October 27, 2015

Three Ways Content Marketing Can Effectively Unite Sales and Marketing

Marketing and sales are two departments that should work synchronously together. Specifically, marketing should work to create targeted collateral that draws in what sales hopes are qualified leads to then follow up with and prospect. However, for a variety of reasons, sales and marketing teams often seem to go head to head rather than hand in hand.

It’s no secret that, within some companies, sales and marketing are not always on the same page. A solid content marketing strategy, however, can help effectively unite sales and marketing departments, enabling them to perfectly strike this synchronous balance. Just consider that sales was listed as the second most important goal for B2B content marketers in 2016, according to a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Furthermore, “sales lead quality” and “conversion rates” were ranked within the top three more important metrics for B2B marketers in 2015.

It’s clear that sales is a top of mind goal when it comes to creating engaging content. In fact, organizations in their very first steps of creating a content marketing program tend to place a greater emphasis on sales, according to CMI.

If you’re looking to fire on all cylinders when it comes to your internal sales and marketing strategy, here are a few ways that content marketing can be strategically leveraged to do so:

Invite sales to marketing meetings and vice versa: Sixty-one percent of the most effective B2B marketers meet daily or weekly, according to CMI. The next time your marketing team has an adhoc brainstorming session or a weekly catch-up, try to have your sales team sit in so that they can better hone in on their selling strategies and ensure their efforts are aligned with your marketing team’s initiatives.

Create content that can be strategically leveraged by sales: Let’s say you’re creating 10 to 15 blog posts per month—a blogging frequency that research shows is a sweet spot for organizations across the board (such organizations received twice the traffic, if not more, than companies publishing less blogs per month). Of those blogs, allocate three or four to topics that can be repurposed by sales for prospecting and pushing customers through the purchasing lifecycle. For example, create a blog that touts three reasons why customers should be using or considering a product or service such as your own. Or, have your design and marketing department work together to create an educational infographic that sales can then send to prospects after follow-up calls or networking opportunities. Furthermore, longer-form gated assets like whitepapers and case studies should be produced on a biannual or quarterly basis in order to increase lead generation opportunities.

Engage in social selling: Encourage your sales team to share the custom, original content your marketing team produces via social channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn for prospecting and nurturing leads. Educational or informational content—such as whitepapers, case studies or eBooks—are perfect for this initiative.

There is unbelievable added value that content marketing can bring to an organization’s internal marketing and sales strategy. Use these three suggested tips to bolster brand awareness, engage with prospects and, perhaps most importantly, ensure your sales and marketing teams are always on a unified front. 

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