You’ve heard that content is important for sales. It’s one of the best things you can invest in for increasing the number of prospects, leads and new-business opportunities you have. But once you've invested in contention creation, how do you use it?
Try out these insights for a few ways to use your business's content to supplement your sales efforts.
The best content is focused on what your buyers care about. It’s the answer to the problem for which they’re searching. It’s what compels an action, and how you position your content to cut through the noise is extremely important. Seller insights, customer research and empathy are what’s going to set you apart in knowing what is valuable to your prospective new customers. Developing an "ideal buyer" or "buyer persona" that outlines what a particular buyer is struggling with, what business problem your service is uniquely positioned to solve and where this person’s attention is will give you a leg up with starting a dialogue through your content.
Distribute Natively, Sell Socially
Content can be distributed to prospects through more than just email blasts and website links. Distributing content natively is an often overlooked nuance to "social selling." More than just a buzzword, social selling is the process of actively prospecting, connecting and interacting with potential customers through social platforms. Twitter and LinkedIn are obvious choices for this, but Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even Quora, Pinterest and Reddit can be maneuvered into social selling vehicles.
The not-so-secret formula for interacting and eventually selling on social is to be authentic, to not expect a transaction or sale without multiple touchpoints and interactions and to operate natively on the platform—try to speak the language of each audience (i.e., clever comments on tweets, Instagram direct messages and hashtag structures, Reddit AMAs, etc.)
Pay to Play
In the "Great Sea of Content" that exists on the internet, it can help to boost your relevance with your target customers to run a flight of sponsored ads alongside your content. Depending on where your target market is spending their time, there is usually a way to feature your content to relevant users—for a price.
Spending dollars in interactive, programmatic or PPC ads can prove fruitful if you can maximize the money you're spending. It can be difficult to dive into the world of paid digital advertising, but many marketing agencies, even some internal marketing teams, have PPC, interactive or social media coordinators that specialize in digital forms of paid advertising. These specialists can help you with the science and art of getting the most bang for your buck in paid reach. Using Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram ads—in addition to Google AdWords—can give you the boost you need to increase the number of "right-fit" prospects interacting with your business's content.
Pro tip: LinkedIn is offering users free marketing credits to sponsor content as the platform shifts to a more interactive and social-professional network. This is a good way to try your hand at managing a spend and boosting your content on a business-minded platform. (And it's free, which doesn't hurt.)
Use your content to your advantage by leveraging your expertise, insight and competitive advantage with prospects by offering content in as many packages, forms and mediums as possible. Written, video or audio content are three primary ways content can be consumed. Supplement blog posts and whitepapers with more consumable forms of content, such as infographics—it provides a nice change of pace for frequent consumers.
Video content is performing at staggering numbers of late, and audio content is experiencing a mild resurgence with podcasts, internet radio and Google Home and Alexa Voice. The more you can diversify and "upcycle" existing content for different levels of consumption, the more you’ll get users interacting with your content—and the more sales opportunities you’ll likely have.