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Why genuine is the key word in content marketing – creating warm sales leads

find expert digital content writersIs your content marketing hitting the right note? Or is it a mere whimper in an already crowded online space? Used correctly, content can be a vehicle to propel your business under the noses of your target audience and an efficient method to warm up those businesses as well.  As with any form of exercise, if you don’t warm up first, you’ll suffer for it the next day.  Creating content to warm up your audience is no different – if done effectively, it entices visitors to take the relationship further.   


Here are some effective ways to use content to produce valuable, warmed-up sales leads:
 

1.     Embrace your personal brand

Content marketing is about projecting a personality through digital content. The personality should speak to your brand’s key values, including reliability, trustworthiness, and credibility. Personal brand is about your audience forming expectations based on how you conduct yourself and the content you share and create. Your voice should be distinctive to stand out from the crowd. 

 

Having a strong personal brand cuts through the coldness associated with marketing - those sales calls and junk emails we love to hate. By building a warm online presence, you can attract leads without having to resort to the overbearing tactics of some traditional sales and marketing tactics.  

2.     Build an online presence

Content marketing works best on the platforms your target audience trust most. For some audiences, this might be Facebook and Twitter; others will look to LinkedIn or newsletters. For effective content marketing you need to know how your target audience uses different platforms, including the timing of interactions and whether they are looking for quick informative hits or a forum for sharing ideas.

 

The best way to learn about your audience’s online habits is to link up with them online by following or befriending them, then observing their behaviour carefully.  

3.     Anticipate the needs of your clients

What can you give people that will be of genuine value? Perhaps there is a key conference coming up for your industry, or a new technology that is making waves; why not create a webinar, white paper or infographic with data people will find useful? Developing content that gives relevant, reliable information in a concise and accessible way will help improve your distinctiveness in the marketplace and generate warmth towards your brand.  

4.     Take the time for genuine engagement

Social media gives marketers the opportunity to engage with audiences as never before; do we really value these opportunities? This takes time but can be highly effective. For example, if someone from a target audience asks a question on Twitter or LinkedIn, take the time to answer in a way that demonstrates your expertise and is genuinely helpful. This helps to build trust and establish yourself as an authority. 

5.     Build closer links between your sales and marketing teams

We all know that there can be tension between sales and marketing, with the different teams laying the blame for poor performance on each other. This toxic dynamic really needs an overhaul if content marketing is going to work for your organisation; sales should feed insights back to marketing so your online offering becomes better and better.  For instance, your sales team might notice a recurring question about your product or sector. Producing content that responds to this concern will help draw leads to your brand. Sales and marketing should be thought of as a virtuous circle, rather than a linear process. Increasing communication through the use of discussion platforms like Slack can really help to bring teams together.  

6.     Focus on lead nurturing

Many marketers think that simply bringing leads into the funnel means their job is done. However, around 79% of leads will never convert into a sale.[ Again, this is about being genuine: it’s simply good manners to continue and deepen an engagement with someone once an initial exchange has taken place. You can nurture leads by staying in touch with regular personalised messages; sending relevant material like eBooks, whitepapers and infographics to them directly; and providing updates and news about key industry developments.  

7.     Build bridges between people

Introductions are a really great way to build online relationships with leads. If someone posts about, say, a new vacancy or event and you know someone who might be able to help, why not reach out and make the connection? Being a connector helps to develop your influence and build bridges. 

8.     Don’t forget - your target audience also conducts marketing

You don’t need to hide the fact that you are a marketer. Your target audience will also be carrying out marketing and they may appreciate your insights and discussion points about what works or does not work for you. Sharing your experiences in this way can help to show your trustworthiness and openness. 

9.     Provide resources for decision makers

In an ideal world we’d all be in touch with the CEOs and C-suite individuals who make the buying decisions within their organisations, but in reality contacts often have to ask for authorisation before making a purchase from you. You can provide content that will help them make this internal request; infographics and presentations can be passed on to decision makers to smooth the way for your product.

With an array of avenues to work with in building consistent connections and leads, content marketing is very much the pillar of creating a trust worthy, informative and engaging businesses whilst providing the foundations to create credible, warmed up sales leads.  How does your content marketing strategy play into your sales funnel? 


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