As marketers, we’re very familiar with the growing popularity (and necessity) of content marketing — positioning your company as a thought leader and sharing content of value with your audiences. When done right, content marketing boosts the perceived value of your brand in the marketplace and even drives inbound leads. It’s a powerful tool, but one that can sometimes leave the marketing team feeling a bit powerless.
In the complex B2B environment, we need the engineers, product managers, CSRs, sales reps and even the leadership team on board with our efforts, contributing their ideas and expertise and making sure content we publish is accurate and helpful. Easier said than done, right? They’re busy, and honestly, they don’t always believe in the cause. As a result, marketers often find themselves waiting on needed responses, input and feedback that may never come.
So, how can you take better control of your content marketing efforts? It’s all in the approach.
Identify your subject matter experts. Determine who in your company knows information of value to your audiences. Not everyone needs to be spokesperson material, but it’s essential to know who can be helpful in getting you the information you need.
Host a kickoff meeting. Invite anyone who will be asked to contribute and anyone you need to support these efforts, including management. Help them understand what content marketing is, and why providing more help than hype will be what drives your brand forward.
Determine the communication style of your subject matter experts. Not everyone is equipped or interested in writing a blog post for you. Last month I attended Hubspot’s Inbound15, including a session by Marcus Sheridan with The Sales Lion. He explained that people often fall into one of four categories:
- Writers – willing and able to contribute blog posts and other written information
- Actors – great on camera for Q&A and demo videos
- Talkers – may not be great writers or actors, but have great knowledge that can be contributed via interviews
- Questioners – the people on the front lines that can tell you the questions you should be answering via blog posts, white papers and other content; these are often the CSRs and sales reps who are answering the same questions over and over
Change your approach. Call the questioners to get ideas for content. Interview the talkers for the information you need. Ask the writers to contribute or review blog posts on those topics. Schedule video shoots with the actors to ask them questions on camera.
It won’t always be as clear cut as this, but if you can first get your team to understand the value of their contributions and then cater to how each individual best communicates, you’re bound to accomplish more in less time. A win-win for everyone.