Enterprise content teams and multitasking startup marketers have one thing in common: They both tend to publish reactive content instead of content that provides proactive customer service.
Whether it’s trying to find an angle to leverage current events (the flood of “Coronavirus and X” articles over the past year-and-a-half comes to mind) or reacting to industry changes, both large and small content teams use existing stories as a jumping-off point for new articles.
But for different reasons. Large companies’ bureaucratic silos often discourage original thought. It’s easier to react to existing content than to step out and do original research, collaborate with other teams to brainstorm new ideas, or thinking up innovative ideas.
Startup marketing teams, on the other hand, “have no time to think strategically,” as CEO coach Dave Bailey points out. Strapped for time, they opt for the easy choice – reactive content.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – for any business, large or small. As Bailey puts it, reactive anything boils down to “working on other people’s priorities.”
For enterprise content marketers, “other people’s priorities” often includes constant departmental meetings, waiting for content approval emails, or creating content simply because the C-suite ordered “a blog post on X because it’s trending on Twitter.” Even though by the time it goes to publication, the trend is as stale as week-old bread.
Not to mention their tendency to stay inside their departmental bubble. No original ideas there.
For startups wanting to scale upward, it’s usually a matter of having no time to think ahead. So, they create content that tackles current customer challenges instead of anticipating future needs.
For both kinds of companies, we have good news. With only a few changes, your content teams can make the switch from reactive to proactive content.
Use Predictive AI to Deliver Proactive Customer Service
While predictive AI isn’t a crystal ball, it comes pretty darn close. Using it to discover proactive content that will engage your prospects, as well as the optimal time to publish, will position your content strategy on the leading edge of your industry.
Predictive AI can also identify challenges your customers will likely face in the future. Beating your competitors to the punch with content that identifies and tackles future problems makes your brand look practically psychic.
Step Out of Your Departmental Silos to Collaborate
Wouldn’t you love to know what your dev teams have up their collective sleeve for the next few months? You can – if you take a step outside your marketing comfort zone and engage in content collaboration with your company innovators.
That way, you can put your heads together to brainstorm content about upcoming products before they even go into production. Build anticipation among your prospects, explain the upcoming products’ features, and, just before the products go to market, teach your prospects to get the most value out of the new arrivals.
Brainstorm with your engineers to troubleshoot your products before customers start calling in with complaints. Similarly, collaboration sessions with your customer service department can also help you identify potential issues that might pop up in the future. Creating content that anticipates future challenges and solves them marks your brand as one they can trust.
It helps to have a central online location to streamline the collaboration process. Without one, collaboration can become a hassle.
And, when communications get stuck amid a tangle of communication lines, companies lose money – to the tune of $11,000 per year per employee, according to a Mitel study.
Create an Overall Management Strategy to Connect Your Content
All too often, companies don’t have a cohesive content management plan – and their content shows it. Instead of a seamless strategy that connects each piece of content with an underlying theme, their content looks like a patched-together hot mess.
With a central content repository, your teams can reference past content to identify your brand voice and message, ensuring that your content communicates a consistent message across all channels.
Having such a strategy in place is especially critical if you outsource some of your production to agencies or freelancers. Make sure that your brand style guide is up to date and includes customer personas and some examples of your brand voice and message so that your content stays on point.
Update Older Content to Reflect a More Proactive Point of View
Even evergreen content can use a fresh coat of paint now and then. Review all your older posts to see if there are any new developments or emerging issues in that topic area.
Updating this content can help your audience head off those issues before they happen. And, a revamp can provide cutting-edge insights on any new industry developments.
Provide After-the-Sale Content for Maximum Value
In a siloed organization, marketing stops after the sale. Content teams hand off the baton to customer support and move on to nurture their prospects on their buyer’s journey.
However, as a blog post by customer support software supplier Nice Reply points out, 87% of American adults would like a company they’ve done business with to contact them proactively. Doing so improves their customer experience, those interviewed in the study revealed. And, on your end, a proactive approach increases customer retention by 3-5%.
Task your content teams to create blog posts, email newsletters, and videos that teach your customers to get the most value out of their new purchase. Collaborate with your development and engineering teams to write troubleshooting guides in plain language. You’ll empower your customers with confidence and take some of the burden off the backs of your customer service teams.
Use Content Calendars to Keep Your Production on Track
A content calendar – or multiple calendars – can serve as a roadmap to get content into your audience’s hands quickly, well ahead of their need for it. With every step of the process and the person responsible for completing that step documented, you’ll have everything in place to publish on time.
Having a content marketing platform that has everything you need from ideation to publication to analyzing the results – in addition to a calendar – is essential if you want to maximize your production of proactive, relevant content.
DivvyHQ is that platform. It’s a comprehensive solution to content management, and you can try it for 14 days absolutely free. Start your free trial today!