You’re sitting at your desk looking at your sales results to-date. You’re only two months into the year and you’re already behind plan and last year’s numbers. You look at the forecast and start coming up with ideas on how to make up the loss from the first two months. You can increase outbound calls and in-person visits? You could do an email marketing campaign? You could get marketing to buy leads from industry resources?
Reality sets in. You’re thinking: “How are we going to make sure we hit this year’s goals?”
Let me tell you from experience: cold calling and “stop in’s” without an appointment don’t work. Purchasing lead lists – even from industry resources – puts you at the mercy of the integrity of the person who entered the data (and when was it?) and it doesn’t work.
The only example that might work is email marketing and it's only as good as the data you’ve maintained. There are many options - and ways to be more relevant, timely and engaging.
Let’s take a look at the three content marketing strategies that drive sales (and why!):
1. Content Calendar
Knowing who you are targeting and the problem you're solving is of utmost importance. Consider the following questions as you start creating your calendar:
What search criteria do you want to show up for?
What are your customer's pain points - and where do they go to eliminate those pain points?
Who are the individuals in the organization that will help the most with this step in your process? Research and know who you are reaching (and where they spend their time) Why this is important: "A Goal without a plan is a wish." Your financials and goals are set for the month, quarter and year. Having a plan on how you're going to reach those goals each month is setting yourself up to achieve success.
2. Blogging This is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and provide a platform for your audience to engage with you. Here are some stats:
According to Hubspot, compounding blog posts account for nearly 40% of overall traffic
Companies that regularly blog are 13 times more likely to get positive ROI
47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep (Hubspot's DemandGen Report, 2016) Why this is important: Content is anything relevant that adds value to your reader's life. If your reader/audience knows you're adding value through your expertise in a blog post, it build trust. Trust builds relationships and people buy from people they know and trust.
3. Repurposing Content If you're doing #1 and #2 above, doing #3 is a piece of cake! This process comes full circle. Now that you have a content calendar and blog posts, you will take "snippets" of important and sharable content to post on other platforms - driving traffic back to your website. Here are some ideas:
Create a video highlight of a blog post to add to your YouTube channel
Take a popular blog topic and turn it into a visual infograph
Turn a white paper into a blog series (or vice versa)
Take a "Why this is important" nugget from your blog and post on your Facebook page - ask for examples, agreement, etc. to get engagement
Create an eBook to download Why this is important: The biggest thing repurposing content is going to do for you is save time. The value it brings to your brand is it increases traffic, engagement and expands your email list. People will provide their email if they trust you. Blogs build credibility which builds trust.
While these tactics typically are owned by marketing, the impact their effort has on sales potential is extremely important. Marketing needs sales input just as much as sales needs marketing help. The more the two groups work together the better the understanding and cohesiveness of the company, message and outside perspective of your brand.
What is an example of a sales or marketing initiative you launched and realized afterwards it would have been more successful with the other team's input?