Right Off the Press: Advice from Ardath Albee, Content Guru

Today I was lucky enough to kick off my first day at Content Marketing World with Ardath Albee at her pre-conference workshop, Making Content Work for the Salesforce. Truth is, even if I leave Cleveland tonight, I’ve learned enough! Ardath gave me actionable tips and plenty of inspiration to hit the ground running when I return.

Here’s what I learned.

ARDATH ON SALES…

  • Salespeople spend 35 hours per month searching for content or creating their own. 41% don’t know how, when, or which content to use.
  • To create better content, ask Sales questions: “What kinds of questions do you get asked?” “What are the biggest obstacles you encounter?” and “In what ways do you currently customize content?”
  • [This one is my favorite] Give Sales a Q&A library — a catalog of your content, categorized by answers to common buyer questions.

ARDATH ON SALES VS. MARKETING…

  • Marketing content is about the what and the why; sales content is about choice and change.
  • Sales content should 1) arouse curiosity, 2) address the buyer’s context, and 3) create the vision for the future.
  • Who should agree on what a lead is, and the process for transitioning it from Marketing to Sales? Executives have to lead the charge.

ARDATH ON GOOD CONTENT MARKETING…

  • Prospects and customers are solving different problems, so the content for them has to be different.
  • It isn’t a content marketing “faux pas” to talk about your product (especially in later-stage content). The key is keeping the focus on benefits, not features.
  • Any good conversation is, in effect, a Q&A. Make sure you’re advancing the customer conversation with good answers and next steps.
  • “Newsletters are B.S.” They’re too often used for companies to promote themselves. Persona-targeted nurturing is far more useful for all parties involved.
  • Never leave readers at a dead end.

ARDATH ON REPORTING…

  • As email metrics go, ignore opens and focus on clicks.
  • To fine-tune your KPI reporting, think of executives as another persona. What do they want to know?

If you’re here at Content Marketing World, I hope you have a great conference. I’m Instagramming the event, so follow me — @ContentCharisma.


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