Ah, the internet. It’s great, isn’t it? While the internet has fueled so much change (most of it awesome), it’s also presented an incredible challenge for traditional marketing teams: your marketing just isn’t working anymore.
You used to be able to buy some lists, spam them all with information about your products, hope some of those people bite, and palm them off to Sales.
Prospects used to be like, “Yeah, maybe I do need this product for my business! Why not!?”
Today, prospects actively ignore your messages. You send them an unsolicited email, and they wonder who the hell you are and how you got their contact details – not a great first experience.
Here are the most likely outcomes:
- Their inbox is at full capacity (placing your email waaay down the list in the Promotions tab) – they never see it.
- They see it – and mark you as Spam (your deliverability rates plummet).
- They see it, and even open it (yay that increases your open rate!), then straight away flip to the next one (aww, no click through).
- They see it – and outright delete it without even opening the email (shunned!).
In this situation, your sales teams go hungry… so hungry, in fact, that they have to resort to some good old fashioned cold calls. Fun, right?
Not. And expensive.
So what can you do about it? How can you adapt your marketing strategies to make them more effective? How can you prove your worth to Sales, and in turn, the entire business?
Enter content marketing.
Yes, content marketing. No, it’s not just a buzzword. And when it’s done right, it can attract prospects to you so you never have to buy a list again!
Oh, and it can actually help Sales to close those high quality leads that you’ve attracted through it.
The principle of content marketing goes a little like this…
People are buying on their own terms, and doing most of their research without speaking to a single salesperson.
That’s the effect of the internet – there’s enough of that information online for them to become experts if they want to, long before they speak to your sales team.
So how does content marketing fit in? It hacks that. It gets found and becomes that information that educates prospects about what they want to know. It builds trust.
And when your sales reps give them a call – because remember, if you’ve done a good job of it, these prospects trust your brand – your salespeople are in a much better position to close that deal. Plus, they’ll have all the information they need to know what your prospects are interested in.
Case and point:
Salesperson: How’s the weather today?
Prospect: It’s really hot.
Salesperson: Oh, really? It’s hot here, too! So let me tell you about our product…
Prospect: Sure… feigns interest while attention slowly fades into background
Salesperson: I saw you downloaded an eBook on how you can start streamlining the XYZ process. Where’s your company currently at with that initiative?
Prospect: Actually we’re only just getting started, we’ve set up a few things but we aren’t experts by any means.
Salesperson: We can definitely help you with that.
Prospect: Really, how? is all ears, sitting at edge of seat
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Situation B is much, much better. It makes for a more valuable conversation on both ends.
And if the prospect is a little hesitant, then content also has you covered:
Prospect: I need to learn a bit more about ABC before I have enough understanding to make a decision on this.
Salesperson: We actually have a few blogs on that subject, I’ll shoot them over to you now. As you’ll learn, the industry is rapidly changing because (insert irrefutable stat to support the statement here). Businesses need to keep up or they’ll miss out on a huge chunk of the market.
Other kinds of content, like case studies, can also help to close that deal. If you have an example of a success story of a business like theirs, in their region, then your sales reps will close those deals like… hotcakes. Well, you know what I mean.
The point is, content marketing is the perfect vehicle to disrupt the traditional marketing model. Not only is it cost-effective – making leads find you and opt themselves into your funnel – but it helps out your sales teams too, making you look like some kind of marketing hero.