It will come as no surprise to anyone running a business that content marketing and sales are two components that can increase your chances of success. They are no longer two different entities. How, you might ask?
Yes, content marketing is about lead generation, creating and publishing content to drive more traffic to your website. Yes, sales are about converting, and bringing in the bacon. Gone are the days where these two departments can work in isolation.
Setting up for content marketing and sales success
They’re a match made in heaven. A really well-positioned offering, clear offer aligned to your target audience gives you clarity and increases your chances of success. It’s a good stopping point to mention that you can’t chase the whole market, you need to have something relevant to approach your audience with, something that adds value and has clarity on your brand positioning.
Let’s say part of your content marketing involves posting a blog. A well-written blog aligned with the interests, wants and needs of your ideal target audience. Is that enough? What if you’re getting thousands of hits a month, is that enough? Not to your sales team. You need to turn those visitors into leads. Advertising and affiliate links (links with tracking cookies so you know who’s clicked and maybe made a purchase!) can help bring in revenue, but if you don’t follow up, you won’t convert. Follow up, follow up, follow up and there are loads of strategies you can employ to do this.
Why else is this relationship so important? If content marketing and sales get their heads together, you can learn a whole lot more about your ideal audience for your brand design. Hone in on what works, understand what’s not working. Sales let you learn about the wants, needs, likes and characteristics of your clients. Using this information means you can tailor your content marketing so it really adds value and you can create more engaging content than ever before.
Content marketing and sales are a power couple and can really play off each other to boost business growth. Content teams can see direct interaction with what you’re putting out there whilst the sales teams can watch how this converts. Imagine understanding what works and doing more of that! You can tailor, tweak and customise your approach to your ideal audiences and make your business a formidable force!
In order to make sure you’re getting conversions, optimise your content. Hopefully, you’re doing this anyway. Little things like watching social media likes and interactions and seeing how many read your blogs for instance. What are your KPIs? Are they in your monthly sales and marketing report?
If you let your audience get to know who you are, you’re building relationships within the work you already do. It becomes effortless. Create a clear call to action and lead them to a contact form or another lead that gets them interacting directly with you and the services you provide (even if this happens on another blog!) As long as your content is interesting, provides value and you have a compelling pitch your sales teams with have the leads rolling in.
Not all conversions are good (Sorry!)
Just because you’re getting more conversions isn’t necessarily a good thing. If you ask your sales team, I can guarantee they will probably agree that one or two great leads are better than ten cold or uninterested ones. So how does this relate to content?
So your content can be thought of as a funnel for your sales leads. If you choose topics that will interest your potential leads and target audience, you automatically filter out anyone who might not bring needed value and revenue to your business. With feedback from sales, it means the content team can create better-targeted topics in line with your brand design and more relevant information and pitches or calls to action in posts.
Learn your customers’ wants and needs
The sales experience your business had can definitely be used to write better and more valuable blog posts. Sales can learn what problems customers are facing, what it is they’re looking for and anything they’re specifically worried about. Once you have all of this information you use it your advantage. Social media posts, blogs and adverts can be tailored to drive more interest for whatever content campaign you’re running at the time. It tailors and refines your brand design!
At Sixth Story, our sales and content marketing teams work hand in hand for brand design. They share information and talk to each other to make it work and that our time is being used wisely! Firstly, yes content and sales need to work side by side but these things need to succeed individually too. If, for example, the sales team isn’t very successful, how can it work successfully with the content team and vice versa? Speaking of which, both teams should feel comfortable being able to talk to each other and work together. Ideally, the more interaction the better.
Next, segment what you can. Look at your audiences and leads. There are probably clear groups – like how have they arrived at your business and found you. Did they come via content? Did they come via sales? Knowing how they got to you will only increase understanding of them and let you do more of what works.
Give each tactic a bottom line. Break down and crunch some numbers. Look at conversion rates. If something isn’t working, something has to change. Whether that’s the content you put out there or the approach from the sales team, don’t be afraid of change! Which also means you should measure everything you do along the way: social shares, reader comments, page visitors. Then take action. Experiment with your tactics until you see a notable positive difference for your brand design (thank us later!)