Content strategy alignment enables organizations to make the most of their content efforts. Instead of viewing the production of content separately for each department, one can approach it holistically. By having each department create content separately, inefficiencies and disconnects are created. Each hand is unaware of what the other is doing. By prioritizing content strategy alignment, you allow customers to receive a consistent experience from discovery to daily use. Also, you enable the production of content to be prioritized and unlock repurposing opportunities.
In this post, we will be analyzing the potential uses of content through each departmental function. We will then look at ideas to help repurpose content.
Content Strategy Alignment – Impacts by Function & Department
Starting at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, marketing professionals have long embraced content creation. In the world of overcrowded direct marketing, content has been seen as a way to build trust and educate buyers. Organizations such as the Content Marketing Institute have long championed the use of the content for marketing purposes. Through the use of pieces of content, such as blog posts, webinars, videos, courses—buyers can be supported at every stage.
Beyond this content creation also serves as a fundamental pillar in B2B search marketing, enabling visibility in search results.
Oftentimes, content initiatives will start within marketing departments at organizations. Instead of having other departments simply rely on marketing for all the content creation, it’s best to promote collaboration in idea creation and execution.
Sales Enablement – Giving Your Team Tools
Once your prospect raises their hand and becomes a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), your sales team springs into action. As the B2B buying process is typically complex, enabling them with a knowledgable point of contact can make a massive impact. Often, with B2B, there are multiple decision-makers with different questions. Your sales team will often have limited contact and opportunities to win the deal. Content can serve as an invaluable competitive edge in their arsenal.
By identifying common questions and concerns, and creating content around said questions—there are two major benefits. First, by producing and consuming content, your internal sales team becomes knowledgeable on the topic. Second, your sales team can then share this content with prospects to answer their questions in a structured fashion. If you offer a complex product, each salesperson will not have all the answers. By answering questions such as “Why would I use this product over your competitor?” or “Do you integrate with my accounting software” with a content database, you enable your sales team to succeed.
Oftentimes, if a buyer is not ready or unable to make a purchase decision, keeping them educated and engaged with content is a great way of keeping the relationship alive. By having them subscribe to your blog and attend events, you improve your overall chances of winning their business.
Depending on the structure of your product and funnel, and where your sales team takes over the process from marketing, the same content can be used for both. Beyond this, content such as case studies relating to a specific industry is also highly valuable. Assure your prospects that by choosing your product, they have a high chance of success.
Your Sales Team – An Amazing Source of Content Ideas for Content Strategy Alignment
When it comes to content creation topics, your sales team is a gold mine. Researching topics through search engines and blogs can be helpful, but by actually talking to your prospects—you can develop a deep understanding of their thoughts, questions, and concerns. This feedback can be extremely helpful in the generation of content ideas. By training your sales team to constantly be noting these points through their conversations and then presenting them regularly, you can create a strong pipeline of ideas.
Support – An Often Overlooked Component of Content Strategy Alignment
As your prospects progress into customers, they begin using your product. Your support and customer success teams are typically responsible for ensuring this process is as smooth as possible. Most organizations handle this in a reactive fashion, especially in lower volume B2B situations. However, similar to sales, this department can be a goldmine of information for the development of a truly holistic content strategy. As customers use your product, the same questions will often come up. “How do I do this in the software?”, “Can I use this software with this other application?”. The more time you take to answer these high-volume questions through content, the more you can free up your support teams.
Not only that, but you can also reuse support content through other channels such as Youtube, LinkedIn, or even your blog. This can help demonstrate the software for prospects looking for a specific feature during the marketing or sales phases.
Achieving Complete Content Alignment
By looking at content throughout the entire organization, great things are possible. Often the largest hurdles to overcome with content is the cost and time it takes to produce. By focusing on strategically reusing content through your organization, you maximize your content’s impact and reach. As your organization develops the right habits in content production—strong workflows and quality content is possible.
If you are unsure how to get started in your content strategy alignment, be sure to reach out to our experts here at Sonan Digital. We’ll be glad to provide you with a full content strategy and execution scorecard.