Carolyn McMaster | November 7, 2016
You’ve got a great content marketing strategy. You’re laser-focused on content that matters to your audience. It’s relevant and useful. You’re getting great results.
There’s just one problem: no one inside your company, aside from the marketing team and a couple of avid social media posters, is using the content. That’s more than a little dispiriting—it means you’re getting less value from your program than you should.
This situation is not unusual. “If we build it, they will use it” is not a viable strategy—sales and business development teams will not magically learn about the content you develop and how to use it. You have to tell them. This applies whether your organization is relatively small, with a program that consists of a newsletter and blog posts, or a large enterprise with multiple campaigns involving webinars and video.
Whatever the circumstances, there are a few easy things you can do to make sure that sales, business development and other people on the front lines actually use your content marketing—and use it happily.
Collaborate early and often
Bring users into the process at the start. “Users” means the sales team and anyone else who might use your content. Find out what kinds of content will help them and what form it should take (webinars, white papers, podcasts and so on).
Business development and sales people are usually closer to customers than marketing, so they can provide insights into what kinds of content customers are looking for at various stages of the buying process and help you create accurate customer personas, among other things.
Provide tools and tips for using content
If you want colleagues to share that great video or white paper and use it in their work, it’s not enough to tell them it’s there. Give them tools to make sharing easy, such as email text, tweets and social media posts, along with suggestions for ways to use it (as a sales call follow-up or LinkedIn post, for example). Once in a while, remind the whole company of what’s available in the archives.
Identify metrics for employee content sharing, such content downloads and views, retweets and social posts, and track them. Share the information, and ask your colleagues for anecdotal information about what’s working and what needs improvement.
Take these steps, and you’ll get more value out of content marketing and gain insights into improving it. Chances are that you’ll make your colleagues’ jobs a little easier—and over time they’ll become enthusiastic partners.