Content isn’t just for marketers.
Content is the lifeblood of many B2B organizations, fueling your sales and customer success strategies just as much as your marketing efforts. It's more important than ever for organizations to create a "culture of content":
A culture of content exists when the importance of content is evangelized enterprise-wide, content is shared and made accessible, creation and creativity are encouraged, and content flows up and downstream, as well as across various divisions. A formalized yet not immutable content strategy is the framework upon which to base culture. - Alimeter Group
Part of cultivating a content-forward culture at an organization is ensuring that each team understands how content plays a role as they execute their efforts (and vice-versa: understanding how content functions on a team that you are not part of).
The more team buy-in you have in your content strategy, the more alignment and success you’ll have across your organization. Content should touch all corners of an organization, even beyond marketing. So, let’s take a closer look at how content plays a role on different teams and departments in an organization.
How Content Works for Marketing
Marketers can be biased about who owns content within their own team the same way their organization might view content as something that belongs only to the marketing team.
Instead of adopting the attitude that “content is just for marketers”, marketing teams might think “content is just for content marketers”.
While it’s important to think about content from the end-user perspective — creating content for your targeted buyer personas as they embark on their buyer journey — it’s also important to think about how content functions for each role within your marketing team.
Here's a basic breakdown of how each role on your typical B2B marketing team might interact with content:
Content Manager — At a high-level, content marketing is the practice of creating content that fills the funnel and attracts inbound leads. The content manager is responsible for managing the execution of this process, from ideation, to creation, to measurement. They should have a hand in the content pot at all times.
Demand Gen Manager — Your demand gen manager is well-versed in marketing automation and has great insight into generating leads. The most important pieces of content to them will be those that live at the bottom of the funnel, generating the most qualified leads.
Performance Marketer — Performance marketers need content to fuel their paid campaigns. Content will not only allow them to execute different strategies and on different channels, but will also guide their targeting strategies on paid channels.
Marketing Operations — As the backbone of your CRM and marketing automation database, the Marketing Ops manager needs to understand the touchpoints of all of your leads. This will allow them to work with your team’s demand gen managers to build out better lead scoring, and ultimately keep the pipeline from getting clogged.
Designer — All types of content, visual and otherwise, play a role in your branding efforts. Your designer is responsible for bringing these abstract ideas to life through visuals (not to mention helping to create effective visual content).
Community Manager — Community managers use content to grow and engage with your organization’s communities. They need content to drive traffic to your funnel, as well as foster discussions in the communities that care.
How Content Works for Sales
Sales teams are busy — they have a lot of prospects that they have to get through to, and often not a lot of resources to do it with. Content can help on both fronts, by allowing them to be more productive, more personal, and more credible.
Specifically, content can assist with Sales strategies to:
Increase Sales Productivity Through Sales Enablement — We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Content is for Closers. By building a content library for sales enablement, your sales team will have the content they need at their fingertips to address both the objections and the needs of key decision makers in the buying process.
Break the Ice When Prospecting — Salespeople can spice up their content library for sales enablement by adding a personal touch to the content that will get through to prospects.
Fuel Social Selling — The golden rule of Sales has changed from “Always Be Closing” to “Always Be Helping”. With social selling, the goal isn’t to write a pitch in 140 characters or less — it’s to provide relevant, timely content to your prospects who are already engaging in conversations surrounding a particular topic on a social channel. 78% of sales people are using social media to outsell their peers — get social selling evangelist Jill Rowley’s pro social selling tips here.
Content can also help Sales reps and teams to:
Improve the Onboarding Process for New Hires — This goes for every team or department in your organization, but is especially relevant to your Sales team who needs to actually sell to the people the marketing team is creating content for. Build an onboarding library that not only documents internal processes, but also includes helpful posts that will empower people to perform better at their jobs.
Build a Better Personal Brand — If your Sales team is empowered to create content that they can publish on your company blog (or republish on LinkedIn), it indirectly sends the right message to prospects. Demonstrating knowledge and social credibility through content can help shake the "slimy salesperson" reputation that often sticks to sales reps.
How Content Works for Success
Your Customer Success team is invaluable to your organization.
Not only are they a goldmine of product knowledge, they also protect your business by keeping customers happy and preventing churn — one of the ways in which they accomplish this is by having readily available content that educates and empowers your customer base.
Using content for customer retention is just as (if not more) important than using content for customer acquisition. After all, attracting a new customer costs five times more than keeping an existing one.
Creating content specifically for customer retention can:
Help to Scale Your Customer Success Team — Having more instructional, product-oriented content takes the burden off of humans to use their time to answer common questions or be in multiple places at once. Creating product-oriented content is an investment up front, but will pay off as your customers succeed.
Educate and Empower Your Customers — An educated customer is a successful customer, and a successful customer is a customer you keep. If all of your content lives in one awesome resource center or knowledge base (like the Uberflip Knowledge Base), your customers will be self-empowered to find the answers they’re looking for because the actual task of finding them requires little effort.
Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates — When your customers are successful, odds are they’ll be willing to share their success with the world. Harness the power of brand advocates by enabling them to be part of your content creation process (for instance, by asking them to write a guest blog post or be involved in a case study). Or, you could take it to the next level and start using an advocate marketing program like Influitive.
Buy-in Across Your Organization
Content isn’t just for marketing teams. It also plays a major role in helping your Sales and Success teams execute and function properly.
But it doesn’t stop there — content touches all facets of your organization by providing the required materials for successful onboarding, illustrating company culture, and pretty much anything that involves effective communication.
The way your organization thinks about content shouldn't be limited by a predetermined number of people who are permitted to "access" or "manage" your content. Embrace a content-forward culture by thinking outside the box — or, at least, your own department.