Marketing teams create content to educate prospects, support customers, reinforce branding, and facilitate sales. Ideally, those assets begin to form a library from which content can be pulled on demand.
Those customer-centric resources have the potential to be used in numerous ways by—
sales people who want to provide information or support a sales proposal;
account managers who want a quick answer for a customer question;
executives who are preparing presentations for trade organizations or supervisory boards; and
marketing team members who are developing campaigns or preparing upcoming editorial calendars.
But will everyone be able to find what they need?
That's a serious question. In Refactored's 2018 Sales Enablement Benchmark Survey, only 16% of respondents said their sales members have the resources they need to accelerate and close deals. Your website’s customer-facing search function probably allows visitors to search for specific keywords. But what if a sales person wants to find just content for your manager persona, aimed at solving their questions when they are at the stage of comparing your product to competing offerings?
A Completely Different Kind of Content Search Tool
Refactored's client InfinityQS ran into this challenge. After years of creating diverse resources—including eBooks, white papers, blogs, videos, industry articles, case studies, webcasts, and more—the company’s library contained hundreds of pieces of valuable content. InfinityQS needed a way to enable their sales, marketing, and other internal teams to locate the right piece of content without spending hours poring over the collection.
To solve this issue, Refactored built a content search tool in Kentico EMS that is hidden from public view and structured for the needs of internal teams.
Content Tagging—You’re It
To help InfinityQS navigate their content library, we began by creating content tagging categories.
A natural starting point was to assign each piece of content a resource type: blog, video, case study and so on. From there, we worked closely with sales to determine the types of categories that would be useful to them as they have conversations with stakeholders in various roles, industries, and organization sizes, and who have a range of issues they are looking to solve. We ended up with a narrowed set of categories:
Product. Aside from InfinityQS’s two primary platforms (Enact and ProFicient), we included add-ons, like DMS and Dynamic Scheduler, and featured components, such as dashboards.
Persona. Based on our initial work analyzing InfinityQS customers, we developed a list of personas who might act as decision makers or influencers when purchasing and using the company’s solutions.
Industry. This category lists the primary manufacturing industries in which InfinityQS software is used.
Pain point. Again based on our initial research with the company, this category specifies the primary customer challenges that InfinityQS solutions address.
Funnel. This category lets searchers see which stages of the buying funnel an asset best addresses.
With categories in place, we devoted some time to applying tags to every resource. We also included a summary field to provide a short description of what each piece is about. Going forward, the marketing team will mark the appropriate tags and write the summary at the time the content is created.
Multiple Uses: Sales Enablement and Beyond
Now, InfinityQS’s internal teams can quickly find the best asset to provide a prospect, customer, or colleague for any inquiry or during any stage of the buying journey.
The search tool is already especially useful for sales enablement. During a long sales cycle, sales people may reach out to contacts multiple times during different points in the buying journey. They may need to address a progressive series of questions from different stakeholders who hold various roles in an organization. Because the tool enables direct links to resources (bypassing registration gates if needed), sales people can provide useful assets as part of their ongoing conversations.
Likewise, as account managers work with current customers to help them get more from their software or upsell, it’s important for them to have resources at their fingertips to offer as touchpoints, educational support, or just conversation starters.
Not only is the tool useful for locating existing content for a variety of needs, it also includes a matrix tool to help marketing identify content gaps during editorial planning. Users can simply choose any two categories and produce a matrix that shows how many resources are available across the entries in those categories. For instance, using selections from the the Funnel and Pain Point categories reveals the number of assets that discuss costs at a level that is appropriate for prospects in the evaluation stage of the funnel.
How Can Your Content Work for You?
What tips can you take from this project? Each piece of content in your content library should be easy to identify and parse, so that everyone who might need to consume that content as part of a sales, training, marketing, or other activity can quickly determine its value.
Where should you start? Begin by reviewing your messaging and content plans to create categories around personas, buying stages, products or services, and customer types, pains, challenges, and benefits. Make sure that your categories sync with your sales team’s needs, too.