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One of the first lessons you learn as a content marketer is that your sales prospects don't care about your company. They certainly don't care about your products. But what's absolutely certain is that they do care about themselves.

Smart marketers know that and use it to appeal to their target audience. After all, what good is investing time, dollars, and resources into content creation and distribution if it's going to miss the mark with your prospective customers?

Here are three methods for getting prospects to care about your marketing content.

1. Create content they care about

This first point is an obvious but important one. Start by really understanding your audience and the challenges they face. That begins with defining your buyer personas, fleshing them out, and then unearthing their challenges. You need to understand your prospects on a deeper level to determine what kind of content will resonate with them.

Start by talking to your sales team or listening to recorded calls or demos. Your sales team is on the frontlines, speaking to your target audience every day. Salespeople are constantly uncovering prospect pain on discovery calls and have a wealth of valuable information they can provide to the marketing department. Frankly, they are an untapped resource in most B2B organizations.

You can also attend events, conduct interviews, collect information via surveys and third parties, follow hashtags, scour forums, and turn to the Web to find out what your audience is searching for.

Once you have a full view of their challenges and you have compiled a list of questions your prospects want answered, match those to your content catalog. Find and fill the gaps, and remember that questions shouldn't be answered just on the blog. What about the website, your sales collateral, videos, e-books, and emails? Put your prospects first by leading with a value proposition no matter the content type, and address their needs first.

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image of Randy Frisch

Randy Frisch is a co-founder and the chief marketing officer of digital content experience platform Uberflip. He is also the author of F#ck Content Marketing.

LinkedIn: Randy Frisch

Twitter: @randyfrisch