Seems like the latest buzzwords in the marketing world is, “content is king,” well, yeah. That’s because it’s true. Whether we’re talking about sales, marketing, or training content, your company’s content strategy has the potential to build its brand, sell products, and improve the quality of your training.
What is a content strategy?
What’s the definition of a content strategy? A content strategy is the process you have in place to write, review, approve, distribute, and continuously improve your content. It involves what content you create, how you choose to deliver it to your audience, and your plans for improving it over time.
If you have a hand in creating, distributing, managing, revising content, listen up! We’re sharing some hints we think your content would give you if it could speak for itself.
6 things your content wishes it could tell you
1. Content creation and strategy must be prioritized
Let’s be honest: sometimes content becomes an afterthought, but a little respect goes a long way. If you want your content to be unique, impactful, and effective, make sure to set aside budget, time, and talent to get the job done.
Content is often people’s first impression of your product, service, or company—it’s vital to prioritize the process of creating, distributing, and improving it over time. But how do you make that actionable? It means having content strategy meetings with important decision makers, setting aside budget to create content that goes above and beyond, and hiring the best people for the job.
2. Know your audience
Equally important to prioritizing content strategy is knowing your audience. Most companies have several—including customers, sales reps, and trainees. The key to great content is including your audiences from the start of your content strategy. This can be accomplished by conducting focus groups, 1:1 interviews, and even ethnographic research.
When you put effort into learning everything you can about your audience, your content not only becomes more targeted, but also something that your people are willing and able to connect with. And that’s a huge win.
If you’re creating content to help sales reps, it will help to know them well. What problems do they face and what information you give them that will help them meet their audience’s needs?
It’s nearly impossible to build content correctly unless you have a window into the heads and hearts of those who will use it. Two audiences you can identify right off the bat: your clients and your prospects. Study how they could use your content, then create it around those insights.
3. Measure the value of your content
There are a few things that happen to ineffective content: it gets forgotten, and it goes unused. These things can be avoided by asking a simple question: Does this content add value?
Once you’ve prioritized your content strategy and done the necessary work to know your audience, it’s time to make sure the content you’re making for salespeople, customers, and trainees actually add value to their lives. Content can do this by telling a powerful story, providing valuable education, or being memorable and entertaining.
4. Bend and shape your content
Here’s the deal: personalize, personalize, personalize. As much as you can, whenever you can. You’ve done the work to learn about your audience, but remember that different things stand out to different people. In the same way, your content should be varied enough that it can meet the differing needs of your reps, customers, and team members.
For this reason, it’s important to incorporate opportunities for reps or trainees to individualize the way they access and use your content. This means allowing them to opt into subjects where they need help, focus on areas where they need personal improvement, and subscribe to have new content in their areas of interest delivered directly to their devices.
When it comes to content for customers, this means having different kinds of content such as educational, viral, personal, and sales—this way, no matter where they are in your sales funnel, there’s content that meets them where they want it.
5. Technology is content’s best friend (and yours)
For us, technology is the conduit through which content arrives effortlessly to its destination. No hassles. No delays. Not only has technology revolutionized the way we do learning and sales, but there are endless opportunities for marketing, as well.
Specifically, mobile has tremendous influence on how we live and do business. Why not leverage it and ensure that your sales reps always have access to the most relevant content? Similarly, when it comes to learning, mobile has paved the way for freedom and flexibility, leading to better learning outcomes.
6. Improve your content strategy through repetition and feedback
Creating content is not a one-and-done proposition. Content should always be on the way to becoming something else, so how do you ensure that you’re constantly improving?
In a perfect world, customers, team members, and sales reps alike would tell you exactly what they think of content, but it won’t happen unless you implement feedback mechanisms directly into your content and strategy.
When it comes to digital, feedback mechanisms on content management apps can provide a view into how content is used, which content is used most often, etc. You can know each time a piece of content is accessed and by whom, helping you understand exactly what does and doesn’t work.
With customer-facing content, feedback collection can be done in a variety of ways—the most important tip for feedback is that you actually use it. Your customers and reps will thank you later.
Use these content tips to improve your strategy
Next time you send out content, think about what it might tell you if it could speak. By using the above tips as a guide, you’ll be creating valuable resources that resonate with the people who matter most.
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