3 Totally Unexpected Places Your Company Needs Better Content
Now more than ever, marketers are using content to win the hearts, minds (and discretionary dollars) of customers. Here’s how other departments can learn from–and leverage–their successes.
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Most businesses have finally come around to viewing content as a mandatory part of their brand's marketing strategy, as opposed to an under-resourced afterthought.
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, I see content evolving to be an umbrella sitting over marketing--not the other way around. Content can also be extremely valuable to other areas of the company. In fact, some businesses have appointed a Chief Content Officer for that very reason.
Any messaging that goes out on behalf of or within a company should have a consistent voice, which is why a content department or officer should oversee every department's communications--both internal and external. As your company develops its next content strategy, these three departments should absolutely be included.
Whether reactively addressing clients' problems and concerns or proactively reaching out to make them feel positive about their purchases on an ongoing basis, the customer service department represents your brand daily, including countless direct interactions with your audience.
While unified messaging has always been important, in this day and age it's imperative, especially now that so much customer service is done--and scrutinized--on social media.
To start, proactive communications should be planned and included on the brand's overall content calendar. While not every interaction can be a direct script (although, yes: a content professional should be scripting customer service chatbots), voice and tone guidelines should be provided to the customer service department in the same way they are provided to every writer or social media strategist on your team.
Human resources covers both talent acquisition and maintaining a positive company culture--and content can support both of these functions. For example, does your company's website, social media, and recruiting materials all present your company culture in the best possible light?
Say what you will about millennials (although the complaints about them are becoming a little passe!), but you know you need them. And you also know that they're doing plenty of online research on your company and what it's like to work there before they accept a job. Creating engaging recruitment content (like these very un-corporate recruiting videos) can only help attract top talent to grow your business.
While internal company communications used to be a comic sans flier sort of world, savvy companies have evolved their internal communications to include a first look at company news and initiatives, and to keep employees informed and excited about what is going on at the company (after all, your employees should be your best brand ambassadors).
Why content marketing and sales don't automatically go hand in hand has always baffled me. A key function of content is addressing (and remedying) customer pain points at different points during the sales funnel, yet rarely are content marketers interacting directly with sales to identify those pain points in real time.
A key function of sales is ongoing client outreach--including engagement between purchases--yet rarely are they tapping the content that has been created for just this purpose. Both departments have so much intel and resources that could benefit the other, it's worth (at the very, very least) regular meetings to sync up.
By the way--it should be a two way street with all of these departments. Just as the marketing can benefit customer service, customer service can provide tons of audience insight based on their regular intimate interactions with them. And think of all the company culture content or fascinating employee profiles that could be generated from human resources.
No matter what department you're in, much of the content, resources, and information you need may already exist right within your company.