Is content marketing helping drive sales for your business?
If not, it’s time to reevaluate your approach.
You see, content can be the best sales person on your team if you set it up the right way.
But, you can’t just create content and hope something magical happens. You have to DO something with it if you want to it to be a resource for your sales team that drives revenue for your business.
How Content Marketing Helps Your Sales Team
If you’re going to invest the time and money in content marketing, you’d better make sure it’s actually supporting your sales team and driving revenue for your business.
Not sure how to do that?
Here are a few ways that content marketing can support the efforts of your sales team and ultimately, drive more business for your company.
1. Engage prospects and drive interest.
Content marketing is often used to fuel the top of the sales funnel. But far too often, content is created with a “build it and they will come” mentality.
This will hardly get you the results you’re after.
Instead, you need to create highly targeted and valuable content that speaks to your prospects needs and problems.
Here’s what to do:
- Create content “hubs.”
Instead of simply churning out random blog posts, create in-depth “hubs” of content around a certain topic or idea. For instance, if you are an accounting firm, you can develop an entire hub of content around tax tips for entrepreneurs. It’s not just one blog post; it’s a series of blog posts and pieces of content that are highly beneficial to a highly targeted audience.
- Promote your content. You can’t just let your content sit. Support it with social media, email marketing and targeted digital advertising. Influencer outreach, guest blogging and media relations can also support your content hubs and help drive people to the content you create.
- Drive opt-ins with premium content. Once you are bringing people to your site, you need them to take the next step. But, no one wants to just sign up for another e-letter. You need to give them a reason to sign up. That’s where premium content comes in. This could be anything from an eBook, video series, workbook or resource guide. But, it needs to be something valuable that it would be worth handing over an email address.
- Create a drip campaign. Your opt-in content should fuel an email campaign that’s sent over a series of weeks with additional tips and resources for your target audience. This can help engage prospects further and even qualify potential leads for your sales team.
- Connect with prospects. As people engage with your content, your sales team can follow up with phone calls or personal emails to answer questions and gauge their interest with your product or service.
This is the kind of strategic program that will help drive interest and leads. Your sales team will love you for it!
2. Nurture leads with natural touch points.
It’s important for sales teams to stay in contact with leads.
But, here’s the problem: people don’t like being pitched to.
They don’t want your incessant follow up emails.
Your icky sales messages — “Have you looked at my sales brochure?” or “ Did you see that offer we sent?” will hit the email trash bin faster than you can say spam.
On the other hand, content offers a great way to stay on the radar of leads and prospects. It gives you
an opportunity to reach out in a non-icky way.
For instance, let’s say you’re talking to Bob about accounting software. And you or someone on your team has written an article that provides an article profiling the pros and cons of the top options. Wouldn’t it make sense to send Bob that article?
By sending the article, you are focusing on helping Bob. It shows that you’re listening to his needs, you understand his pain points and that you want to be a resource.
As prospects are considering your product or service, they likely have questions. Developing helpful content can be a great way to answer them and show that you understand their problems and needs.
Here’s what to do:
- Gather questions. Think about all the questions your sales team gets throughout the buying process. What do people ask about most? Write them down.
- Build content to answer those questions. Create blog posts or FAQ pages to answer all of those questions — even questions about your pricing and competitors.
- Add to your site. Make these pages or posts prominent on your website so prospects can easily find it.
- Send to prospects. Encourage your sales team to send these pages and posts to prospects as they ask questions. This will make them look incredibly smart and on top of their game!
3. Provide leads with social proof.
When people are considering a product or service, they want some unbiased assurances that it will work.
Your content can be a great way to support this.
For example, you can create case studies on your site that show how other companies have used your product or service, along with the results they have received.
It’s even better if you can create case studies or use cases for different industries or client types. That way, when a lead asks about your experience with their kind of company you can show them what you’ve done for other clients.
If you can’t share this publicly on your website, create PDFs or private SlideShares that can be sent to inquiring prospects.
Testimonials and reviews are another great option to include in your content efforts.
Here’s what to do:
- Gather case studies and success stories. Talk to your team to uncover your company’s best success stories. How have you been able to drive results for your customers? How have you saved them time and money? Answering those questions will help fuel the case study.
- Write the content. Once you’ve gathered the success stories, you need to write the content. Here’s a great framework for this — state the problem the client was having, share how your company addressed the problem with your product or service and then showcase the results from your solution.
- Post and distribute. If you’re able to add this to your website, you absolutely should. Make it part of the navigation that your prospects can easily find. And, if you can’t publicly include this information on your website, make sure your sales team has access to it so they can share it with prospects as part of the buying process.
It’s time to make your content marketing more strategic. If you follow these steps, your content will become the best salesperson on your team.
Is content marketing driving leads and sales for your business? Or, are you struggling to make that happen?
I’d love to know what questions you have — share yours in the comment section!