A client recently asked me how his employees could help our agency in marketing their company.  The business and the website are relatively new, so the CEO is desperate for new leads.  He has a team of smart, aggressive, motivated sales people who want to help the business grow, but they don’t know where to start.  They understand that inbound marketing is much more effective than outbound marketing tactics, such as cold calling.  They know our online marketing agency is working on increasing website traffic and maximizing their website conversion rate, but they want to help as much as they can.  The entire team is willing to write blog posts, send Tweets, make videos, write white papers, post photos – whatever it takes to get to the next level faster.

So how should a company with a team of employees with the time and motivation to help with marketing actually focus their time and energy to get the phones ringing?

The biggest challenge for most businesses is content.  Anyone can create a 10 page website with an About Us page, a Services page, and a Contact Us page.  The challenge is that your website should do more.  It should segment customers based on who they are, what they need and where they are in the buying cycle.  Websites must connect with customers whether they are ready to buy right now or not. Websites must anticipate what customers need to know in order to take the next step.  Of course, all this really means is that great websites need great content.

The first step in getting a group of employees to help take a business to the next level is to ask the right questions.  So I met the the client’s entire team of people and we reviewed a number of questions about their customers and their business.

Customer Questions

  • What are your customers pain points?
  • What problems are they trying to solve?
  • What are your customers typical questions before they buy and after they buy?
  • What are your customers most common sales objections and concerns?
  • Why do your customers buy or not buy?

Business Questions

  • What is your value proposition?
  • What is your elevator pitch?
  • Who are your competitors and what do they do better than you?
  • What is your key differentiator from the competition?
  • What are your business’ internal strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your business’ external opportunities and threats?

Armed with answers to these and many other questions, we created the following documents:

  • A value proposition or brand promise
  • An elevator pitch – short and long version
  • A 1 page business plan

Next we took an inventory of where the business is today:

Leading Indicators (in your direct control)

  • Number of web pages and PDFs
  • Number of blog posts
  • Number of Facebook posts
  • Number to Tweets
  • Number of YouTube videos created and posted
  • Number of Pinterest boards and pins

Lagging Indicators (results for marketing activities)

  • Number of social media likes, follows and shares
  • Number of page one Google rankings
  • Number of website visitors
  • Number of inbound sales calls
  • Number of web forms received
  • Number of qualified sales leads generated by the website
  • Number of sales closed from web leads

Finally, we created a list of goals of where the company would like to be relative to all the leading indicators listed above.  We created a bonus program for employees helping to increase the quality and quantity of the company’s on-site and off-site content.  At the end of 2013, the employees that contribute the most to the content marketing program will receive significant bonuses based on their individual contribuions.  This plan is good for the company and the employees.