Advice about marketing a business online is rarely without a mention of content marketing, and for good reason.
In an age where the consumer is more informed than ever before, the right content can be the difference between success and failure of marketing efforts.
Content marketing enables brands to build credibility, establish themselves as the authority in their industry, and foster long term relationships with prospects and clients.
While all that sounds great, measuring success when it comes to building relationships or credibility can be difficult, particularly because there is no scale where you can measure credibility. It is an arbitrary metric.
As a result of this issue, many brands fail to connect their content marketing efforts with the bottom line and only treat it as a way of gaining more visibility.
While there is no denying that content marketing works exceptionally when it comes to gaining targeted visibility, the truth is that when implemented correctly, content marketing’s potential goes beyond vanity metrics like views and shares.
Content marketing actually has the potential to make significant and measurable contributions to your business’s bottom line.
Before we move on to the tips to use content marketing to boost sales numbers, let’s look at how content marketing makes the job easier for your brand’s sales reps:
How Content Helps Sales Representatives
Let’s understand this with an example of two cases. In one case (Case 1), the prospect talking to your sales rep has previously consumed your content during the various stages of their buyer’s journey. In the other (Case 2), the prospect talking to your sales rep has only seen one of your social media ads and filled out the form for a strategy session with one of your team members.
Now, let’s look at what will happen in both cases.
- Case 1: The prospect, who has already consumed content about the problem you are solving with your product or service, knows exactly what they want out of the strategy session. They know about your business, they may also have been through the case studies and customer testimonials on your website.
Thanks to all this content, you can rest assured that the prospect on the call is at least somewhat interested in solving their problem with your solution. Even if they are not completely convinced that your solution is the best one, they realize that it is at least one of the best options out there.
- Case 2: The prospect, in this case, knows nothing about your product or service, its features, or how it will solve their problem. In fact, there is a significant chance that your offering may not even be the right fit for the prospect.
While there is a fair possibility of a sale taking place in both cases, it is not difficult to imagine how the chances of a sale happening are higher in the first case.
Moreover, even if the sale happens in the second case, there is no guarantee that the customer will be satisfied with your offering because they did not take the time to evaluate the same. In other words, even if a sale happens in the second case, you can expect a lot of friction in that customer after-sales experience.
Now that we have understood how content marketing makes the job of your sales reps easier, let’s look at how you can use your content to positively influence your business’ bottom line:
Optimize Content For Search Engines
One of the biggest advantages of using content marketing is that it allows you to implement a targeted approach right from step one.
Consider your top of the funnel prospects, with the right kind of content that focuses on the key pain points that your service or product alleviates, you can ensure only individuals that will see your offering as the right fit are entering your sales funnel.
This might mean attracting fewer visitors but it will ensure you are consistently able to maintain high conversion rates. Think about how much effort and time you will be saving when you are only attracting prospects that are genuinely interested in your offering, after having gone through various forms of content that have led them to a sales call.
With that said, simply producing excellent and targeted content will not get the job done. It is equally important to optimize your website and blog content to perform on the search engines.
Sure, there are many other ways to distribute your content. However, none of them match the sheer volume of targeted traffic that search engines can direct towards your website.
Not to forget, being able to rank on the first page of Google is an achievement in itself, and it communicates a ton of credibility to every visitor that ends up on your website. Doing thorough keyword research will enable you to target the keywords that have the potential to drive significant traffic but don’t have a lot of competition.
Alternatively, if your website already has some content, you can conduct a domain analysis to see which content pieces on your website are performing the best and which keywords are driving the maximum traffic. With this information, you can make informed decisions about producing new content and optimizing existing content to drive tons of targeted traffic to your website.
Finally, by targeting the right keywords and producing the right kind of content, you can ensure your website has something for prospects at different stages of their buyer journey. By ranking for informational and transactional search phrases with relevant content, you can ensure your prospects are well primed for a sale by the time they get on a call with one of your representatives.
Add CTAs To Blog Content
Call to action (CTAs) are an absolute necessity, especially when it comes to creating sales funnels. These CTAs are responsible for nudging your prospects into the desired direction which eventually leads to a sale.
However, most businesses limit their CTAs to their product/service landing pages and bottom-funnel adverts. If you are doing the same, you are missing out on some serious conversions.
Brafton conducted an experiment where they built a content archive around the best performing products and placed CTAs to relevant product pages with the content. As a result:
- Brafton improved their revenue by 83% in 1 month. The traffic spike for the same period was just 1%.
- Quarter over quarter improvement in ecommerce conversions improved more than 22%.
- The average order value for blog leaders increased by over 48%.
As you can see, when used right, CTAs in informative and educational content can help boost sales numbers by significant margins.
How to use them right? Here are a few actionable tips:
- Limit the use of CTAs to content pieces that can be directly related to the content. For instance, if a hiking gear company includes a CTA that leads to their product page in an article about essentials for hiking, it makes all the sense in the world.
However, the same link will be out of place when present in a blog about the best hiking spots near Nottingham.
- For YouTube videos, try to add the CTA in the link cards that pop-up on the video screen, instead of adding them in the description of the video.
- Make sure you are not overwhelming your visitors with the CTAs. Keep them subtle but noticeable. Try to find a balance. Ensure that they are not messing up the experience of your website visitors.
Invest In Product Tutorials And Guides
Most product companies don’t realize the sheer value of product tutorials and guides as content. However, such content pieces serve multiple purposes and offer several benefits to your brand.
Here are a few ways product tutorials delight prospects in different stages of the buyer journey or sales funnel:
- For top of the funnel prospects, the demo videos show how your product/service helps in addressing their (relevant) pain point.
- For middle of the funnel prospects, the demo videos and guides help position your offering as the ideal solution to their pain point.
- For paying customers, demo videos and guides help by enabling them to achieve success with your offering and effectively alleviate their pain.
Besides being incredibly helpful, demo videos and guides, when created and distributed with a little bit of innovation, have the potential to go viral and give your brand the attention it deserves.
A great example of the same is this demo video by CRM software Pipedrive. The video, despite being lengthy (almost 5 minutes long), keeps (most) users hooked with the use of interesting animations, product screenshots, and by talking about the most pressing pain points of their audience.
The video has garnered well over 110,000 views on YouTube alone and is responsible for sending scores of targeted traffic to the Pipedrive website.
You can drive similar results with your product/service guides and videos. All you need to ensure is that you are addressing the pain points that are important to your users in an innovative and engaging manner.
With that said, it is important to keep in mind that not every product demo video or article goes viral. Yet, every such piece of content has the potential to provide you and your prospects/customers the benefits we discussed at the beginning of this section.
Showcase Interesting Use Cases With Testimonials And Case Studies
Another great way to show your product in action, while also showing its ability to improve the lives of your prospects is with case studies and testimonials.
Besides showing how your product does in real-world scenarios, testimonials and case studies have another significant benefit: providing social proof.
Put simply, social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon that makes people do what others are doing. The phenomenon works by propelling the idea that just because several others are doing something, it must be the right thing to do.
The concept first appeared in Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion and has been a widely accepted marketing tactic ever since.
Social proof allows your brand to build trust and credibility, it lays merit to all the claims made by your brand or product. It proves that your offering truly works when it comes to addressing the pain points of your audience.
When you do invest in creating detailed testimonials or case studies or relevant videos, make sure you accompany them with relevant CTAs. For instance, if someone offering digital marketing services writes a case study detailing how they helped their clients improve conversions, they should accompany the case study with a CTA on the lines of “I Want To Improve My Conversions” or “Help Me Improve My Conversions Too”.
This way, you will be able to convert at least a few of the visitors and viewers into interested prospects.
When content marketing was still a new concept, the thought of aligning content with sales seemed next to impossible. However, as the marketing practice has evolved, and new technologies have been introduced, content marketing is being increasingly used to improve the effectiveness of the sales process.
Chances are, your competitors are already doing it and if you don’t start soon, you might find yourself at a competitive disadvantage.
On the other hand, if you have already started finding ways to align your content marketing efforts with your sales goals, share them with us (and everyone else) in the comment section below.