I met with a new client to talk specifically about core messaging priorities and how they align with the business’ and customers’ needs. But we went on a bit of a birdwalk, and before I knew it, we were in the realm of the sales funnel and sales strategy.
What Does Sales Strategy Have to Do With Content Strategy?
Apparently, for this client, a lot. We couldn’t even start to talk about messaging priorities for the website, because we kept getting hung up on a (not immediately apparent) broken sales funnel. This was a long-tail, high-price-point, SaaS business. But I could see this applying to other verticals and industries as well.
It all started with an analysis of audience challenges and obstacles. Knowing exactly what’s in your customers’ way — whether it’s a lack of confidence, an unclear call to action, or a distracting video — can really help you re-shape your content so it’s more effective at satisfying your audience quickly while achieving your business goals.
Customer Path to Purchase
Sometimes you have to look outside the website experience to find these obstacles. They might appear in the first call to the company, the first visit to the company, or in the service/product offerings and pricing structure. It’s impossible to determine the content strategy without these audience obstacles out of the way.
Content Strategy Beyond the Web
I have a well-loved content strategy process that gets me and my clients where we need to go most of the time. But that’s just the foundation. Every business is different, and content is delivered in many different ways: words on (any) screen; personalized, interactive digital; visual; verbal; mobile; social; text/chat; phone and in-person conversations.
Knowing not just the path, but when to divert or change the path, is … HUGE. Because if we don’t, we’re only optimizing part of the experience. It’s like creating the most amazing diving board to a shallow swimming pool.
My recommendation? Invite your content strategist to sit in on your sales strategy meetings. S/he just may reveal new opportunities, as well content solutions to persistent challenges, for the business as a whole.