From the Trenches

The Salesperson’s Guide to Content Marketing: Part II

Mike Sweeney | August 23, 2011

In Part I of the Salesperson’s Guide to Content Marketing, I outlined how content marketing impacts a salesperson’s goals and objectives.  It certainly struck a nerve with some of my sales colleagues, including one email in my inbox that simply read, “You proved your point. I get it now. So what’s next?”

For most, the next step is the most difficult one. Now that you bought into why content marketing matters, you have to decide how you’re going to contribute to the effort.

There’s a role in content marketing for every type of salesperson, regardless of time, level of effort or writing ability. You can play one of these five critical roles:

1. The Strategist

This role is typically reserved for a sales manager or executive. Having a member of the sales management team in the initial content marketing strategy sessions is invaluable, as you know better than anyone else the mindset and pain points of the target market.

2. The Brainstormer

During content marketing kickoff meetings, and on a consistent basis afterwards, those running content marketing programs need editorial ideas. If you are the type that can turn a prospect conversation into an idea for a blog post, or a customer problem into a topic for a bylined article, you belong in this role.

3. The Writer

Writing has become an essential skill for salespeople. Decision makers expect clear, concise communication, even in informal emails.

Why not take that developed skill and turn it into something bigger and better, like a blog post or even a customer story?  The advantage for you: While it’s nice to distribute content that someone else wrote, it’s an absolute credibility-builder if you are the author of that content.

4. The Distributor

Distribution puts the “marketing” in content marketing. This function requires tweeters, sharers, diggers, thumbs uppers, emailers and upvoters. In other words, you need to help spread the word  about the high quality content.

This is your bare minimum requirement as a salesperson. After all, if you don’t want to share content with your prospects and customers, then you shouldn’t be selling in the first place.

5. The Evangelist

A coordinated content marketing program does not get off the ground and succeed without the support of multiple evangelists inside the organization. Even if you’re not capable of filling one of the roles above, you may be able to influence others to participate.

Again, I want to hear from salespeople and content marketers. Which roles are missing from this list? Is it reasonable to expect a salesperson to select and embrace one of these roles?

For more on how to build an effective content marketing program, view our webinar: Magnetizing Your Content: What If Your Build it, and They Still Don’t Come?

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