If your content marketing isn’t paying off, well maybe you just haven’t had lunch with the right people yet; the right people inside your company.
The recipe for content marketing success isn’t creative masterminds cooking up one great idea after another out of secret recipes. Marketing needs a dash of knowledge from every part of your organization. With the help of all your chefs, you can create a true Michelin menu of epic content – again and again.
But too many marketing teams are isolated from the rest of the company. They think they can cook crisp content alone, but they clearly can’t.
If you create content that isn´t rooted in a company’s strategy, values, products and customers, you won’t succeed no matter how sweet your infographics taste, how spicy your whitepapers are or how neatly you serve your videos. Customers will send them straight back to your kitchen.
Cool content creation comes from the canteen
At some point, you as a marketer luckily HAVE to come out and meet other people – at lunch. The canteen is where you have a chance to talk to everybody in your organization. Too many people just eat with their closest colleagues and get no new inspiration.
Make it a promise to yourself not always to eat lunch with your marketing colleagues. They’re soulless like predators, ready to sell their grandma for a viral hit, and they don’t even know your product in detail. (I’m allowed to write this as I work in marketing 🙂 )
Instead, you can achieve content marketing greatness by sharing a salad with specific groups in the canteen and learn from them.
Get them to talk about their daily work in an informal tone without them feeling they’re being interviewed.
Lunch with the product development team gives you insights
This is a no-brainer. By sitting at the geeks’ table with engineers and developers, you get to understand why your product or service is so great – and what they’re aiming to develop in the future.
Get them to talk about the subtle details they channel their passion into, to create innovative solutions that make your product stand out from the competition. This makes it easier to make content that supports this.
The challenge as a marketer is that you’re often an extrovert person while a lot of specialists are introverts, so you need to bite your tongue and shut up after you’ve asked a few questions to get the conversation going. If not, you’ll just end up doing all the talking and thus learn nothing, John.
Content types they’ll typically help with: Whitepapers, videos, infographics
Lunch with sales gives you USP- and persona insight
Marketing and sales should be natural allies, but way to often we see that they don’t know how to cooperate. But mixing your recipies is a golden opportunity to cook better content and get a lot more clients through the buying cycle.
The good thing is that sales know a lot about what makes your potential customers take that final decision and invest in your product. But they need marketing – as the customers travel up to 60% of the buying journey themselves, before contacting sales.
Talk to sales about which unique selling propositions they use to convince
different buyer personas, and what makes customers run away. Incorporate this knowledge into your content, so you start heating up leads to reach the perfect temperature, before they’re handed over to sales for the final seasoning.
Content types they’ll typically help with: Buyer’s guides, comparison charts
Lunch with customer service puts a focus on customer problems
You should eat lunch with the customer service people, as they know the answers to all the “why”, “what”, “when” and “how” questions regarding your products or service. Talk to them about the things customers ask and complain about and what kind of information they need to make the purchase decision.
This will again suit you better to create content that helps them through the buyer’s journey. It’ll also strengthen your SEO, as these kinds of questions are what people search for in Google, as they complete those 60% of the buyer’s journey before contacting you.
Content types they’ll help with: FAQ’s, checklists, video guides
Lunch with IT makes your content software run smooth
In the digital age, the IT-department often becomes a bottleneck, as there are too many IT-projects for them all to be prioritized. And digital content marketing often needs sophisticated software and programming to succeed.
You’ll definitely want to share a pizza and a coke with these guys to make sure that everything from your website to content hubs and marketing automation software gets up and running. They need to understand what you’re trying to achieve to be able to support it.
Content types they’ll typically help with: Interactive content, web forms, online surveys, Marketing Automation
Lunch with the C-Level people puts content on the menu
These people are the hardest to get to eat lunch with (especially in enterprise organizations), but you should still seek them out, and lunch will be about the only time they’ll have time for you (and will actually listen).
Talk with the C-level to get your content strategy aligned with the overall strategy for the company and to get buy-in for larger content projects. So you want to start a customer magazine to strengthen loyalty and retention? Better talk to the CMO and CFO over a bleeding steak to get it on the menu of the next company budget.
Content types they’ll typically help with: Content strategy, content mapping, content budgeting.
Ready to eat your way towards meatier, juicier content?
Then start inviting people for a bite, so you can get their knowledge for your delicious content marketing cookbook. Bon appétit!
P.S. Want to eat lunch with a seasoned content marketer? Connect on LinkedIn and drop me a line – then I’ll let you know when I’m close to a good restaurant in your neighborhood.