The best content marketers prioritize sales (and love it)48 hours with Chloe Thompson, Head of Content Strategy at Reward Gateway
This article is part of a new content series from Revmade that explores how the most dynamic content marketers approach their work.
Chloe Thompson has a system for her company’s content marketing. And it’s powered by constant communication — and strong partnership — with her sales team.
Last week, a sales development representative shot her an email. “This is FIRE. It’s influencing so many of my conversations today.” The salesperson was referring to a piece of content her team had recently produced.
For Thompson, head of content strategy at Reward Gateway, it’s the fuel that keeps her tight system for content creation and distribution going. She is deeply integrated and interested in the sales process. And the content that she and her team are creating supports that funnel, from long-tail search queries attracting HR managers to her site to case studies that bring the benefits of her SaaS-based platform to life.
Below, Thompson spills how she built a tight system to service the sales and client success teams, tools she can’t live without, ideas to steal and how she spends 48 (very productive) hours.
The Company: A global HR SaaS company spanning the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
Annual revenue: Approximately $60m
Content team size: 3 people in the U.S. (including Thompson), 1 part-time employee in Australia and a freelancer in the U.K.
Content Focus: Website content, blog content, content marketing support for campaigns and a case study library focused on full-funnel activation of HR leaders. Assets include ebooks, infographics, event videos, client case studies, sales enablement resources and more.
Content Assets: Nearly 1,000 pieces that Thompson’s team focuses on growing, mining and repurposing. “It’s all in a Google sheet that is editable by the company, which does lead to some mishaps from time to time,” she acknowledges.
Time spent in meetings each week: 40-50%
Three tools she can’t live without:
- Google sheets for the editorial calendar: “Check at least once a day to make sure we’re up to date.” A member of her team keeps it current. “It’s messy, but it works.”
- Asana for the longer-term to-do list: “I have peace of mind that it’s tracked somewhere.”
- Flora for focus: “If you touch your phone [during focus time], your fake tree dies. Very silly but effective.”
How she prioritizes her day: Thompson is laser-focused on impact and balance. A spin on the classic Eisenhower Matrix helps her team prioritize between low-effort, high-impact tasks and high-impact, high-effort tasks. Anything that helps the sales team sell is considered high-impact and prioritized. For Thompson, it’s about seeing the potential through the lens of the sales impact her team is creating and being motivated by it — without letting it run your life.
“Knowing that content helps our sales team is a huge motivator for me, and framing our work in the context of how we can help others with their day-to-day roles has helped drive my passion for results,” she says. “While I love my job and work hard (two of our company values), I know that I can only be my best self if I’m taking care of myself and not letting work run my life.”
Her next big project: A self-serve content repository. “It’s the unsexiest thing in the world,” she says. But giving her sales team better access to her trove of resources could help her scale — a key goal as her company grows.
Steal this idea: Thompson’s team couldn’t record client interviews during COVID. Instead, they’ve been combing through webinar recordings and editing out power client testimonial snippets, then mixing them with audio background and visuals of the platform they’re promoting.
Here’s how Thompson works across 48 hours:
7 a.m.: Up for the day. Coffee is iced, from a carafe in the fridge, and Thompson settles in for Slack sleuthing. “I lurk on Slack a lot — I call myself a Champion Lurker. I’m on 90 channels at least,” Thompson says. Her routine is ironclad and repeats every day: Handle any emergencies immediately, snooze everything else for 20 minutes (priorities) or 3 hours (non-priorities). On Slack, she’s looking for ways to add value by providing content to answer questions — but also hunting for ideas in her sales teams’ pain points.
9:15 a.m.: Check-in with the head of design to ensure everything is on track for the week.
9:45 a.m: It’s time to set the week up for success, which Thompson does by prioritizing what she’s going to accomplish and checking in with her team. This is the hardest part, she says. “It’s like the Lion King; content touches everything. It’s a challenge, because I can’t be everywhere.”
11:45 a.m.: A walk with a Daily Harvest smoothie to get out of the apartment.
1:30 p.m.: Afternoon check-in with the head of solutions marketing.
2:00 p.m.: The afternoon is dedicated to “getting sh*t done,” including writing, editing and planning the weekly editorial calendar. Thompson deliberately protects her Monday calendar to do foundational work so she can proactively focus. “I try to stack meetings as much as possible in one day, which are typically Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s way more difficult to have a meeting and a half-hour break, because you can’t actually get things done,” she says.
5:30 p.m.: FaceTime with her niece and nephew, who live about 2 hours away. “My nephew shows me Legos, and my niece pretends to be a puppy. It just puts me in a good mood,” Thompson says.
8:00 p.m.: A final nightly check-in on Slack and a check-in with Australia before do-not-disturb is turned on at 9 p.m.
8 a.m.: Tuesday is Thompson’s busiest day of the week. Meetings kick off early with the U.K. sales team and growth marketers, during which Thompson dedicates three hours to getting face time and figuring out how her team can help them meet their goals. “I grab so many ideas that fuel our growth strategy. Meetings are opportunities,” she says.
11:30 a.m.: Thompson always schedules exercise on Tuesdays for balance and to keep her energy up.
It’s a learned habit. “I don’t like the gym. I like pizza. I like wine,” she says. But her company introduced a Boom Bootcamp — a 20-minute HIIT workout that Thompson takes time for every Tuesday, no exceptions.
12:30 p.m.: The afternoon is a blur of 1:1 meetings with direct reports, sales and marketing team meetings and, in between, proofreading, scheduling blog posts, and consulting with her team.
5:30 p.m.: 1:1 with a direct report in Australia, dinner, then another 1:1 with the head of growth marketing in Australia.
7:30 p.m.: A critical nightly ritual: “I look at my to-do list and re-prioritize. I write down the top three things I need to do the next day. I’m also a big believer in adding something to your to-do list that you’ve already done and crossing it off because that sh*t feels great,” she says, laughing. “I’m really type A. What makes me energized is seeing my to-do list nice and clean.”
8:30 p.m.: Crashing on the couch and watching “This Is Us.” R
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