So, you’ve decided to go all in with content marketing. You’ve won your executive team over to this new direction, and have mapped out the types of content (and frequency) that will resonate best with the customers and prospects you’re looking to attract. After all of this groundwork is laid, the next step is coming up with interesting topics that will appeal to your target audience.
Have you thought about looping your sales team into this part of the process? If not, there’s a lot of good reasons to do so. Here’s why – and how.
Get Front Line Feedback
There’s no one better suited than a salesperson to give you keen insights into your customers’ mindsets. After all, other than your customer service team, the sales team interacts with customers more than anyone else. They’ve heard their objections, motivations, frustrations, enthusiasm, needs, and wants. They’ve also figured out the messages and approaches that work best to answer questions and get past any hesitation.
All of this information is priceless to you as a marketer. Since you rarely get the chance to connect with customers directly, it’s imperative you link arms with the sales team and glean as many of these firsthand insights as you can. You might be amazed by the volume of content topics that will be inspired by these conversations and ‘insider’ perspectives.
Better Align Content with the Customer Journey
The other major takeaway you’re sure to get by sitting down with each salesperson is what customers are most interested in during certain stages of their journey. Quick note: If you’ve never mapped out your customer journey (the end-to-end experience a customer has with your brand, from touch-point to touch-point), this is a good time to do so. You should be coordinating the branded content you create with each step your customer takes, so you’re providing them the right information at the right time.
Your sales team most likely communicates with customers all along the typical customer journey, from those who are just initially interested in your product to those who have been loyal to your brand for years, and everyone in between. Because of this, sales folks have especially sharp insight into the timing of your content, and can help you connect the dots between topics and touch-points.
Group, and Individual, Brainstorming
In addition to having structured conversations with your sales team, in which you ask about what matters most to customers and what information they need at each interaction with your company, it’s also a great idea to invite the sales department into a brainstorming session with you. Marketers often have a different perspective than salespeople do, and bringing together both points of view can really cause creativity to fly. Each department can also keep the other in check, if topics are suggested that won’t work for one reason or another.
Also remember to ask each salesperson to spend some time on their own coming up with interesting topics you could use in your content. Some people do really well brainstorming in groups, but others think better privately, so encouraging solo and group brainstorming will ensure you get as much fodder as possible from every single person.
Starting (or refreshing) your content marketing program can give your company the perfect opportunity to refine its messaging and better attract, inform and delight customers with content. Bring your sales team into the process, and you’ll find yourself with a great deal of depth and breadth on the topics your customers care about most. And that, above all, is the best basis for successful content marketing.