Align Your Company Content As Real Business

You are about to embark upon the highest priority article, that will put you and your organisation on the pathway toward achieving success with content. You need to know, however, that it’s going to be one of the most challenging articles you will work through.

But if you stick with it and really commit to this process, you will not become one of those cautionary tale organisations that struggle with content and ultimately gives up.

The fact that you’re reading this right now is already a good sign. You understand that buyers have changed and that, as a result, you now need to change. You get the power of what content can do for your organisation, you’ve read the case studies and been to the marketing conferences.

That said, you’re probably still straining to get your company to fully adopt inbound.

“I’m too busy to help you with content.”

“Digital marketing doesn’t work for businesses like ours.”

“Yes, inbound worked for them, but we’re different.”

Your people are saying these things to you because they don’t see what you see. They haven’t caught the vision. That is what this playbook is all about, arming you with the tools, knowledge, and support you need to make them catch that vision.

Step 1: Help Your Company Leaders Understand Inbound
Step 2:Define Your Content Mission Statement

If you want to see remarkable results with inbound, you and your team need to come together in the understanding that what you do with content goes far beyond simply marketing your products and services online with blog articles, videos, social media posts, or podcasts.

The No. 1 mistake companies make with inbound is not understanding and adopting this subtle shift in mindset.

And it’s a costly one, too.

Those companies that fail to catch that vision of becoming those extraordinarily helpful teachers will see fewer members of their team saying, “Yes, I’m all in!” on inbound and creating content and, ultimately, will have fewer clients walk through their doors, as a result of those inbound efforts.

So, if you want your team not only to be bought-in on inbound but also wrap their arms fully around it, they’ve got to understand what it is that you’re doing and why.

And that’s where your content mission statement comes in.

Creating content is a full-time job. To treat it as anything less than is to guarantee other priorities taking precedence over your inbound efforts, slow (if not completely stalled) content production, and a lack of commitment from your team.

“But my hands are filled already, there is no way I can make time in my schedule to handle all of this.”

We completely agree, which is why your next step is to hire a full-time content manager.

What Is a Content Manager?

Your content manager is the “owner” of your inbound and content efforts, so they don’t get deprioritised and stuff actually gets done.

They can go by many names; chief content officer, content marketing manager, content manager, chief storyteller, brand journalist, inbound marketing manager, content creator etc.

You can call them whatever makes sense for your company; the important thing is that you have this dedicated person within your organisation.

What Does a Content Manager Do?

Here is an example of what a “successful” week for a content manager might look like:

  • 5 to 15 hours: Creating at least three new pieces of content.
  • 1 to 3 hours: Email marketing for the company.
  • 3 to 5 hours: SEO, analytics, etc.
  • 1 to 2 hours: Social media and community building.
  • 3 to 5 hours: Creating premium content, including pillar content, eBooks, webinars, templates, etc.
  • 2 to 4 hours: Website enhancements, such as new pages or placing calls-to-action.
  • 3 to five hours: Continued education and training, e.g. online certifications.
  • 2 to 4 hours: Meeting with the sales team for brainstorming, training, and more.

This is by no means a complete list, nor is it reflective of how you might structure this role so it works best for your company.

10 Qualities Your Content Manager Must Possess

The best content managers are those that embody the following qualities:

  • They love to write.
  • They’re a skilled editor.
  • They’re excellent interviewers.
  • They “get” social media and embrace it.
  • They have solid video editing skills.
  • They’re likeable.
  • They know what makes people tick.
  • They’re organised and goal-oriented.
  • They’re obsessive about reporting and analytics.
  • They’re an out-of-the-box thinker.

As a note, some of the best content manager hires we’ve seen — including for ourselves — are journalism graduates.

How to Hire the Right Content Manager

Here are a few activities you consider adding into the hiring process for this role:

  • Give them a poorly written blog draft and ask them to edit it.
  • Give them one outline for a single article and ask them to write two different articles from it.
  • Give them a list of blog titles and have them list all of the interview questions they would ask a subject matter expert for each individual topic.
  • Give them a question that is to serve as the topic for a blog article. Then, have them interview you and return a completed blog (or video) addressing that question within 24 to 48 hours.

Also, don’t forget to ask about their personal interests. Do they do any writing for fun or professional on the side? Do they love to edit videos in their spare time? Do they have a well-established social media presence?

You want to find that person who not only can excel in a demanding role, but also is a passionate, creative individual who genuinely is excited about what they will be doing.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, your buyers want to answer as many of the questions they have about a product or service as possible before they buy, so they can feel confident they’re making an informed purchasing decision they won’t regret later.

More importantly, your buyers want to be able to find those answers easily online without having to speak to you or someone on your sales team.

Create a “Home Base” Document for Your Brainstorm

Before you start brainstorming or soliciting ideas, the very first thing you need to do is create a document that will be the home for the entire backlog of questions and topics you’re about to collect.

You’re about to gather potentially hundreds of content ideas from your team. By creating this document in advance, you’ll have a complete digital marketing editorial calendar for blog articles, videos, and more by the end of this process.

Make Your Own List of Buyer Questions

Think of every question you’ve been asked by a prospect or customer, with a special focus on questions that are rooted in fears, concerns, or potential problems. Then, write them down.

Do not reword, re-frame, or paraphrase those questions. Write them down exactly as those prospects or customers would ask them while searching online.

Talk to Your Customer-Facing Employees & Teams

Write an email to your prospect-facing team members (sales, customer service, etc.) and ask them to write down the 20 questions they’re asked by your buyers about your specific products and services.

Your email should:

  • Include a deadline by which they need to respond – a few days, at most.
  • Make it clear from your messaging that this is a leadership priority.
  • Tell them to write down those questions in the exact words of their buyers. Tell them not to reword or re-frame those questions as you (the business) would ask them.
  • Tell them not to include questions that are specific to your company — hours of operation, contact information, etc.

Resource: Content Brainstorm Example

Here are examples of the questions you might find in our content brainstorm document:

Cost

  • How much does content marketing cost?
  • How much does it cost to work with an content marketing agency?

Problems

  • What are the most common problems with content marketing?
  • Why am I not seeing the results I want with content marketing?

Comparisons

  • In-house marketers vs inbound marketing agency
  • In-sourcing your content vs outsourcing your content

Best of Lists

  • Best content marketing agencies
  • Best practices for launching an content marketing program

Still need guidance? Let’s chat desirekings27@gmail.com

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