well? Operations.
At CMWorld, we talked a lot about gathering research and data to utilize within content. Readers like credibility and numbers provide that.
And you know who has a lot of numbers? Our good friends over in operations.
At Abstrakt, our team collects and analyzes data for every market, industry, and service we sell and fulfill. We use that data to improve our process, accelerate our product, and forecast for the future. That data can easily be used to tell a story, which is the content your audience is looking for.
Utilize the data your team finds and use it to tell your story.
As the mediators between the company and its clients, you understand both the client pain points and your company’s solutions to those problems. That’s HUGE! The insight you gain from those conversations are stories in themselves and should absolutely be turned into content. Chances are, if one client in an industry is experiencing it, another client or prospect is as well.
Kathy Button Bell, SVP and CMO of Emerson, said at CMWorld, “Use tension to create progress.” As your partnerships with your clients develop, there’s a chance you will encounter tension. Industry landscapes shift, Google changes algorithms, and turnover happens. Each of these factors can have a significant impact on the marketing results of your clients.
Use that tension, the lessons learned, and the outcomes achieved to create honest, educational content for your company. Share your conversations and help create content that will assist prospects through the customer journey and beyond through their partnership.
Out of anyone in the company, you have the most industry experience and organizational knowledge. How are you sharing that?
Anecdotes by the coffee maker are a start, but there’s more you can do. That expertise should be translated into content for your audience. It builds credibility, trust, and even loyalty with prospects and current customers when they can see that the leadership of your organization understands the industry and their unique needs.
Furthermore, it builds trust and loyalty within your organization. When your employees see the experience and expertise backing their leaders, it’s easy to believe in them and the goals they are striving to achieve.
As Carla Johnson stated at CMWorld, sharing equals caring, and it’s important to create space for the good, bad, and the ugly. As a top exec, you’ve seen it: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. And guess what? It makes for great content. Share your victories, failures, and mistakes to create authentic material for your organization’s content strategy.
How to Help With Content Today
As you can see, no one’s expecting you to immediately crack open a fresh Word doc and get to typing; however, you can help your company’s marketing team create the most effective content in a big way. It doesn’t have to be an MLA-formatted document; content can be delivered in just about any format—from video to podcasts to sticky notes on a copywriter’s desk.
I can assure you; your organization’s content creators will be thankful for anything you provide. Anything is better than nothing, and assuming they’re creative (as most content creators are), they’ll be able to whip something up.
Joe Pulizzi made it clear that the most effective content marketing happens when the whole company buys in. When every team within the organization understands the payoff of their contribution, the content’s results grow, sales grow, and everyone wins.