SEO wants longer content, your sales team wants shorter content — How can you please both?

Posted August 26, 2021 in
Content Content

John Becker

Revenue and Features Editor at IMPACT

For content managers, how do you balance the thoroughness that Google likes to see with the scanability and brevity your sales team might want for assignment selling pieces? Can the same piece serve both ends?

I have my ideas, but I'd be interested in hearing yours!
Liz Murphy , Ramona Sukhraj , Nathan Dube , Bri Stauffer , Mark Wilson , Katie Martens , Betsy Francoeur , Jeremy Sutton , Paul D. Grant  
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Mark Wilson
I think the slightly blunt answer is to convince the sales team of the benefit of long-form content to both lead generation and qualifying those leads. How many companies have a blog with, say, bi-weekly 300-word articles that do absolutely nothing to grow the company? 

More collaboratively, though, we lean on video a lot in our assignment selling, since it's more palatable as a first touch for many. The videos we link invite them to continue researching with the longer stuff.
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John Becker
Great points, Mark!
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Betsy Francoeur
My opinion is long-form content brings a lot of value. Some topics require more or longer explanations. And that's ok. If you're tackling a topic that needs longer-form content, write it out and then look for ways to break it up into a series, or into a blog post that leads to an e-book, etc. That way you're still getting the important information across, but doing it in a variety of ways.
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Ramona Sukhraj
I think it's just a matter of organizing/optimizing your long content so that sales can find what they need. With the right headers, bulleted lists, etc. even if the piece isn't the shortest, they can still quickly find their answers and guide a prospect to the right info!
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John Becker
Right on, Ramona!
Nathan Dube
Not all topics can be spread into 1,200 words... Just provide value and the answers people are looking for and you will find that even a short post can be valuable/revenue-generating for the people who are looking for those answers... Algorithms are not everything... The most human company wins. 
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Nick Bennett
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Nick Bennett
At the end of the day, you win when you focus on solving for the reader. If you solve for them, you solve for Google.

Google says "thorough content is better" but really they are saying "just answer the question!" A 2000 word article that doesn't answer the question is still a bad article.
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Tom DiScipio
Love what  Nathan Dube shared.

To expand... I would argue that it doesn't matter what the sales team or the search engines want. That should be secondary to producing content that will satisfy the needs of the prospect or buyer.

^Sales will appreciate it because buyers will come to conversations happier and more educated, and Google will appreciate it because you solved for the human.
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Mark Baratto
I agree with a lot of the comments already here. I think when you show your sales team that they will close more sales in a faster time, AND be able to eliminate unqualified sales calls because of content, they will be on board.

Something you/they may want to watch is Liz's free course on "The revenue team approach to sales enablement content."  Her course goes through some important points like:

  • What sales enablement content is (and isn't)
  • What a revenue team is and how the revenue team model is the key to your success
  • How to run powerful content brainstorms with your sales team
  • How to leverage Liz's custom-built revenue content brainstorm tool
  • How to report on the ROI of your content, so no one ever questions your value

If you haven't already, give this one a listen since there may be some nuggets in it to talk through with your team! 
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