As marketers, we don't really talk to customers on a day-to-day basis. We don't get to engage in valuable dialogue with prospects. But we've got easy access to people that do: our sales and customer success teams on the front lines. These team members hold a well of insights that, when aligned with content creation, can lead your marketing team to create more relevant, hard-hitting content—from the top of the funnel to the bottom. These are the essential content questions that need to be asked.
Content Question #1:
Outside of our product, what common concerns are customers inquiring about?
Top-of-funnel content is important for raising your brand's profile. This question helps you identify the kinds of interests that customers have in your space. In order to create content that educates your audience, it's good to know what they're eager to learn and what general problems they're looking to solve.
Content Question #2:
What objections usually arise about our product?
When writing B2B copy or content, you need to be able to foresee common objections. Packaging a rebuttal to a common objection in a piece of content gives your sales team indispensable marketing collateral for closing. You can arm your sales team with content that addresses these hurdles to let the content do the talking. You can also weave these objections into your content as reference points to touch upon in passing.
For example, a common objection raised against marketing software is the learning curve inherent to most SaaS offerings. In response, we showcase customer success content in our Knowledge Base to demonstrate that learning our platform is easy and accessible.
Content Question #3:
What is the biggest pain point we're solving?
Pain points are essential when it comes to positioning your product. By identifying the exact problem that customers are using your product to solve, you can create content that highlights your product in this way. This question can inspire angles for case studies that dive into specific use-case details, demonstrating how your product offers a solution.
Content Question #4:
How do customers perceive our brand / product?
When it comes to branding, how others perceive you in your space, and how "top of mind" you are, you can easily look to social media for an easy, superficial answer. But your sales and customer success teams have the most intimate conversations with prospects and buyers and can pick up on conversation cues you won't find in 140 character tweets and posts.
Content Question #5:
Describe the buyers you talk to the most.
Your buyer personas should never be set in stone. Stay up-to-date with your customers' evolving needs by incorporating feedback from your sales team. If there are discrepancies between sales calls and targeted, ideal customer profiles, you should revisit that ideal buyer on paper to make sure it remains relevant. These aren't just the people you're selling to, but also the people you're creating content for. Make sure you're speaking to the right audience.
Seeing the Bigger Picture
Effective content marketing doesn't happen in a silo. The most common missing ingredient when it comes to content ideation are the insights to be leveraged from the people with first-hand experience of how customers and prospects think: sales and customer success. Most marketers want to do whatever it takes to get inside their customer's heads. The path of least resistance is simply to talk to the people on the front lines, who do it every day.