- Set Objectives – Traditionally, marketing has created content and handed it off to sales teams to use how and when they see fit; a “one-size-fits-all” approach that no longer works. Before marketing can better assist sales, both have to determine their main objective for content – brand awareness, lead generation, sales, customer retention, thought leadership, and so forth.
- Know Your Buyers – Take time to identify the people with whom you want to connect and understand them intimately. By creating personas, both sales and marketing will identify and understand common characteristics of a group of people with whom you want to connect. It outlines their perspectives, fears, drivers, and content needs.
- Understand Your Buyer / Retention Cycle – Many companies focus on generating leads and closing the sale, then forget about customers until it’s time for them to buy again. That’s a big mistake. Sales teams need to think about retention and renewals as much as the original sale. What matters most to your persona during each phase? How do their content needs change?
- The Multiplier Effect – This is where sales gains empowerment and marketing can catch their breath. On average, teams can create 12 additional pieces of content from a single white paper. Here are just a few examples once you have the main piece created:
- Blogs: Generate multiple posts that cover why the problem is a problem, the solution (your unique point of view) and the impact the solution has on an organization
- Videos: Consider both internal and external. What does your subject matter expert have to teach about the subject? What’s something that proved most valuable to a customer?
- Webinar: Think “how to” and give hands-on information that allow attendees to listen, then immediately use what they learned.
- Infographic: We all like pictures, and they help make statistics and new processes easier to relate to.
- Publish an ebook: look for common themes and questions and then create an ebook that addresses them.
- Develop an App: Can you help your customers by making life easier for them through an app?
- Create a community: If you hear the same questions from customers over and over, this may be the time to bring them together. Connect them both online and off and help facilitate connections that prove valuable for them.
- Right Time. Right Place. Right Content. – What content you use when depends on the persona and where they are in the buyer / retention cycle. Now that you understand your personas, and the breadth and depth of content that you can create from a single source, it’s easier to map that to the buyer / retention cycle and deliver the right content that engages them with the right message when they’re most likely to pay attention.
About Carla Johnson
Carla Johnson is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author.
Over the last two decades, Carla has helped architects and actuaries, executives and volunteers, innovators and visionaries leverage the art of storytelling to inspire action. Her work with Fortune 500 brands has served as the foundation for many of her books.
In her latest project, Fast Forward Files, she contributes to a larger collection of thoughts by some of the world’s greatest minds - Shazam co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee, activist and entrepreneur Heather Mills and behavioral designer, technologist and mental-health champion Peter Trainor. Consistently named one of the top influencers in B2B, digital and content marketing, Carla regularly challenges conventional thinking.
Today, she travels the world teaching anyone (and everyone) how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.