Consider the following scenario: your sales team has spent the last 6 months clamoring for new content, even when your marketing team is producing 10 one-sheets and 20 blog posts a month. Or here’s another one: you spend $10K on writing and designing an amazing product tutorial that no prospects end up reading.

You’re scratching your head, wondering what’s going on, and frustrated by the extreme lack of efficiency that you’re facing.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. This pattern repeats itself across organizations and teams, regardless of company size or market positioning. The reason? For many companies, content development is a relatively new process. It isn’t well-optimized, and many fast-moving organizations are ‘figuring it out’ as they go along. The end result is content that flops.

What’s the Deal?

Your marketing collateral isn’t bad. In fact, it’s probably awesome. The challenge that you’re experiencing is one that has less to do with quality and everything to do with a deceptively subtle business concept called product/market fit, which this guide from Buffer explains well.

Here’s the basic idea:

If you take a look at the most successful products on the market today, you’ll see that they share one trait in common: they tackle a very specific pain point, solve a problem, or meet a real need. As one example, take a look at a company called Calendly, which uses automation technology to take the pain out of scheduling meetings. Another, bigger example is Amazon: the retail giant makes it easy for consumers to find and order products.

Just like a product or service, content needs to tackle a real need or answer a question that your audience might be asking—you need to follow the same processes that your development teams are using to ensure a strong product/market fit. You need to stop thinking of content as marketing collateral and instead, begin thinking of these resources as mini-products that fulfill specific business and customer needs.

It’s this mindset that can help you determine what content to develop. Instead of taking guesses, you’ll make sure that every asset fulfills a specific and focused use case. Your content will be more efficient and higher performing as a result.

Get Focused: Essential, Easy-to-Follow Tips

At a high level, sales and marketing teams should make sure that all marketing collateral has a purpose. Not sure how to get started? The following tips can help:

  • Identify key themes that are arising from your sales conversations. These might be pain points that lead your prospects to find your company or points of friction that prevent sales conversations from progressing.

  • Figure out discussions that team members are having over and over. While these conversations are signs of a healthy, growing business, they also signify potential inefficiencies. Repetitive discussions will hold your team back from exploring new business opportunities, and you need to find a better way to tackle them. That’s where content comes in.

  • Audit your sales processes, and identify essential discussion points that are missing from ongoing sales conversations.

At the end of the three steps above, you’ll have a big list of themes, pain points, and opportunities for additional discussion. From there, categorize these concepts by your key customer segments and verticals. Then, create a rank-ordered list by company priority and need. From there, brainstorm potential titles for content.

This simple process will help you ensure that you’re creating the right content and that each of these assets are fulfilling specific customer use cases. It’s product/market fit simplified.

Final thoughts

In the world of content development, less is more. You don’t need hundreds of content assets to fulfill your goals: you need a few heavy hitters that can carry you far. The concept of product/market fit—and corresponding processes—will help you achieve this exact goal.

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