I had the pleasure of attending content guru Molly Castelazo’s presentation at AMA Phoenix entitled “Beyond ‘Content is King’ – How Successful Organizations Actually Design and Implement Built-to-Last Content Marketing.” Amid a lively discussion, a few themes stood out as particularly noteworthy. Here are the highlights.
Think of content as gears in the sales machine
A person approaches the sales cycle as a prospect and, if all goes well, leaves as a customer or client. In between those two stages they’re doing a great deal of discovery. In fact, studies show that a prospect will complete about 60% of the sales cycle on their own before even contacting a company representative. Content is the driving force that draws the individual through that process.
Good content adds value
You can’t produce content just for the sake of producing content. Instead, ask: What is this content’s role in the sales cycle? What question does it answer? Will it resonate with the reader? The answers to these questions will vary somewhat according to the individual reader, which is why an understanding of your audience is so important.
Pro tip: Have a chat with some of your salespeople and customer service reps. They’re on the ground, regularly interacting with customers’ wants and needs. Chances are they’ll have valuable insight for anyone trying to understand the customers you work with.
Avoid backup in content approval with a clear process
For example, a writer writes a piece, a coworker proofreads it, and a manager approves it. The more parties that are involved in the approval process, the greater the need for an organized system and regular communication. Take advantage of the technology available to you – whether it’s coordinating folders on Google Docs or investing in something a bit fancier like divvyHQ.
Writers are more than writers – they’re translators
“While you need a writer who can understand the language you speak,” says Castelazo, “you also need that person to be able to speak the language of your audience.” When it comes to choosing what to write about, some of the topics will be oriented toward thought leadership, and others will be commentary on trending topics. A writer must be able to take the specialist information presented in either category and rewrite it in a way that is easily understood by the target audience.
Content is a powerful equalizer
The big businesses might have the budget to release a never-ending waterfall of good content, but that doesn’t mean that the little guys can’t get in on the action. With well-written copy, strong SEO, and strategic disbursement, even small businesses can benefit from publishing content.