Ask the decision makers of any enterprise-level business which department should have responsibility for content marketing strategy, and they’ll undoubtedly name the marketing department.
It makes sense at first consideration. After all, it’s a marketing strategy and that is what the marketing team is for. But restricting the responsibility of developing and carrying out your content marketing strategy to your marketing department only is a very shortsighted view.
The fact is, content can benefit many, if not all, departments in your business. Content can be a powerful tool for recruitment, sales, customer service, and many other functions of the organization.
Despite this fact, most brands don’t have a content marketing strategy that considers and has input from every department. If this is true for your business, you’re probably missing out on opportunities, and potentially creating content that doesn’t fully align with your company vision.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the other departments that can benefit from content marketing.
Sales is the most closely related department to marketing, and it’s logical to include your sales team in your content marketing strategy.
While traditionally it was the job of the marketing team to capture leads and the sales team to convert them into sales, in modern times, the customer journey rarely follows this linear path.
Content can be an important tool for your salespeople too. It can be used to educate customers about products, build brand trust, and nurture leads further down the buying funnel.
We’re not talking about sales copy here, which is another kind of content, but rather more thought leadership content – the kind that drums up customer interest and brand awareness without trying to sell to your market directly.
This type of content may not be as obviously essential to your sales team but it’s every bit as valuable.
2. Customer Service
While it’s the job of the sales team to create new customers, it’s down to customer service to keep your existing customers coming back for more.
Existing customers are more valuable to a business than new ones. A study conducted by customer data platform Optimove, which looked into holiday season shopping behavior, found that repeat customers completed transactions worth 30% more than first-time customers.
For first-time customers to become repeat customers, they must have good experiences interacting with your brand and using your products. This is where your customer service team is worth its weight in gold.
So how can content help out in customer service? Firstly, by taking some of the weight off your team. Educational content, such as FAQs and tutorials, means that your customers and users can answer many of their own questions and problems without needing to contact you.
Posting content on social media accounts and other places where your customers can interact with it also opens up the conversation so you can gain valuable feedback and insight into your audience.
3. Human Resources
Your content not only helps to attract potential customers, but it can attract your future employees too.
Content that represents your company values helps to build your brand presence and can be an effective way of attracting talent that fits with your corporate culture.
The HR department can also use content in many different ways with your existing employees. Internal content marketing can be used to educate and train your teams, boost employee engagement, and promote free and open communication in the workplace.
Using employee-generated content can be beneficial both internally and externally. It helps your employees to feel like valued members of your organization, and it promotes your brand in a genuine and authentic way, with a human face.
Several major brands use content marketing for HR in this way. One example is Cisco, who uses their “We Are Cisco” channel to promote content featuring their employees and demonstrate why they are such a great company to work for.
4. Public Relations
Your PR department is another area that has traditionally always used content. But it’s time to think beyond traditional press releases and pushing just another kind of sales message at media outlets.
Your PR team can use your content strategy to produce more valuable and in-depth content that has much more value than a salesy 400-word press release.
In fact, when you’re focused on producing really high quality content and promoting it in an effective way, you’ll find that your content almost does the job of the PR department for them.
Great content attracts publicity naturally. Rather than waiting for the press to get the news out about your next product or service, why not focus on your own promotional channels?
Getting Your Whole Company Involved with Content Marketing
So once you’re sold on the idea of going beyond your marketing team and getting all your departments involved in your marketing strategy, how do you manage dealing with the input of so many different voices and viewpoints?
First, you must educate your department leaders on how content can benefit them, and make sure they understand the importance of collaboration.
It’s often the case that other departments feel they have quite enough on their plate without taking on some of the responsibilities of the marketing team too, so it’s vital to promote the benefits of content marketing.
Make sure you have open channels of communication so that all employees can contribute their ideas and volunteer their time for producing content. A Slack channel or Trello board can work well for this purpose, or regular brainstorming sessions built into team meetings can be productive too.
Give each department a level of autonomy over the content they produce and encourage teams to share and cross-promote content produced by other teams. A company style guide and social media guidelines help to make sure that content meets your quality standards and is reflective of your brand.
Finally, don’t forget about demonstrating the results of your content marketing and how it relates back to each department. If a content campaign has attracted a 200% increase in applications, make sure HR knows about it. When the success of your content strategy is demonstrated in facts and figures, its benefits for the whole company will be impossible to deny.