At the heart of every marketing strategy lies a piece of purposeful and compelling content. From a business’ search engine rankings to its social media analytics to its webinar views, content is the puppeteer behind the theatrics.
That’s just the beginning of content’s magic…
Recently, sales teams have taken a seat next to marketers on the content wagon, utilizing content to do some of the heavy lifting in terms of generating and qualifying leads. Not surprisingly, it’s working. Content is saving salespeople time and money while also bringing in quality leads and working buyers through the sales funnel.
FOUR Ways Content Can Increase the Quality of Leads :
So, how is content performing an entry-level salesperson’s job with such flair ? Below are FOUR ways sales teams can leverage content to increase lead quality.
1. Lead nurturing : The more informed the customer is, the happier the company is. Content is an easy way to make sure your entire team is consistent in its messaging and in educating potential clients — no need to lose a head over something a salesperson said.
This nurturing is especially important early on in the buying process, as this is when the client is just getting to know your company, understanding your process, and determining whether you’re credible. Rather than aggressively asking a potential customer to jump on a sales call, it’s a lot less intrusive to ask him to download a whitepaper or read an article.
2. Qualifying : This particular content strategy can save sales teams time and money. By using content to show how interested a customer is, you can gauge who’s ready to buy, who to jump on a sales call with, and who has no idea what your company actually does. Through downloadable forms that ask specific questions, content can even tell you if a customer has the budget to spend on your service or if the person engaging with your content is a decision maker at the company.
3. Increasing lifetime value : There’s nothing more frustrating than spending time, money, and effort trying to land a sale, only to have the client cancel after two months. There’s an acquisition cost to everything. By using informative content to educate your client on what he will actually be paying for, you’re creating more qualified leads and allowing potential buyers to decide if the two of you would make a good match — for the long term.
4. Building authority and trust : Distributing content not only on a company’s website, but also through credible publications, will build a sense of trust and transparency between your company and customers. Publishing influential pieces of content can showcase your company’s expertise, giving you authority over a particular niche in your industry. This method of content sales can both attract new customers and retain current customers.
How to Apply Content to the Sales Funnel :
Think of content not only as a puppeteer, but also as a shepherd leading a herd of clients through your sales process. I know, it’s an interesting image, but stick with me. This is a phenomenal way to use content; you can tailor it to your sales funnel, ensuring high-quality leads in the process. Here are three crucial steps to using content this way :
1. Create content for each step of the sales funnel : Start off with a broad piece of content that’s non-promotional, like a blog post or thought leadership piece. This will generate interest. Continue to build awareness through whitepaper downloads or webinars, and then end with a very specific piece of content targeted toward serious potential buyers — something that addresses specific questions clients may have before signing on the dotted line.
2. Match content to buyer personas : It’s important to know who your different potential customers are and what type of content will attract each of them. You can create different funnels for different personas, and then lead them through the sales process with the content they’ll engage with most.
3. Identify leads according to content : A well-thought-out funnel will allow you to gauge where a lead is in the funnel. For example, say a few potential clients viewed an educational blog post by your company. Take advantage of this by setting up a re-targeting campaign so every person who reads that blog post will now see display ads for your company on other sites, ensuring your company stays top-of-mind.
By employing a well-executed content strategy, anything from whitepapers to thought leadership pieces can aid in weeding out ill-fitting leads and strengthening the probability of gaining what you need the most: the perfect client.