In the business of content marketing, you can have many small, particular, well-framed aims that are tied into business goals of the moment – a competitive situation on a specific market, mega trends of the world or political winds blowing around the globe. But the main goal, the umbrella over it all, is to form a relationship with a person, prospect or a client, that will induce sales. Spoon’s editor and project manager, Mia Backman, investigates.
During the summer months I read eMarketing strategies for the complex sale by Ardath Albee.
I highly recommend this to anyone working in content marketing that wants to understand target audience analysis, the sales stages that the content reflects and also the reasons for the eco-system that delivers the content to the end user.
Here are some key lessons from the book.
Getting to the (sales) point
To begin, I have to directly quote Albee’s main point:
“Building relationships through online interactions delivers value beyond the simple analytic of clicks and views. A complex sale takes a number of interactions to result in a purchase decision. Engagement bling swings the odds in your favour and shortens time to decisions.”
To get into a buyer’s mindset, the content that is provided through eMarketing channels has to be on point.
It should either give the reader valuable knowledge that solves their problem, increase their confidence in decision making, engage them in a useful conversation or give them knowledge that makes them engage in more conversations with their peers.
With the eMarketing field growing drastically and platforms and ways of messaging prospects occurring faster and with increasing volume, one way to keep an eye on the ball is to create a buyer synopsis.
4 easy steps to get your content on point
There are four main steps you need to take to make more sales through your content marketing.
- Choose and define a problem you know the selected buyer persona is encountering.
- Ask yourself and your team what the persona will need to know to think strategically about solving their specific problem.
- Take the ideas and go through them with your team: Are they really for this persona or are they more generally related to the issue? Divide the ideas keeping this question in mind, but don’t throw anything away.
- Now delve deeper into the ideas that were relevant to the chosen persona and develop them further – into what that persona needs to know to buy.
- The 6 fundamental truths of content marketing
- [GUIDE] 8 insights from Content Marketing World – and how to put them into practice
- [GUIDE] From content marketing to content brand
Other things to consider to make more sales with your content marketing
Besides the starting steps described above, you need to determine where in the buyer process the prospect is, whether the status quo is still working or are there signs of priority shifts? Are they researching options already or maybe even at the stage of validating their upcoming choices? This should be taken into account along with the other factors already mentioned.
For each stage there are genres of texts that might serve a business purpose. For example, people still satisfied with the status quo would be best served with an educational article instead of a white paper, as this is a great manner of approach for prospects doing research about new options.
Without dulling down the large-scale topic, it is important to focus on one thing at a time.
Prospects don’t have time, so make engagement easy for them and give them a next step. Whether that is to click on a link, subscribe to a newsletter, contact a person from sales or get them thinking.
By matching content and the favoured next step with the buying stage that was defined earlier, it is possible to accelerate and influence the desired process between the company and the prospect.
Want more content marketing insights like this? Sign up to our free newsletter.