In 2021 it’s safe to say most companies are recognizing the importance of having a content marketing strategy (90% are using one). But developing content for sales is not quite the same as developing top-of-the-funnel content built to attract new leads and reach a wide audience.
Sales content is specifically designed to help your sales team close deals. It needs to be developed and positioned differently than much of the other content used in your marketing strategy.
Let’s take a look at 4 ways to leverage bottom-of-the-funnel content to boost sales.
- Sales content and marketing content are distinctly separate and designed for buyers at different stages of the funnel.
- Building social proof by highlighting reviews, testimonials, case studies, and expert recommendations is a powerful way to convince buyers of your value.
- B2B buyers are seeking expertise, and companies can utilize some types of marketing content (accompanied by a sales message) to demonstrate it.
- Sales teams are an invaluable resource in understanding buyers and should be engaged in the sales content development process.
FIRST: WHAT SALES CONTENT IS NOT
Spoiler alert: it’s not marketing content.
While they work hand in hand, marketing and sales content are not the same thing. What exactly do we mean?
Well, marketing content is created with the goal of attracting potential customers to your company. It has other goals, too, like creating brand awareness and building brand reputation.
In a world where consumers are doing much of their research on their own, your marketing content plays a pivotal role. It builds an initial relationship when your buyers are in the early stages of the customer journey.
Sales content, on the other hand, is created with a singular goal in mind: to convert potential customers into sales. Sales content focuses less on topics and timely issues related to your industry and narrows in on your specific brand and offerings. The goal is to prove to the buyer that you are the best choice.
Separating Marketing and Sales Content
The most common question marketing and sales teams have when it comes to navigating this difference is who gets what content?
Finding the answer requires a funnel marketing approach to identify where buyers are in their customer journey and what their needs are at each stage.
In simple terms, potential customers at the top of the funnel or early stages of the customer journey get your marketing content. Potential customers at the bottom of the funnel, or those nearing a buying decision, get your sales content.
Clearly mapping out your customer journey is the best way to understand how to deliver your marketing and sales content. Companies can use content strategies like lead magnets and calls to action (CTAs) throughout their content marketing strategy to know when potential customers are moving further down the funnel.
Your marketing and sales teams should be on the same page about which customers fall into which category. They also need to recognize which actions (like, for example, scheduling a free consultation or signing up for a free trial) prompt their move from the top of the funnel to its later stages.
4 WAYS TO BOOST SALES WITH YOUR CONTENT
Build Social Proof
A whopping 92% of B2B buyers are likely to make a purchase after reading a trusted review, and 93% of general consumers look for reviews before buying a product. Social proof, or the idea that buyers (and all people) are influenced by the actions of others, is one of the most powerful ways to make bottom-of-the-funnel content that converts.
Social proof can be presented in a number of ways, including:
- Online reviews featured on product pages and social media
- Personal testimonials from current customers included in sales materials
- Case studies either written or developed as videos
- Positive feedback presented through statistics (more on this later)
- Expert reviews from industry leaders who vouch for your company
Show Your Expertise
If B2B buyers are making a substantial investment in your product or service, they want to be sure about your expertise in their area of need. While your marketing content is not the same as your sales content, this is a place where it can help convert sales.
The Harvard Business Review found that in IT infrastructure, one of the largest markets in the B2B world, expertise ranked second only to actual product quality when it came to factors that impact customer loyalty. If your current customers are valuing expertise so highly, it makes sense that your potential customers are seeking it out during the sales process.
The key is choosing the right marketing content. Steer away from simpler topics and casual blog posts. Instead incorporate more detailed content like eBooks and whitepapers that may serve as lead magnets for buyers earlier in the funnel. They can be revisited later down the road as evidence of your company’s expertise.
Here’s more on eBooks and whitepapers and how to choose which is best for your sales content.
When presenting this kind of content to customers at the bottom of your funnel, be sure it is accompanied by a sales message that emphasizes how the expertise you’re demonstrating can translate to value for your buyer.
Statistics are your friend when you’re convincing a potential buyer to make a purchase. For instance, we said earlier in this very article that 92% of B2B buyers are likely to make a purchase after they read trusted reviews.
What if we said “most B2B buyers” instead?
Most B2B buyers are likely to make a purchase after reading a trusted review.
A whopping 92% of B2B buyers are likely to make a purchase after reading a trusted review.
Which convinced you more to incorporate social proof into your sales content?
This concept is no different for your potential buyer. If 95% of your customers report being extremely satisfied with your product or service, use that number to tell the story. If 88% of companies in your buyer’s industry see higher revenue using products like yours, let your customer know about it.
Hard numbers can tell a more convincing story and reassure your buyer that they are making a sensible, informed decision. Here are more specific ways to incorporate statistics into your sales content:
Create Infographics – The use of infographics has grown by 67% in B2B marketing and sales over the past four years. They are an extremely effective way to make statistics and data more engaging and easily digestible.
Back Up Your Value Proposition – Just like social proof, statistics can back up your company’s sales pitch and value proposition by providing objective evidence that builds buyer trust.
Summarize Positive Feedback – Widely used metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) can be shared with buyers to provide social proof, but an even more engaging way to incorporate feedback is to find numbers that most meaningfully demonstrate your company’s unique value. To do it, companies can create their own feedback surveys and convert the results into statistic-driven sales content.
Engage Your Sales Team (No, really engage them.)
Even the very best sales strategy cannot be effective without a good sales team. There’s lots of talk when it comes to marketing and sales about engaging your sales team. It goes beyond simply keeping them educated about your content and making sure brand messaging is consistent (although both of those things are important, too).
To truly engage your sales team, you want to bring them into the process much sooner. You’ll want to ask for their input and observations about customer pain points, feedback, reaction to content and other sales tactics. You want to gather as much feedback as they have about the sales process currently in place.
After all, it’s your sales team who interacts with your customers the most. Their feedback can be extremely valuable in developing content that hits the mark and ultimately converts. By engaging your sales team in its creation you’re also making them more invested in its success.
DEVELOPING WINNING BOTTOM-OF-THE-FUNNEL CONTENT
When you enhance your content strategies beyond top-of-the-funnel engagement and lead capture, you create a sales strategy that doesn’t require your sales reps to do all of the convincing on their own. Instead, bottom-of-the-funnel content crafts a compelling story that doesn’t just tell customers your company is the best choice, but truly demonstrates why.
At Televerde, we help you target your content to the right audiences to help you close deals. Learn more about what we do and how we can grow your business.