When it comes to strategic marketing alignment with content, the right path forward is often challenging to uncover. First of all, every company is different; the “growth hacks” that work for some companies may not be the right solution for others.
Fortunately, there are a universal set of steps—no matter what type of company you have or what industry you serve—that can help you bring focus to your content and more closely align with your overall marketing goals. Here’s a framework that Kapost developed from studying the production processes of hundreds of successful teams:
Rule 1: Agree to an Organization-Wide Goal
What does your company hope to achieve with content? What are your messaging pillars? The answers to these two questions are important to define early, especially within complex organizations in which teams aren’t always in sync. As Kapost’s Key Capabilities of Alignment report puts it:
“Without a shared vision, teams will naturally retreat into silos, set their own priorities, and begin to create content ad hoc. Similarly, if the marketing strategy isn’t shared widely and communicated clearly, teams have no visibility into one another’s plans or progress.”
Some additional tips that can help:
- Create company-wide messaging pillars document and a style guide that one team owns and maintains
- Ensure that content marketing decisions live in one central place at your company
- Create systems to streamline and share communication—by creating a help desk, for instance
Rule 2: Create a Priority System
When it comes to strategic marketing alignment with content, one of the biggest challenges is prioritization. How do you know where to devote your time and attention when there are, quite literally, hundreds of ideas that you can pursue at once?
The key is to survey your stakeholders from sales to account management, marketing, and customer success. Focus on creating content that delivers maximum utility in as many areas of your business as possible.
For instance, you could start with a list of frequently asked questions that your sales team receives. Create an eBook or series of eBooks that address these pressing questions, which then allows you to both increase your lead generation and simplify your sales enablement process.
Some additional tips to streamline your workflow:
- Maintain a central, organization-wide repository of frequently asked questions across your organization
- Administer a regular survey on content and eBook topics, crowdsourcing the content you’re looking to create
- Allow team members to nominate ideas that will help them save time in their sales, customer support, and marketing
Rule 3: Reinforce Your Goals
It’s not enough to create standards for content and marketing alignment. Your company needs a team that actively monitors progress and ensures that teams are reaching their goals. That’s why Kapost recommends creating a governance board—departmental leaders whose teams are stakeholders in your content operation. As Kapost puts it:
“These representatives will provide integrated plans for their individual teams and make sure that initiatives align with the organization’s overarching business goals and strategy.”
Some tips for an effective governance board:
- Appoint leaders from multiple teams including sales, customer success, account management, product, and engineering
- Allow for open-ended brainstorming sessions
- Record meetings to provide internal transparency into content decisions
The biggest challenge that content marketers face involves creating structure from ambiguity. With careful planning, however, teams can create more alignment with their buyer lifecycles and journeys. Structure is key and starts with a shared vision.