It’s time to separate “content” and “content marketing.”
Because, while they often get lumped together, it’s important to realize a fundamental truth: Content is a vital and valuable tool for every single part of your business.
Traditionally, content marketing is thought of as the cornerstone of all inbound marketing strategies. Essentially, the thinking goes, you create and distribute unique, branded content in order to cultivate a situation where your potential customers come to you. In the end, this helps you generate more traffic and hotter leads – with a fraction of the effort and at a fraction of the cost of more traditional marketing methods.
We’re not here to tear into content marketing and its role in inbound; in fact, it’s our bread and butter here at Geek. We know full well that content marketing works.
What we’re here to say today is that it’s important to consider all of the other ways that you can put content to work for your organization, at every level of your company and at every step of the buyer’s journey.
Because, you see, content isn’t just about marketing. It’s about sales. It’s about retention. It’s about client management. It’s about PR. It’s about recruiting. It’s something that every department can use to their advantage, starting right now.
With our thanks to this great Hubspot piece for some wonderful insights, here are five internal departments within larger companies that can each benefit from having a content strategy in place:
For many organizations, this is where a content strategy starts and ends. While we know that the potential of content extends far beyond marketing, we cannot stress enough what a powerful tool it is for attracting traffic and generating leads, generating positive “buzz” around your brand, and cultivating a consistent audience pool.
Remember, after all, that 70% of customers would rather learn about a company through an article, rather than a conventional advertisement. That’s why, as of 2017, 86% of B2C and 89% of B2B brands using marketing already had a content marketing process in place, with 60% reporting that they were “very” or “extremely” committed to their strategy.
Don’t let your competitors scoop up leads – and sales – that could be coming to you! If you’re attempting to go it alone on inbound marketing driven by content, consider making this the year that you bring on a fresh set of eyes. If you’ve never considered content marketing for your brand before, here are the methods to research as you get started:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Review Marketing/Online Reputation Management
- Paid and Organic Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
We’ve always maintained that content, when crafted deliberately, can be a potent tool for persuading your audience.
With this in mind, it’s important to consider all of the ways that your sales team can put content to work clinching that sale – or, at the very least, moving buyers down the conversion funnel, one stage at a time.
As we've noted before, there are plenty of content strategies that you can implement to help your sales team tackle their goals. A few ideas may include:
- Producing a white paper or other educational materials to easily share via email or on social media
- Creating a video or infographic to deal with common questions from leads; this shows that you’re experienced and a thought leader, gives your lead a resource they can consult with at a later date, and will allow your sales team to address major concerns without spending time handling the same few queries over and over
- Setting up an automated workflow to immediately respond to social media queries or emails; this could make all the difference in terms of securing a deal, as many prospects want to hear from your company within 60 minutes
There are all sorts of ways that you can put content to work for the sake of retention – keeping the clients that you already have satisfied with (and spending on) your brand.
And there’s plenty of reason to focus on retaining your existing customers or clients, if you’re not doing so already! Research suggests that it costs 500% more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Meanwhile, a loyal customer is worth up to 10x as much as the value of their first purchase.
So how can your account managers use content to engage with your existing customers or clients? Consider:
- Social media can be a powerful tool for interacting with clients, and addressing quick complaints before they can spiral into major issues
- White papers, infographics, explainer posts, and videos can all be great tools for answering FAQs or providing quick tutorials on your product/service
- Regularly updating your blog with interesting, informative, client-focused content is an effective way to keep your existing audience returning to your website, staying engaged with and loyal to your brand
Naturally, you want the best and brightest joining your team – and content is a great way to ensure that you HR department is finding, recruiting, and connecting with the candidates you’re looking for!
- “Behind-the-scenes” content posted on social media and on your site can give jobseekers a better sense of your company culture, encouraging them to apply (while also entertaining, celebrating, and engaging your current employees)
- Many organizations even have social accounts expressly dedicated to hiring and recruitment, allowing them to quickly respond to queries or issues with potential applicants on a separate channel
- Sending sample content can be a great tool for vetting potential candidates, ensuring that they’re familiar with your brand’s voice, style, and goal before they hit the key interview stage
- Content is a powerful and effective tool for training! Employee guides, videos, slideshows, email chains – all of these can be easy ways to “onboard” your new hires, helping them fit into your organization without having to devote dozens of man hours to getting them acclimated
Sometimes called the “C-Suite,” the executives of an organization – CEO, CFO, CIO, and so on – can all put content to work, both to engage with individuals inside their company and foster new relationships with important players on the outside.
Above all, generating content at the C-Suite level is a surefire way to create a voice for your brand. Releasing content authored by a CEO or CTO shows that a living, breathing person still has their hands involved in the day-to-day, and establishes a clear company voice with a point of view (one authored by an individual, rather than a faceless corporate entity).
This can be a great way to engage employees; establish partnerships with other organizations, brands, or thought leaders; and interface with new clients or potential investors.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re a department within a larger organization, a franchise operated as part of a larger company, or a small business looking to grow and expand in the years ahead, it is vital that you have a thought-out content strategy in place.
Whether your end goal deals with marketing, sales, or client management, the Geek team knows the best way to put content to work achieving the results you want, on the timeline that will work best for your unique needs. We believe in the concept of Marketing as a Service (MaaS): You take on what you want to take on, and leave all the rest to us!
If you want to talk web design and development, blogging, multimedia content strategies, email, reputation management, or more, we’re here to help point you on the right path to success and do the dirty work, so that you can focus on what you do best. Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!