Content Marketing and Your Sales Team: 5 Things that May Surprise You
You’ve seen the power of content marketing. A great blog post goes viral, or a popular tweet converts casual readers into devoted fans, and your audience grows exponentially. But did you know that content marketing can also be a great tool for your sales team? Sharply written content can help sales teams attract leads and close sales.
Here are five things you may not know about the four most popular content types — white papers, e-books, blog posts, and social media — as well as some tips for writing them.
1. White papers and e-books establish your industry expertise
White papers and e-books are comprehensive — often visually engaging — reports on topics of interest to your target audience that make extraordinarily effective marketing materials. They establish your company’s credibility and core competencies while at the same time providing readers with a deep dive on a subject of concern to their industry. Providing your sales team with materials like this helps them show — not just tell — potential clients about your company’s expertise and authority.
2. E-books help you collect your readers’ email addresses
Given their industry-specific nature, e-books and white papers are usually more technical and in-depth than other types of content marketing. People who download or pick up an e-book you created are already interested in the topic and, by extension, in services you provide. As the sales team can no doubt tell you, this is the very definition of a hot lead! Such readers are typically happy to provide their email addresses in exchange for a helpful and informative e-book or white paper. Once you receive these points of contact, you can start sending well-written, concise, to-the-point email messages that can turn these already interested individuals into customers or clients.
3. Social media allows your team to show some character
Social media is where you share relevant content from other outlets, boost your own original content, and initiate conversations with potential clients. It allows your company to shine as well-informed, insightful, and witty. Find an interesting article about a product in your industry? Share it online. Come across a tweet from a leader with admirable views? Retweet it.
Great, clickable social media posts do not require detailed, in-depth prose. Social media is ephemeral — short, snappy writing and eye-catching graphics are what make it work. The key here is quantity and engagement: maintaining a regular posting schedule and participating in dialogue with industry leaders and potential clients in real time. If your sales team is going to be active on social media channels, ensure that they work in collaboration with your marketing team to maintain their social media accounts, to set common goals, share posting suggestions and choose which industry topics to focus on.
4. Engaging with clients builds relationships
Once you start writing content that consumers want to click, you’ve got potential customers engaging with your company. They’ll like your Facebook posts, retweet your tweets, and share comments. This is where you want to engage with them in return. Respond to as many of their comments as possible. Your responses let clients know you are listening and that you care.
5. Blog posts help put a human face on your company
Blog posts are shorter and more informal than industry reports or e-books. Instead of just spouting statistics and talking business, they show what makes your company unique and valuable business partner. In addition to writing lively, engaging posts about relevant industry topics, consider getting personal. Maybe blog about a particularly memorable company picnic or featuring the salesperson of the month. Your readers want to get to know your company.
You can even re-use content you’ve already created — what a time-saver! Have a PowerPoint? Turn it into a blog post. Have a research report that you’ve handed in to the boss? Transform it in a series of posts. If you’re not too keen on tackling the more relaxed, off-the-cuff tone of blogs yourself — hand over your raw materials and outlines to the skilled bloggers at Prose Media. We can turn your company’s latest news into a blog post people want to read.
No content solution is perfect for every company, and some of these approaches may be more useful for your particular brand than others. Sign up at Prose Media today to find out how you can bolster your sales strategy by taking your content to the next level.