Remember that carnival game where you shoot water into a clown’s open mouth to slowly inflate a balloon; and depending on how good your aim is, the balloon will eventually, predictably, pop? Yeah, the sales process is not like that, you actually have to sell something.
You can’t just feed prospective customers more and more content and assume that eventually it will be enough to make a sale. That’s a common misconception though, and there are plenty of bloated, mindless blogs on the internet to prove that point.
Good content marketing is much more strategic and effective
It aligns with the buying cycle, hitting customers with the right information at the right time, ultimately leading them to the bottom of the sales funnel.
Early in the buying cycle, providers should focus on content that creates a strong online presence, establishes them as thought leaders, and rewards customers’ search for information. It’s a chance to differentiate your business, redefine the challenge and solution, and demonstrate a vision for your industry.
Later in the sales cycle, when customers are into the consideration and evaluation phase, it’s time to focus on content that ties your product or service to their needs. Testimonials, ROI calculators, and third-party validation make the difference here.
Finally, in the purchase phase, customers want to drill down to the details and share their decision with key executives. Give them content to make it easy, such as executive briefings, demos, and private hubs.
Throughout the process, it’s important to conduct customer surveys, measure usage and sharing, and investigate which content is doing the most work. If you have effective lead-tracking tools, those can help substantially. But if you don’t, you can still ensure the effectiveness of your content. You simply have to blend together the types of content customers seek through the buying cycle and make sure it’s a mix of your top-performing content based on views, time on site, shares, etc.
In that rinky-dink carnival game, you may hit the clown with tons of water yet fail to inflate the balloon. In business, that target is the customer being fed endless amounts of pointless marketing content and never making a purchase. Contact us to burst that balloon with a smart blend of the right content, and you’ll walk away with the prize every time.