Silos can hold your team back, whether it’s a breakdown in communication between marketing and sales or marketing functions that simply don’t work well together.
Too often, content marketing is treated as something separate from the rest of your brand marketing. As a result, brands are losing opportunities to amplify their content marketing efforts and support initiatives across the marketing and sales organization.
Breaking down marketing silos can help maximize your brand results and prevent you from missing critical opportunities along the way.
Why silos happen in marketing
The silos are coming. Adage notes: “Companies create silos in marketing to decentralize their operations and encourage expertise in different areas. Silos have some advantages but also pose obstacles in a world where flexibility and the ability to change are important.”
While decentralized operations can help you focus on talent with niche expertise to drive your campaigns, it’s important not to let silos get in the way of collaboration, communication, and integrated marketing initiatives.
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Marketing silos cause brands to miss key opportunities
Silos can pose unique challenges to marketing teams, from introducing logistical risk to inhibiting your ability to get the most from your investments. However, these obstacles must be recognized in order to break them down.
To help you better understand how marketing silos can limit your growth potential, here’s a closer look at some of the opportunities you can miss when you’re stuck in a silo.
Amplify brand content
Content marketing is most effective when it reaches the right audience. However, amplifying distribution through broader company channels can maximize your return on investment. While content marketing generates powerful organic search traffic, it often takes time. Using other channels to accelerate its growth and exposure can encourage high-performing content, growing audiences, and greater impact.
When faced with marketing silos, your content marketers may not have easy access to getting content on social media channels, in newsletters, or supported by a paid advertising budget.
Increase return on investment through strategic reorientation
The usefulness of content rarely ends with its original purpose. An eBook that explores a topic in depth might have excerpts repurposed as blog posts, quotes excerpted for social content, and customer testimonials used for sales support materials.
However, when silos prevent teams from communicating, it’s easy to miss the opportunity to integrate content into drip campaigns, use it in multiple ways across the organization, and ensure that it works hard throughout the sales and marketing lifecycle.
Look for opportunities to bolster campaigns with highly relevant content that matches the campaign message. For example, use content marketing channels to release a combination of assets at a specific time to generate peak engagement for a key message or event.
Building on PR opportunities
Public relations and content marketing can be synergistic if the teams driving them have a common vision and effective communication. PR opportunities can extend their reach by helping to imagine, create and publish related content that reinforces key messages about company and product details in a way that resonates with your audience. A strong partnership between PR and content marketing can also fuel sponsored content and guest posting campaigns.
Increasingly, PR professionals are called upon for expert commentary, and content marketing teams have the experience and resources to provide it. However, if PR and content marketing aren’t communicating, these opportunities rarely happen organically.
Sharing ideas and best practices
Different branches of your company’s marketing organization are actively working to build the same brands. Over time, some teams collect valuable data and lessons that could benefit the entire marketing organization to strengthen content and brand positioning. Data from social media management, for example, can inform future content marketing decisions. At the same time, insights into the content that most engages your readers can enrich email marketing campaigns, newsletters, and sales enablement initiatives.
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Strategies to break down marketing silos
Business marketing initiatives thrive when content marketing is fully integrated into the larger marketing suite. If your content marketing team has always operated in silos, there are ways to break them down for more effective collaboration.
Here are some industry best practices:
- Meet regularly to share your work: An ongoing weekly, monthly, or quarterly meeting involving key leaders and contributors from your marketing team can help build a common vision. These meetings can focus on broader brand goals and provide visibility into what teams are working on, making it easier to spot opportunities for collaboration.
- Explore quarterly or annual project schedules: Different parts of marketing and PR can be planned weeks, months, or even a full year in advance. Consider finding a way to centralize your calendars; Then review them with your extended marketing team to integrate your content strategy with other aspects of your brand marketing.
- Share data and metrics: Businesses need to develop strategies for sharing data and marketing metrics. Some departments find that short, regular introductions provide the best insight into other teams. Others send out a monthly newsletter with upcoming programs, recent data insights, and expert commentary to share best practices and ensure transparency.
- Embrace a cross-functional team design: Whenever possible, design your teams to work together cross-functionally. For example, when launching a content marketing initiative, structured meetings with PR and social relations teams can reveal opportunities to support and expand their reach. At the same time, these teams can find content to fuel their campaigns.
Marketing silos can be a natural outgrowth of decentralized expert teams. Breaking them down feels less natural, but your efforts can help ensure that your content marketing and in-app marketing teams don’t miss critical opportunities to build your brand. When content marketing works alongside your larger marketing department, your business can pull all of its resources together to support your most important marketing goals.
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