Close working and integration between sales and marketing should be high on the wish list for a marketing manager, but not always easy to implement in reality. However, if you want to create insightful content that works hard for the business, helping transform visitors to your website into qualified sales leads, then it will have to become a reality.
If you follow our content creation plan then you’ll not only get some fantastic information to help you create a content strategy, you’ll also transform your sales staff into an extension of your marketing team, actively noting customer pain points and where content is required to fill in the gaps in the information on your website that supports the buyer journey.
Ensure the sales team understand why content is important
Your sales team will have the insight you need to kick-off your content creation strategy, they just may need a little education to understand how good content will help generate qualified sales leads for them – understandable, the inbound methodology isn’t much known outside the realm of the marketing manager. You will need to do a light touch overview of inbound marketing (after all, how else will those prospects find your content?) then take them through content pillars, personas and customer pain points so they can see how content should be crafted to educate and assist different types of visitor.
Put together a list of customer and prospect FAQs
Hold a meeting with all levels of sales personnel and ask them to compile a list of all the questions they can think of that they’ve ever been asked by customers and prospects. This list will become a comprehensive bank of blog themes and ideas as you build up content that educates visitors to your website and positions you as a trustworthy and knowledgeable voice on your subject matter.
Map the buyer journey
Another exercise to work on with your sales team is to map out the customer journey (and this may differ between different products or territories so be prepared to map out several versions), making sure you have or have planned content that supports every stage of the journey and answers common pain points along the way.
Make sure your content is available in a format that works for everyone
Your sales team should be able to use content in their sales strategy too, so it is well worth talking to them to see whether they would like email signature banners with links to current relevant content, or an eBook that will be the perfect content to send a prospect sitting in the middle of the sales funnel who has a list of questions that need answering. Perhaps your customers are located around the globe, and your content needs to be clear and easy to translate into multiple languages – whatever your sales team needs, make sure marketing is listening.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Regardless of who you are talking to in your business, ask questions. We guarantee you will find out more about how the operation works and that in turn will mean the content you create is more informative and more insightful.
Repeat ad infinitum
The pain points and common questions will change over time, so even when your website is a lead generation hub thanks you the content you have worked so hard to create you cannot rest on your laurels. Make sure you keep that key alignment between sales and marketing, scheduling in regular meetings with the sales team to ensure you have the crucial business intelligence and customer insight that is so critical to content generation.
Once you’ve completed the steps above, the next step is to get writing and start deploying your content. Then you’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t seem to resonate, and tweak accordingly. If you’ve enjoyed this blog and want to find out more about lead generation, why not download our eBook of The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips & Tricks?