There’s a big problem with many content management systems today. It revolves around the idea that all content marketing has the same goal. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your business has different objectives when it comes to things liketalent, leads and customers. It’s only natural that your content should reflect that to be successful.
I like to say that content marketing is like a three-legged stool. Each leg — culture content, marketing content and sales content — has a specific goal.
If just one of the legs fails, the entire content management system is going to topple over. If you noticed in the above chart,the first three content letters are CMS and the first three goal letters are TLC. It may be a coincidence, but it goes to show that if you want to get the most out of your content management system, it’s going to take some “tender loving care.” Read on to learn how you can go about accomplishing this for each content marketing essential.
Essential #1: Culture Content
People want to work for (and do work with) people they like. That’s why culture content is often eithervery easy or very difficult to produce — it depends on the health of your culture. You know how that old saying goes, “How many people within a company are in sales?” The answer: all of them. You don’t have to be in sales — or marketing for that matter — to appropriately represent your company’s brand. The more people in the company that understand what your brand represents (and their engagement to that brand), the betterit is for the culture.
It then becomes natural over time to produce content that positively represents the brand. The “culture content”thusattracts similar-minded talent, potential new clients and helps reinforce to current team members and clients that the brand is real and authentic. It’s easy to put core values on a wall or website; the true challenge lies in each team member consistently exemplifying values that shine through in content.
Takeaway:Whether it is a short video, social media post, photo, blog post, bio, web page or some other form of content, brand authenticity creates amazing brand awareness when done properly — not just by people who don’t have sales or marketing in their title, but by team members who are excited to talk about their brand and proud to promote it. At Mojo, this is evident in the fact each of our team members wear our brandedT-shirts with pride.
Essential #2: Marketing Content
Let’s face it;marketers are the ones who create marketing content. Potential clients need marketing content to make decisions. But, when marketing content turns “salesy,” it raises questions about the authenticity of culture content. Inbound marketing content development should support the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration or decision stage. It is a real art for a content developer to create content specifically with these decision stages in mind.
Awarenesscontent should be caring and considerate. Consideration contentshould be non-biased and provide the facts necessary for the buyer to make the best decision for them — not the marketer. Consideration content should also efficiently aid the buyer and salesperson to connect with all the facts in mind. However, the best marketing content developers are actually not the marketers, but the clients — or any other third party to the brand. When these third-party content creators spend their precious time “marketing” for your brand, it will support credibility and authority of the brand.
Takeaway: Content is not one-dimensional. Just like we have five senses, we have five ways to produce content: Copy, Video, Audio, Visual and Interactive. Think of all the social media channels — each one is simply a delivery device for one or more of the five types of content to get your senses attuned to drive brand awareness. Want better content results? Match the content type with the buyer persona for optimal results. CEOs will rarely read anything with a stable in it.
Essential #3: Sales Content
Sales content should first and foremost be aligned with the marketing content’s messaging. Traditionally, there is more sales content in an organization than marketing besides all the content sales uses to support the sales (e.g. proposals, presentations, etc.). Think of all the emails, voicemails and every other interaction a salesperson has with a prospect. It’s not to say that marketing should take over all these interactions, but a little goes a long way to align marketing with sales. According to HubSpot, when sales and marketing teams work together, companies see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates.
Takeaway:Just like marketing must create content to educate the buyer at the right stage of the buyer’s journey, marketing must establish awareness with the salesforce to informthem on how to properly leverage the marketing content in the right stages of the sales process (e.g., the sales pipeline).
The Base of the Stool: Knowledge Content
Just as the base of a stool is connected to the legs, knowledge content is tied in with all of the content marketing essentials. A team member needs to clearly understand the culture to develop engaging content. This requires knowledge of the values of the brand. Marketing needs to understand the needs of the multiple buyers — wherever they are on their buying journey — and align this content with the salespeople and their processes. This requires knowledge of the buyers. Just like marketing creates awareness with their content to prospects, marketing should also create awareness with their content with the sales team.
As the graphic below illustrates, there ultimately needs to be the right balance between culture, marketing and sales content, with knowledge being the central goal for each.
Takeaway: Marketing should use the sales team’s feedback to develop more relevant content. Put simply, marketing is sales support. When marketing takes a sales support mindset, sales can focus more on the needs of the customer by asking the right questions and providing the right solutions to their pain. For sales to do this, it requires knowledge of the buyer’s needs and the available content that addresses those needs. Oh, and if the publication date of the content sales provides is well before the date of the buyer’s pain, it reinforces the knowledge of the people behind the brand.
So, what does your content marketing stool look like? Are all three legs of your content marketing giving you the support you need? If not, it might be time to take another look at your company’s goals and see if they line up with your content.