27 March 2024 |

Toward company-wide content integration & alignment

By Tracey Wallace

At any company, there are a lot of people who create content of one type or another. 

Your content marketing team, of course, produces your blog and demand gen content. Your copywriters. Your technical writers, who might be creating your help content. Your in-app writers. Your customer education writers. Your case study writers. Your social media writers. Your press release writers. Your developer writers / marketers. Your customer marketing writers. Your internal comms team. Your team who manages your YouTube channel, and the scripts needed there. You may even have a community forum, and a team that manages content and commentary in there. 

At start-ups, a lot of these different types of content creators might be rolled into just one person. But the bigger a company gets, the more scale content needs, and well––you often end up with full fledged teams for each. 

No B2B company is saved from this. 

At BigCommerce, our content marketing team largely ignored our academy team. They weren’t ranking the way we were, and so they didn’t compete. We didn’t really think much of them outside of that. What a waste.

I hear that’s how it is well…almost everywhere. Friends and colleagues who have worked at Salesforce say it is the same there. Others have confirmed this was true at their B2B SaaS companies. 

I’d venture to guess that the more top of funnel a marketing team gets with their content, the less likely that content team is to be closely integrated with writers and content creators who live outside of marketing. But, that’s just a theory. 

Recently, I’ve embarked on a mission along with my customer education team to address this head on––to create a truly integrated, company-wide content engine. 

And wow, this is not easy. 

That’s because the content properties on which these content teams publish are all owned by different teams, with different goals, and with different target audiences. 

It’s only when you really zoom out that properties, goals and audiences become the same (your company’s). And at that level, why wouldn’t the content your customers most want and the content your prospects most want be virtually the same, or at the very least covering the same theme or topic?

Let’s look at a quick example. If your content marketing team is going to cover ABM marketing, for instance, for the month of April––why wouldn’t that same topic, or at least related angles, be part of the content calendar in April for every other web property content lives on? 

  • Web
  • Blog
  • Resources
  • In-app
  • Education
  • Help 
  • Community
  • YouTube
  • Case Studies 
  • Sales enablement 
  • Partner enablement 
  • And so on

And if the answer is it’s not relevant to the audiences in those channels, well…why not? Is that topic the wrong one for the audience? Have we just not found a relevant angle for the content property? Why wouldn’t something that resonates for one subset of your audience resonate for another? 

My vision right now is to be able to pull a content lever in marketing or customer education, and by doing so, pull upon the full power of an integrated content engine that touches every aspect of our audience’s ecosystem. To have a unified voice, narrative, and theme across our content to maximize impact for every single member of our audience, and reach those outside it, too. 

We’ve just started. And it’s already clear it won’t be easy. This isn’t just integrated marketing (which in and of itself is hard!). This is integrated content… across so many different teams, audiences, and formats. 

And while we know the goal, we don’t have any examples to follow. 

So, my question for you all: How do you manage different content properties and teams from marketing through to customer education, help and in-app content? Do you coordinate efforts? Do you share a production process? Do you even share guidelines? 

Where does content marketing begin and end at your organization, and why there

The premise here feels easy, but as always, the devil is in the details. If any of you have done this well, or have even thought it through and have reasons for giving up, I’m all ears. 

In the meantime, it’s fun to have a vision folks are excited about––to unify content creators across an entire organization, and work to bring visibility and alignment to every corner. It feels big, and achievable––which often, is all you need.