If your com­pa­ny has a mar­ket­ing depart­ment (even a small one!), it’s almost guar­an­teed there’s some­one in charge of con­tent.

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, most mar­keters con­sid­er con­tent as writ­ten pieces on a web­site cre­at­ed by the mar­ket­ing depart­ment.

How­ev­er, as the stages of the fun­nel and the cus­tomer jour­ney con­tin­ue to evolve, more mar­keters are branch­ing out beyond mar­ket­ing to engage oth­er depart­ments in the cre­ation and pro­lif­er­a­tion of mar­ket­ing mes­sages.

Not only does reach­ing out to oth­er depart­ments help cap­ture cus­tomers at all stages of their jour­ney, but it ensures that marketing’s efforts don’t go to waste.

Accord­ing to the Har­vard Busi­ness Review, “an esti­mat­ed 70% of the con­tent gen­er­at­ed by Mar­ket­ing is nev­er used by Sales reps.”

Whether that’s because sales doesn’t see how use­ful it can be or just doesn’t know it exists, the solu­tion is to ensure that you make your con­tent mar­ket­ing a way of life for your com­pa­ny instead of a one-off effort.

1. Get Every Department’s Perspective for Content Marketing

Many times, new­er, small com­pa­nies have employ­ees that cross func­tion­al­i­ties.

When your com­pa­ny employ­ees maybe 4 or 5 peo­ple, those employ­ees find them­selves doing every­thing from help­ing cus­tomers to work­ing on the mar­ket­ing to run­ning errands.

This means that peo­ple who some­times work in sales and cus­tomer ser­vice also work in mar­ket­ing – and that the con­tent they cre­ate under­stands all those ele­ments of the user jour­ney.

How­ev­er, when com­pa­nies grow, we often find our­selves nich­ing down and spe­cial­iz­ing (which can be real­ly great for the job func­tions we’re dig­ging into), but we for­get how impor­tant it is to see both our com­pa­ny and our clients from oth­er per­spec­tives.

Here’s how oth­er depart­ments can help you see your tar­get audi­ence from their point of view:

  • Sales
    • Knows what pre­vents cus­tomers from buy­ing.
    • Under­stands the most com­mon pain points and ques­tions clients have before mak­ing a pur­chase.
    • Under­stands the minu­ti­ae of their unique tar­get audi­ence in-depth.

Get Every Department’s Perspective for Content Marketing

  • Cus­tomer Service/Success
    • Has the list (and answers!) for the top ques­tions that cus­tomers have right after they buy.
    • Under­stands what helps to keep a cus­tomer and keep them hap­py.
    • Acts as the key to refer­ral cus­tomers.
  • Lead­er­ship
    • Knows the big pic­ture of your tar­get audi­ence.
    • Can explain why they cre­at­ed the solu­tion they did for that tar­get audi­ence.
    • Under­stands the main prob­lem that their solu­tion pro­vides.
  • Product/Engineers
    • Works to explain why they’ve cre­at­ed what they have for your tar­get audi­ence.
    • Can explain how the solu­tion works to help clients under­stand the true val­ue of the prod­uct or ser­vice.
  • Finance
    • Gives a unique per­spec­tive into the met­rics that mat­ter to busi­ness­es of all sizes.
    • Can help explain why busi­ness­es make cer­tain moves (like elim­i­nat­ing an offer­ing or expand­ing one).
  • More!
    • Think of how the dif­fer­ent depart­ments in your busi­ness can give you their unique per­spec­tive on why they do what they do to bet­ter serve your cus­tomers or how they can show you insight into your own cus­tomers’ point of view.

2. Invite More Than Marketing to Produce Content

Now that you have an under­stand­ing of how each focus area in your com­pa­ny can help you under­stand your tar­get audi­ence bet­ter and help your clients under­stand your com­pa­ny bet­ter, it’s impor­tant to invite them in on the con­tent mar­ket­ing process.

Con­sumers are used to hear­ing the voic­es of your mar­ket­ing depart­ment but may enjoy the dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives across your com­pa­ny.

The key to cohe­sive con­tent mar­ket­ing that’s cre­at­ed across com­pa­ny func­tion­al­i­ties is to cre­ate a style guide.

It’s crit­i­cal to define the voice and attrib­ut­es of your con­tent.

  • Are we seri­ous?
  • Tech­ni­cal?
  • Friend­ly?
  • Approach­able?
  • Maybe even a lit­tle goofy?

Make sure to define these char­ac­ter­is­tics before ask­ing some­one who may not know them to con­tribute.

Ensure that every­one across depart­ments is aware of your brand mis­sion and per­son­al­i­ty, so they can infuse a lit­tle bit of them­selves along with it.

When invit­ing cross-func­tion­al con­tri­bu­tions to con­tent mar­ket­ing, let the writer think about top­ics they think would be use­ful to your tar­get audi­ence from their per­spec­tive.

This helps pre­vent the con­fir­ma­tion bias that only mar­ket­ing knows what cus­tomers want.

The whole rea­son we’re hav­ing sales or finance or cus­tomer ser­vice con­tribute is to get their unique points of view that mar­ket­ing doesn’t have.

Along the same lines, it’s help­ful to offer guid­ance when need­ed, but don’t sti­fle cre­ativ­i­ty or their per­spec­tive. Only edit the con­tent lat­er for gram­mar, facts, and more objec­tive ele­ments of writ­ing.

Let the contributor’s con­tent stand on its own per­spec­tive and mer­it. (Plus if they see it go live as some­thing com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent than what they orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed, they’re like­ly to not agree to con­tribute again.)

3. Expand Your Definition of Content

Anoth­er way to inte­grate your con­tent mar­ket­ing into your busi­ness lifestyle and DNA is to expand what you con­sid­er con­tent.

Sure, blogs and whitepa­pers are all con­tent, but if you zoom out–so are ele­ments like email, video, pro­fes­sion­al social media, and more.

Talk to oth­er depart­ments to dis­cov­er what works well when they’re email­ing clients and prospec­tive buy­ers, what they’re post­ing on their pro­fes­sion­al social media that brought in new leads, if their cus­tomers watch the how-to videos for your prod­uct or ser­vice, etc.

Email

Break out­side the clas­sic email mar­ket­ing box by check­ing out what your sales and cus­tomer service/success teams are send­ing their busi­ness con­tacts.

  • What are their sub­ject lines?
  • What ques­tions do they answer most fre­quent­ly via email?
  • What are their “email per­son­al­i­ties”?
  • Do they include extra read­ing links?

Vary the con­tent in email and the for­mats. It doesn’t have to all be fan­cy-look­ing tem­plates and design. A clas­sic all text email is often what works best for sales. Maybe even throw in a gif or two!

Sim­i­lar­ly, see how send­ing email from some­one oth­er than mar­ket­ing affects your email met­rics and cus­tomer fol­low up.

  • How would a client feel to get an email from the CEO?
  • How would a prospect feel about get­ting an email from your engi­neer­ing or prod­uct team?

Test dif­fer­ent ele­ments of con­tent mar­ket­ing in your email to see what dri­ves the most engage­ment and, in the end, sales or refer­rals.

Video

Video is every­where nowa­days. I recent­ly saw a prod­uct rec­om­mend­ed in a small busi­ness group where you can send quick ~20-sec­ond thank you videos to clients.

I also use a prod­uct called Loom to send quick screen share videos to clients, assis­tants, and more. Plus, I’m always watch­ing how-to videos on YouTube.

And these three ele­ments com­bined real­ly made me think that, as mar­keters, we’ve real­ly been wor­ship­ping at the altar of fan­cy video for too long. It doesn’t have to be rock­et surgery.

A sim­ple video that explains a prod­uct, says thanks for tak­ing the time to chat with me today, which shows the human side of com­pa­nies – can be a HUGE boon to con­tent mar­keters.

It can also take some of the bar­ri­ers to entry out of cre­at­ing con­tent for “non-writ­ers,” and shows that pro­duc­tion val­ue isn’t every­thing.

In fact, we’re more drawn to the “impromp­tu” videos we see on social media that are often just a sin­gle per­son chat­ting with a cam­era for a minute or so.

Think of ways you can incor­po­rate quick, sim­ple videos into your con­tent mar­ket­ing.

Social Media

I’ve seen mar­ket­ing regard social media as “their ter­ri­to­ry” a lot of times, and it makes sense. We’ve tra­di­tion­al­ly been in charge of the strat­e­gy, mes­sag­ing, and exe­cu­tion of social media.

How­ev­er, I think it’s impor­tant to look at what your col­leagues in oth­er depart­ments are doing on their social media accounts to get sales, answer cus­tomer ques­tions, get involved in spe­cial­ty social com­mu­ni­ties, etc.

Not only can we learn what’s work­ing for them and dupli­cate it on the com­pa­ny social accounts, but we can also work with them to syn­di­cate com­pa­ny con­tent mar­ket­ing efforts across their indi­vid­ual pro­fes­sion­al social plat­forms.

Employ­ee advo­ca­cy soft­ware like Bam­bu, for exam­ple, means you can ensure that your col­leagues across depart­ments are also spread­ing the word about your con­tent.

There are many ways to make con­tent mar­ket­ing part of your company’s DNA, but one of the keys to this strat­e­gy is spread­ing the con­tent mar­ket­ing mojo across the com­pa­ny.

This means involv­ing more than just mar­ket­ing in the strat­e­gy, ideation, cre­ation, and dis­sem­i­na­tion of con­tent mar­ket­ing.

SOURCE: Search Engine Jour­nal