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Collaboration is Key to a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

There is a consistent theme being expressed in all the marketer surveys that are being published right now and that is that you need a content marketing strategy if it is going to be a successful marketing channel for your business.

It shouldn’t really be a surprise but actually it is all the more important where the techniques and technologies are still emerging. Not only that but I believe cultural change and collaboration within an organisation is another a reason why a documented strategy is important for success.

Despite all the predictions that the organisation’s content marketing spend is set to increase again in 2015, I still believe that businesses are not doing enough to make content marketing a company-wide strategy.

Content marketing is still seen as the domain of the marketing department but I think that it must encompass other departments such as sales, finance, customer service, corporate communications, R & D etc.  The reason being that some of these areas of the business will better understand the needs and issues of the customers at a detailed level which arguably marketing is one step removed from.  Not only that but they are also better placed to generate content that answers the needs and issues that talk to the target personas.

All the more reason therefore to have a well-considered and documented content marketing strategy which requires the agreement and participation of the different parts of the business. Involving the other departments from the outset will ensure their contribution and participation once the strategy is in place.

One practical approach to this sort of collaboration is to set up an editorial team that has members from across the business.  Typically this is headed up by a team managing editor who is the principal coordinator for managing the generation of content.  This position should be supported by a content leadership team who will review the content metrics, customer feedback and be responsible for the content calendar and strategy.  In addition, contributors from both inside and outside the organisation can provide suitable content.  The team’s remit beyond the actual delivery should be to help explain the content marketing strategy to their peers and colleagues as well.

Social publishing can also be shared across the business too.  Some consideration should obviously be given to the choice of person with that responsibility – it’s their content that’s important and not their knowledge of Facebook, Twitter et al.

In the past I’ve set up a Twitter account for a business where five people had responsibility for tweeting from their own area of expertise.  They were given targets and prompts on what subjects were hot topics.  This approach significantly increased the level of engagement across the business as different people responded to the different perspectives given by the tweeting team.

Importantly too, there should be greater alignment between sales and marketing.  Content marketing and automation tools allow for the tracking of marketing qualified leads (MQL) to becoming sales qualified leads (SQL) and if you can calculate that then you can calculate the return on the marketing investment (ROMI) – and that’s a figure that the C suite will be delighted to understand.

Marketing should of course champion, implement, manage and monitor the strategy but they do need to collaborate with other parts of the business too.

 

This article originally appeared on the Brightfire blog on 13th October 2014

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