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How to Use Content to Align Sales and Marketing

Feb 4, 2019
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When you hear the term "content marketing" what comes to mind? For most people they think blogging. While that is an aspect of content marketing, there are many other uses and avenues you need to explore if you want to have marketing success online.  Content not only plays a vital role in marketing, it is also essential in sales. Check out this weeks video to learn more.

 

 

Video Transcript:

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We're going to be talking about how content plays a role in sales and marketing. A lot of times when we've talked about content marketing, a lot of people think blog posts. They're like oh my gosh, do I have to blog for my website? I hear that all the time when working with business owners, they get frustrated because they're like why am I blogging? Why do I have to blog? I don't want to be blogging. I don't have time to blog. But content is not just blogging, content is your e-mail, content is video, content is slide decks, and promotional material. Content can be used in a variety of different ways and it should be used throughout the marketing and the sales funnel.

A lot of companies have two different groups that are kind of interacting with prospects and clients. The first group is the marketing team. We'll give them a big M here. Now marketing, it's their job to create blogs and videos and slide decks. A lot of companies think oh we got to put them on social media and that sort of thing. Marketing's job is to get people aware. 

It's the sales team's job to close the deal. This is how a lot of businesses operate, and there's really a disconnect between this content creation, what's happening in these three phases of the funnel, which is typically what marketing is responsible for, and then what sales is responsible for. This is not to say that salespeople don't do anything and they're not responsible for anything. Salespeople have a lot to do between closing these SQLs into a customer, into a sale, but what makes companies that close a lot of their leads and a high percentage of their leads are those companies that build synergy between these two groups of people here?

When marketing and sales are collaborating and working together on creating content and aligning content, it allows them to make sure that they've got content for each phase of that life cycle, for that lead. When they're coming into the site, they can have those top-level pain points because here's the cool thing that sales has, sales is having those conversations with customers and prospects all the time, so they hear what people like, what people don't like, they know what causes somebody to hang up, they know what causes somebody to say hey, stop e-mailing me, and they also know when somebody says this is awesome, this is really solving my problem.

You can get a ton of information by aligning these two groups together when you're doing a content strategy. A lot of times what happens is you outsource maybe to an agency, an agency says here's some keywords or here's some fun topics. Oh, lists are really popular right now so we should do a blog post on lists because that'll get your social likes up but the reality is Facebook likes aren't going to be driving your business. Those are vanity metrics.

What you want to do is find content that's not just going to get people in your pipeline but that's going to walk them through the stage of the journey. You might find out that blog posts are really good at your top level leads and they're generating people coming to your website and helping them engage and maybe they're subscribing to your blog, but you may find that this blog content isn't actually pushing them into an MQL or a SQL. What you need here is some sort of content access. You need a deck or an infographic or a media one sheet.

If you're just making these to make these, you're not going to have a lot of success. What you need to do, marketing and sales can work together and we can say hey, this blog topic on the ten top sales tips for 2019 was really good but what sales professionals are really struggling with is how to leverage their CRM. You could do a quick guide on how to get the most out of your CRM from your sales team.

Well, that might cause them to go now into the next bucket. Now let's say you've got some sort of sales tool, that's what we're using for this example, networks, but now you want to move them along the funnel even further and you notice that hey, people like to watch video. Video is obviously a very powerful platform, that's why we're using it right now, and the sales team may have some insight saying like hey, I've been watching a lot of these videos on how our specific tool can integrate and make their life a lot easier. Well, marketing should get together with sales and then create that video.

Now you've got a blog post that leads them to this initial offer right here, which would be a deck or something, that leads them into a call to action, which is then sales, which is a low barrier of entry because they're not actually having to talk to somebody yet so they don't have to really commit too much of their time, which then once they take that action on sales could help the sales team close the sale because now they've got some content that's working all the way through the funnel.

Now this may look like a really weird football play but in reality if you take a step back and you start to look at these, you can see that if marketing was doing this on their own, they might have created a fun little blog post here, posted some images on some social channels, drove some people to the website that did something, and then that would be the end of the day. Sales would be cold calling and saying why aren't we getting leads that want to know anything about our business.

If sales and marketing come together and align, they look at the different stages of the life cycle of a prospect and can start to build out different types of content assets that they can use along the way. That's not only going to help marketing get more meaningful conversions, but that's also going to help the sales team to have more people in their pipeline that are interested in what they're selling.

Content is a powerful tool to align. It's not a magical tool, you have to take some time and think about the strategy, but when you align it between sales and marketing, you're going to get that content to go a lot further for your business and actually turn it into revenue, which is ultimately why you're doing it and spending all this money on marketing and sales in the first place.

If you have any questions on how we do this for our own agency or how we do it for some of our clients, we would love to continue to conversation. Until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works has also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing solutions.

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