Tech sales and marketing executives regularly ask me about content creation, because in their view, PR and communications departments are “always” asking for content. While “always” might be an exaggeration, there is a constant need for content, and the larger question – “Who is really responsible for content?” – can be challenging for businesses.
In truth, the answer is slightly more complicated than finger-pointing. The reality is that every organization needs to create content. It is an absolute requirement to drive website traffic, gain organic search ranking, inform customer prospects about products and services, and deliver company and product news. Quality content is also central to thought leadership and extending a company’s brand. And because trust, driven by content and social proof, is essential to conversions and moving prospects through the sales funnel, it is an evergreen need.
Also, an organization’s content is frequently the first place that consumers go when they’re doing background research for purchasing decisions. So much so, in fact, that the term “ROBO,” meaning “research online, buy offline,” has come into common use. Content has a powerful influence on buying, no matter what stage of the funnel, and, according to research, 90% of marketers report that the use of content marketing is essential for demand generation and lead nurturing.
Challenges With Content
For all of these reasons, creating a high volume of usable content is a meaningful challenge for PR, marketing and communications departments. Traditional marketing programs, including advertising, events, lead gen and nurture, and sales enablement, combined with the other elements of a comprehensive marketing approach, leave professionals with little in the way of extra bandwidth to create content. PR departments are regularly in a more reactive posture, having to deal with current news and events, so development of new content often gets de-prioritized. A lack of output from product marketing and management, including use cases, can also inhibit content creation, and this problem is exacerbated when products are launched without messaging or a plan.
Collaboration Is the Key to Content
Collaboration and a program-based approach to content development will make content “everyone’s job.” Begin with a process that involves product, marketing and communications teams prior to product launch. This can be particularly difficult in the absence of a defined content marketing strategy or launch process, but developing a structured approach will help drive content production for use across the organization.
Some tips to keep in mind:
1. Make messaging part of your product launch process. Don’t launch without it!
2. All marketing and sales materials should be driven by the established messaging.
3. Collaboration and planning are critical, so engage the entire team at the outset.
4. Creativity and fresh ideas are born from different viewpoints, so leverage teams for content brainstorms.
Content should not be an afterthought. By collaborating and making content everyone’s job, organizations can become more efficient and proficient at the content management process and ultimately answer those persistent questions from sales and marketing execs with ease!