Content Marketing and Sales? Why?
Content creation is not what most people think of when they think of sales tools. Yet, content creation can be the foundation for generating warm leads that actually go somewhere. All too often, good salespeople burn out, because they are cold calling to people who are not interested in what they are offering. In the past, the definition of a good salesperson was someone who could make 300 call per day and find the one nugget in the gutter. However, the technology revolution brought us the internet and social media. Now the game has completely changed.
Cold Calls vs. Warm Calls
People are highly turned off by the traditional sales process and they would rather look up information and, from there, contact sales by themselves. Cold calling may not ever go away, but it is becoming less accepted in today’s culture. So, companies need to change and adapt to the times. If people are going online to get information, then we need to go online to provide information about our industry, services, products, and companies.
By appealing to the customer, we eventually warm them up and becoming a thought leader. The goal of providing content is still to convert them into leads, but this is a process that happens with the customer as they are visiting your blog. On the first visit to your blog, they will not likely know who you are. On the second, they will know who you are, but only know a little about your company. Over time, they will learn more about what you do, based on the content your company is writing about. As time goes on, they may click over to your main website and later, when they need something, they will know that you provide that and you have already demonstrated expert knowledge on your subject. Now you have a warm lead.
Understanding Your Buyers
Your content offering cannot be random. By random, I am not saying that you would be selling life insurance and blogging about fuzzy pink bunnies; your content can be on topic and still be random. If your content offering is random, your audience will also be random. So, the first step in writing good content is understanding your buyers and their buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a fictional character that outlines a real personality type that your company is targeting to do business with. By understanding your buyers and who they are, what their problems are, what their goals are, etc., you can effectively structure various campaigns and content to appeal to (and help solve the problems of) that persona. For instance, this blog post is a part of a campaign that is primarily targeting marketing professionals, but also some business owners and sales people who do their own marketing. I am confident that many reading this will fit into the marketing persona.
Developing Content that Meets Their Needs
Once you understand who you are writing to, your ability to connect with them through your writing becomes increasingly more accurate. What you are writing about is something that they are looking for or at least something that you believe they should utilize. So, it is important to write about things that appeal to your target persona or at least is relevant to them and explains why it is relevant. It is best if your content fulfills a legitimate need that the persona has.
A look at this blog will tell you that I am offering content about generating content and I am not charging or pitching a Blue Phoenix Creative service. In this blog post, I am simply discussing a topic that is of interest to marketing professionals. For some, what I am discussing here may already be known; for others, it may not be known. Regardless, the content still fits the needs of the target demographic as a whole. The more you understand your target personas, the more refined and specific you can make some pieces of content.
When writing your content, remember who you are writing to and why you are writing to them. Ultimately, you want to gain a contact that appreciates what you have to offer and is already warmed up to your company. Don’t forget that this is a process for the prospect.