While content execution happens within the marketing team, content planning should involve the entire company. Content is yet another sales tool, and as such, some your coworkers will be helpful in providing insights that inform your content plan.
There are a few specific people and departments to speak with when developing your content plan for the New Year, including sales, the CEO and the CFO. With their insights, you’ll be better prepared to attract readers, speak to potential customers, and drive sales.
Talk to Sales
Goal: Answer the right questions
Content needs to be valuable to be effective. One way to increase your value is to ensure you’re answering the questions your potential customers have: “Today, the role of content is to provide practical solutions to problems your customers face. Your customers need to know that you have their best interest at heart,” says Adarsh Thampy of Conversion Champ.
Your sales team is a treasure trove of valuable information about frequent customer questions, concerns, needs and more. Talking with them will give you important insight for the foundation of your content plan.
To get this information you can send a quarterly email or sit down with the team to have an in-person discussion.
- What questions do you get most often?
- Are there specific concerns people have with your products/services?
- What do people say they like most about our company? Brand? Product?
- Has anyone mentioned a competitor and why they did or didn’t like them?
- Has anyone asked about a specific piece of content, like a white paper or ebook?
With this information, you can determine what types of content you should create, topics to focus on and product or service features to highlight.
Talk to the Social Media Team
Goal: Identify content performance insights
Social media promotion is a significant part of content success, and insights from the social media team will help you develop a content strategy that followers will love.
The social media team can also help you determine which types of content to create based on your top social platforms—because not all platforms are created equal:
“Gone are the days where one carefully crafted message will reach the masses. With the increasing number of social platforms available to businesses, content must be platform specific, and you must build a presence on each channel,” says Holly Rollins, President of 10X Digital and CMI Content Maven award winner.
For example, if Facebook generates the most leads, you want to create engaging branded content catered toward Facebook—your social team will know exactly what that content should look like.
- What content does best on what platforms?
- What content do our followers like most? What do they like the least?
- Which content drives the most clicks vs. shares vs. likes?
Talk to the CEO
Goal: Learn high-level objectives
While the CEO likely has a hand in every area of the business already, including content, it’s smart to sit down one-on-one to gain more insights into the company’s high-level objectives. For example, one might be to increase sales from marketing by 20 percent or while another is to improve brand authority.
With these goals in mind, you can create a content plan that makes them a reality. Perhaps the best way to develop brand authority is through finding influencer authors to guest post for your blog. Maybe to increase sales, you plan on creating a white paper that potential customers can download.
- What would you like to happen with content this year?
- What objectives are the rest of the company focused on right now?
- What have you seen competitors doing that we could do too?
Talk to the Tech/Dev Team
Goal: Understand the limitations of your resources
The tech team is of utmost importance for content—they likely manage and maintain you CMS backend, whether it’s a blog or proprietary platform. As such, they know what can and can’t be done, making this an excellent opportunity to vet all your top ideas that may require development of some sort.
For example, if you plan to create a white paper, you’ll need a new page that can host the download form. That may be something this team handles.
- What content related updates are being made to the site this year?
- Can you help me do X, Y, and Z? If so, what do you need from me?
You may want to create a list of questions about metadata, content functionality and more to determine what development needs you’ll have in the coming year before the meeting.
Content is a company-wide asset, and as such, it should be created with multiple goals, departments and team members in mind. Make time to get all your questions answered before creating your rock-star content plan.