I have noticed a serious disconnect in businesses today. There is no “us” anymore, no connection between one department and another.
Oh, sure, you may have the best team-management platform, and have task-setting and in-team communication down to an art. But is every member of your team regardless of department working with all you have provided to get the best possible results?
The biggest gap exists between sales and content marketing. The two should go together like peanut butter and jelly, yet they don’t.The biggest gap exists between sales & #contentmarketing says @seosmarty. Click To Tweet
Nothing will better arm your content marketing department than interaction with people who talk directly to the audience on a daily basis. Here are four ways you can build better content by encouraging collaboration with the sales team.
3 Ways Content Can Build a Bridge Between Marketing and Sales
1. Build a FAQ section
Your sales team (as well as your customer service team) is likely to answer dozens of questions daily by phone and email. Make sure all the questions they receive are recorded properly (through your sales management platform or other tool) and given to your content marketing strategist to become the base of your content plan.
These questions and, more importantly, their answers can be a gold mine for your content marketing when published on your site because they:
- Receive special treatment in search engine results pages – For example, Google features a site that best answers the searcher’s question in a separate quick-answer box on top of search results.)
- Turn your site into a resource – As such, they build reader loyalty by increasing the number of return visits, subscribers, etc.
- Become a solid ground for the extended content marketing strategy – Answers can be given in the form of webinars, podcasts, video interviews, visual assets (think flow charts and infographics), etc.
One of the most efficient ways to curate popular questions on your site is to create a FAQ section. For WordPress-run sites, Ultimate FAQ plugin is one of the easiest options for adding a FAQ section to your site. It integrates with WooCommerce, allowing you to add a “Related Q&A” section to product pages.
Does Your Content Answer Searchers’ Questions?
2. Create an on-site glossary
It’s easy to single out terms that frequently puzzle your leads and put together a detailed glossary of terms. This way you’ll have a URL to share with your contacts any time they have questions. A glossary means additional opportunities for organic rankings as well (hence new leads coming in naturally).Create an on-site glossary of terms to increase organic search rankings says @seosmarty. #SEO Click To Tweet
You can expand your list of terms using keyword research tools. This step also improves your chance to rank high for many of these terms because:
- The more terms you have in your glossary, the more keywords you can rank for.
- Google evaluates your page vocabulary to determine the quality of your content. Include synonyms and related terms to increase the variety of words.
Use SERPstat to research related terms to create an effective glossary. Its unique feature, “Cluster Research,” enables you to identify high-ranking pages with similar URLs that you can visit to discover related terms from there.Use @serpstat to research related terms to create an effective glossary says @seosmarty. #SEO Click To Tweet
In SERPstat, connection strength is the number that represents how many common URLs these search results have. The higher the connection strength is, the closer the terms and phrases are.
Don’t limit yourself: Most important terms can be developed into 101-type articles. Or you can offer your glossary as a PDF download. This is called “cornerstone content.”
A Nutshell Guide to Proper Keyword Research
3. Create lead magnets
Most sales teams have various content assets being developed year after year — case studies, white papers explaining the state of things in the industry, PowerPoint presentations describing the service or listing the benefits of the product, etc.
All of these documents can be powerful lead magnets. At Internet Marketing Ninjas, we have a separate section allowing subscribers to download our case studies.
This section not only helps us grow our email list, it also generates the most qualified leads: People who download our case studies are more likely to get in touch with us for services. They come well-prepared and almost convinced of the quality of the service.
How to Build Your Email List: The (Better Than) Ultimate Guide
4. Leverage buyer personas in your content
Your customers already have some idea of what they want. They also have a list of things that they need. These facts make up the buyer persona, and while that used to be a concept taught to all people in sales, it is of similar importance to the content marketer.
If you are a content marketer struggling to understand why you need to know personas, here’s a good guide from Content Marketing Institute.
Without personas, you may only be guessing what content your audience wants, which means you are more likely to revert to creating content around what you know best (your products and company) instead of around the information your audience actively seeks.Without buyer personas, you may be guessing what #content your audience wants says @seosmarty. Click To Tweet
By knowing the wants, needs, and even demographic information of a customer base, content marketers can better personalize their efforts. And with your sales team being on the frontline of the customer interaction, there’s no better department from which to start your persona development. This persona development guide offers two questions that are critical to answer to create a persona:
- What makes your existing customers attracted to your sales pitch?
- What makes existing customers buy your products and services?
No one in your company is better able to answer both the questions than the salespeople because they deal with sales pitches and conversions daily.
Have your content writers regularly sit through the sales calls making notes of what the future customers like, dislike, and hate. This will be a huge source of content inspiration too.
How to Build Buyer Personas That Build Sales
Empower your content marketing team
The sales team is probably your company’s most important department. Why aren’t you leveraging it to empower your content team? Why are you treating content marketing like its own island? The two departments should be working together, improving results on a larger scale than through each individual sale.
5 Not-So-Obvious Ways Sales Can Leverage Content Marketing to Close Deals
Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute