Is 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
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
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
4. Take the time for genuine
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
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
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
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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