How to Get the Most Out of Your Content Team

How to Get the Most Out of Your Content Team

Every company, big or small, produces content. Sell sheets. Catalogs. Emails. Blog articles. Social media posts. The list goes on and on.

It doesn’t matter if you only put out the occasional content piece or have a full-fledged content marketing program, quality matters! A good piece of content can generate leads, boost SEO and eventually lead to sales. Conversely, poorly developed content can derail otherwise well-planned campaigns.

With stakes so high, most companies smartly hire content managers and copywriters to assist. It’s a worthwhile investment when you consider that their expertise goes beyond correct spelling and proper grammar. Content specialists can:

  • Take broad ideas and focus them to achieve the desired goal
  • Be persuasive and inspire the reader to respond without being pushy and “blowing smoke”
  • Bring new life and a fresh approach to old topics and content pieces
  • Appeal to search engines to help the content rank higher
  • Complete projects faster and better than untrained individuals

Yet, it’s important to understand that content specialists aren’t miracle workers. You can’t just send them an assignment out of the blue with minimal context and expect them to produce gold. But since the entire reason to utilize a content team is to lighten your workload (or the workload of another employee) and free up time for other tasks, how can you efficiently communicate key details without it becoming a burdensome and time-consuming ordeal? That’s what this article is designed to answer.

Regardless if your content team is in-house, a group of freelancers or part of a marketing agency, there are certain details they must know before working on a project to enable them to make it the best it can be. Read on to learn about the essential questions to answer to ensure you get the most out of your content team.

Identify the Target Audience

Something all marketers should understand is you can’t be everything to everyone. Targeted marketing is designed to deliver maximum ROI by focusing attention on your ideal customers rather than every possible prospect on the market.

With this in mind, your content shouldn’t be general and broad. It should address the unique needs, goals and pain points of your target audience. Your content team needs to know specifics of who the target audience is and what they care about so they can craft relevant copy, offers, calls to action and creative that address the audience’s unique needs. 

Here are important questions to answer for your content team:

  • Who are the decision-makers? (demographic, group, job function or title) 
  • What products/services should the target niche be interested in? 
  • Why should the target niche be interested in those products/services?  
  • What problems are your products/services solving for your target niche? (benefits) 
  • Who are your competitors in this target niche?
  • What makes your products/services better or unique for this target niche?
  • Why does your target niche choose you over the competition? 
  • Why does your target niche choose the competition over you?
Outline the Sales Process & Conversions

Outline the Sales Process & Conversions

Does your content team need to know every detail of your sales process? No. However, the content they produce for your conversion-centric marketing process should align with and complement the sales process. By understanding how leads think and progress through the buyer’s journey, the team can create content more likely to drive conversions.

We suggest breaking it down into each level of the sales funnel.

Top of Funnel

Top of funnel deals with cold leads with little to no familiarity with your company. The goal of cold lead content is to get leads to show interest in a topic related to your company, products or services.

Here are important questions to answer for your content team:

  • How does a new lead show that they may have interest in your products/services? 
  • What do they do? (i.e. – search online, talk to peers, utilize social media platforms, read industry magazines, etc.)
  • What are they looking for? (i.e. – product/service specs & info, product/service benefits, product/service options & pricing, etc.)
  • What makes them progress forward?
  • What makes them stop?

Middle of Funnel

Middle of funnel deals with warm leads who signaled interest by interacting with your top-of-funnel content. The goal of warm lead content is to get leads to show intent by responding to a low-commitment offer and/or providing their contact information.

Here are important questions to answer for your content team:

  • How does a new lead show that they may have intent to buy your products/services?
  • What do they do? (i.e. – deeper online research, explore comparable options, discuss solution/options with other stakeholders, call/schedule meeting, etc.)
  • What are they looking for?  (i.e. – info on what solutions may align with the problem, assurance that the solution has the features/functions to solve their problem, alternative solutions from comparable companies, comfort that your business is a safe choice, total cost calculation, case studies, testimonials/social proof, etc.)
  • What makes them progress forward?
  • What makes them stop?

Bottom of Funnel

Bottom of funnel deals with hot leads who signaled intent by responding to your middle-of-funnel content. The goal of hot lead content is to get leads to convert into paying customers.

Here are important questions to answer for your content team:

  • How does a new lead show that they are close to purchasing your products/services? 
  • What do they do? (i.e. – call/schedule meeting, gain approval from other stakeholders, review proposal, finalize order/specs, negotiate, etc.)
  • What are they looking for?  (i.e. final costs & terms, product/service availability, implementation timeline, “how-to” guides, etc.)
  • What makes them progress forward?
  • What makes them stop?
Answer Content-Specific Questions

Answer Content-Specific Questions

The last area to focus on when gathering information to help your content team and get the most out of them is content-specific. This will obviously be the most relevant and helpful background information you will provide.

To create great content, they need to understand what motivates, challenges and concerns your target audience.

Here are important questions to answer for your content team:

  • What are the top 3 challenges your target niche is experiencing?
  • What are the top 3 reasons that show you are qualified to help your target niche?
  • What are the top 3 reasons that show you care about the results you deliver to your target niche?
  • What are the top impacts your target niche will experience if their challenges are not addressed & fixed?
  • What are the top results your target market will experience if you solve their challenges?
  • What are the top 3 current events or trends that you have knowledge around that relate to the products/services you offer?
  • What is new (products, services, research, theory) in the industry?
  • What company information, news or behind-the-scenes tidbits will people find interesting?
  • What common questions do customers ask?
  • What are words to avoid in your messaging? 
  • Are there words/jargon that should be included in your messaging?
  • Are brand, style guidelines and editorial tone established and formally documented?
  • Who are the internal stakeholders involved in the approval process?
  • Who is your primary contact for reviewing and providing feedback on content?
  • What content do you already have?
  • What is the purpose of your content? (Drive sales? Generate leads? Build authority? Increase website traffic? Please your mother? All of the above?)
  • How will you distribute your content?
  • What do you hope someone does after reading your content?
Marketing ROI Toolbox

Start Getting the Most Out of Your Content Team Today

A content team can be an indispensable resource in your quest to generate leads and convert customers, but only if the team is properly equipped with the right insights. By providing answers to the questions in this article, you’ll be setting your team up for success.

It may seem like a lot to ask, but the good news is that it’s a one-time task. Keep the information on file, and you can continue to use it even if your content creators change over time. You’ll be covered from a general overview standpoint.

Individual content pieces such as a blog post or email blast may require a few additional project-specific details. To learn how to manage these kinds of projects, click here. Do you have additional questions about content development and working with a content team? Call us at 815.431.1000 or submit this form to contact us.

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