Sales driven content marketing
Learn how to use sales and marketing resources to deliver a content marketing strategy that drives leads and adds to your bottom line
Sales driven content marketing
How to create content that performs
to reap rewards
Content is a serious business asset, creating that all important bridge to potential customers, hot prospects, current customers and the world at large.
And so it follows that it shouldn’t just sit in the marketing department. It’s there for the whole organisation to optimise and reap potential benefits from. And, no surprises here, in particular the Sales team.
“The new reality is that sales and marketing are continuously and increasingly integrated. Marketing needs to know more about sales, sales needs to know more about marketing, and we all need to know more about our customers.”
The importance of aligning marketing and sales has been a prominent topic for a considerable amount of time and is particularly relevant to the creation of content. Marketers generate content to aid lead generation and Sales should be using content assets to aid the whole customer journey.
When looking at content’s role as a sales driver, how can you ensure peak performance? In the first instance it’s imperative that marketing and sales work together.
Content has to be generated with the need of the Sales team in mind and it’s crucial that Sales communicates those needs to the marketing team.
The Sales team is in the perfect position to gain invaluable insight into customer needs at each stage of the buying cycle and beyond. By communicating these pain points to the Marketing team content can be generated that specifically addresses and provides a solution to these needs.
“Consumers do not buy products. They buy product benefits”.
And thus content can be used proactively as well as reactively. By pushing this type of content out, whether via social media, blog, website etc you’ll be answering prospects' questions even before they’ve had a chance to ask them.
So get the Sales team to carefully track questions, problems, needs. They’re right there, on the front-line so to speak. But this invaluable information needs to be recorded and stored and importantly, accessible to the marketing folks. Content creators can then use it to create content that is genuinely useful, content that provides solutions. And then, hey presto, this gets passed back to Sales. It’s a perfect cycle.
This process serves as a perfect and obvious starting point.
Watch Hubspot's CEO Brian Halligan give his views on the best content to drive sales on the right and read on for some further tips on how to generate your own content to achieve sales success….
Tips to get your content driving sales
It’s all about informing and providing invaluable and relevant information. And in this way, you will be well on your way to building trust. By providing something of value you will be earning a repeat audience who will begin to display loyalty.
Think of not only answering pain points with solutions but also what else might be of interest. Perhaps a thought leadership piece on industry trends that could be sent to prospects via Sales.
But you’ll also need to grab attention in the first instance. So ensure that your content is accessible. Use strong visual assets to grab attention and interactive elements to maintain it. There are a number of tools out there that can help you through the process of content creation. Research them.
Find ones that work for you. And get cracking. It will though be essential that whatever you use has a solid analytics package built in. Only by measuring your content performance will you be able to improve it.
47% of B2B buyers consume 3 to 5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson.
DemandGen – 2016 Content Preferences Survey
Understand exactly who you are generating content for. Use personas. And listening to your current customers will be crucial in providing solutions that will delight potential customers.
Revisit what type of content has delighted your current customer base and both repurpose and produce more of the same. And get feedback on what their pain points are too – this will be equally important in feeding what kind of content you should be best generating and could provide answers to questions potential customers may have before they even have to ask them.
Make sure your content has every opportunity to be read. It’s imperative to have a presence on social media even if it doesn’t appear to have a direct impact on lead generation. Your potential customers will be there and it provides you with another opportunity to let them know how you can help them.
Hashtags, mentions, re-tweeting their insights, direct communication via replies or messages are all important to experiment with. Be friendly. Be social. And make sure your Sales team shares content too. The more exposure, the better.
Use Case studies and Testimonials
These are probably one of the most effective ways in which you can prove to potential customers how your product or service is so absolutely right for them, especially in a B2B content.
Word of mouth recommendation has been proven over and over again to help drive sales. And today hardly any purchase is made without rooting around to see what others have to say. From a simple paper back book to a sophisticated accounting package. So get creating awesome and engaging customer case studies and get them out there to all those potential buyers.
Analysing the heck out of your content’s performance will ensure you can optimise its performance by gearing it specifically to helping serve potential customers.
Use data gathered on reader behaviour. The more granular this is the more you’ll be able to successfully steer your content in the right direction.
Page by page performance, length of time spent on a piece of content, where readers drop off, what they share on socially – all these things are powerful insights that will hugely help knowing what content to create more of and how to improve existing content.
“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”