August 2, 2017
Topics: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Blogging
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August 2, 2017
I suppose I should start out with a quick disclaimer: If you’ve come to this post looking to find written proof on why you, as a salesperson, engineer, or anything other than a marketer shouldn’t have to be involved in your organization’s content marketing program … well, you’ve come to the wrong place (but obviously, you’re welcome to continue reading). I may be slightly biased but I definitely think you should, so you may not like my answer—at least not initially.
That’s an easy question: Everyone. Regardless of your position within the organization, whether you are client-facing, prospect-facing, or even product-facing, your expertise can be leveraged as a part of your organization’s content strategy.
Before I continue to explain how you—regardless of your position at the company—can participate in your content marketing, let’s take a step back and look at why you’re creating content. From your marketing department’s perspective, and based on the metrics they tend to care most about, you may think that content exists purely for the purpose of lead generation.
But that’s not its only purpose. According to HubSpot, content should be designed to address the problems, questions, and needs of your ideal customers. And how can just one department possibly address the comments and concerns of a variety of target buyers?
Quite simply, they can’t.
However, when you get multiple people from all across your organization involved, you can use your collective knowledge to better address your target buyers’ questions. Now, before you begin to panic thinking that you need to start writing blogs, participating in your company’s podcast, or even hosting your webinars, let me clarify. There are more ways for you to contribute to your content marketing program than actually creating the content itself, ways like:
I’m going to make a slight generalization: Marketers tend to be fantastic at understanding their company’s own messaging and branding, and even sharing the highlights of the organization’s products or services, but they’re not always the best at using the terminology that potential customers use. Think of it this way: SmartBug is an award-winning (sorry, couldn’t resist!) inbound marketing agency. But when we develop our content, do we create only content that has to do with the phrase “award-winning marketing agency”? Absolutely not.
We look to other members of our team, specifically those who are prospect-facing, to keep their ears to the ground and help us understand the questions that people ask and the phrases that they use, phrases like “lead generation,” “content marketing program,” “generate marketing ROI.” While we, as marketers, can use many available tools (HubSpot, Moz, and Google Trends, just to name a few) to further whittle down these keywords, looking to our sales team for strategic keyword guidance allows us to speak the same language as our prospects.
Each blog post, in its simplest form, should answer a question. And although we as marketers can use some tools and tricks that we have up our sleeves to answer questions that we expect our target customers to be asking, we don’t always know for sure. But other members of the organization, such as customer service representatives, do. And chances are that if one customer service representative has received a question from a customer, other customers have that same question.
In other words, that question should be a blog post included within your content marketing program.
While not all of your organization’s employees have conversations with your customers or prospects, that doesn’t mean that those employees can’t be an integral part of your content marketing program. In fact, their technical knowledge of your organization’s products and services can be used to create content as well. “How To’s,” product comparisons, even explanations of product features—all can resonate with your personas who are further down the buyer’s journey.
Keeping in mind that all the content that you create should address the questions that your personas have, it should be no problem to integrate and involve as many members of your organization as possible in the content creation process. In fact, once you’ve sold the whole team on the value of their contributions, your only problem may be that you have too many ideas for content! Which, in my opinion, is not the worst problem to have.
About the author
Kristen Patel was formerly a CRO Strategist at SmartBug Media. She joined the team with years of inbound agency experience under her belt, and two Bachelors of Science in International Marketing. While technically based in Maryland, she's often on the move (2018 will bring her to Guatemala, Belize, Mexico... and that's only through February!). Read more articles by Kristen Patel.