- Show more
The effect of content marketing on the sales cycle?
The main objectives of any marketing strategy are to raise the profile of a business, improve knowledge or reputation between an audience and, ultimately, create more contacts. The right content can play an important role in achieving all these objectives, especially when it is complemented by the extension of social media to guarantee the greatest possible scope. However, many marketing professionals do not take into account the daily realities of the sales cycle when creating content. This can lead to a misunderstanding between what a business is publishing online and what is the most useful material for a sales team. To avoid this, it is essential to understand how content marketing must be connected to your sales strategy. This relationship can be used to create blogs, social media posts and other materials for each stage of the cycle, in order to give sales representatives an advantage when it comes to obtaining an agreement on the line.
How does content marketing relate to the sales cycle?
The impact of content marketing in its sales cycle may be better described as ‘symbiotic’. In the current digital world, in which great volumes of online information can be easily accessed, there are very few sales processes that are carried out without the prospects of doing at least a small amount of previous research. Before a potential customer speak with a sales representative, it is likely that he has committed to the content of one of his channels. It is likely that your prospect has visited your website, read an email, seen your publications in social media or experienced your brand through a series of channels.
In fact, the link between the content and sales qualification continues far beyond the first contact, with certain pieces of material entering into several stages of the sales cycle. For example, a potential buyer will not necessarily see a guide of ‘how to do it’ when he visits his website for the first time, but after considering a purchase and talking with a sales representative, he can decide to explore how easy it is to use acertain product before committing to make a purchase.
This symbiotic relationship is almost impossible. With this perspective, it is much easier to understand what type of content the sales cycle will better complement. All this goes back to the marketing funnel.
Stage 1: Awareness and interest
This first stage of the sales and marketing process is sometimes called the ‘discovery’ phase. This is where the prospects first realize their business and, hopefully, they gain an interest in their product or service. There are all kinds of ways in which this discovery can occur. Some prospects can stumble with their website through social media or a Google search, while others can be recommended by a previous client, or through events marketing.
In any scenario, it is vital for the content that the prospects find in the discovery stage, present their business in the right light and guide them to the next part of the funnel.
It is always better to maintain high -level content marketing as informative as possible. This will present to your business as a leader of the industry who knows what she is talking about, but without pushing a sale before an advantage is close to becoming. Taking an informative approach with its blog posts and other content, you will ensure that by when a sales representative speaks with a prospect, you already have a good understanding of what your business is everything, but it will not have been bombarded with messages that can beAn obstacle at the top of the funnel.
Stage 2: Consideration
The marketing funnel consideration phase is where your sales and marketing representatives of content really need to go to work. After discovering your business, a prospect at this stage of the sales cycle wants to know how your product or service will help you solve a particular problem, and why you should choose your business instead of a competitor.
To achieve this goal, it is important to get away from the high -level informative content that works during the discovery phase and, instead, provide detailed case studies, testimonies and white books that clearly demonstrate its value. This part of the sales cycle is possibly where content marketing can add more value, shortening the consideration phase and guiding a clue to a decision.
This content can be distributed directly by sales representatives (either by email or even physically as documents ‘left behind’), or it can simply be located on their website so that potential customers find themselves. In any case, without this material, it is much more difficult to push an advantage over the line and convince them that they become.
Stage 3: Purchase
Although most content marketing strategies are designed to guide a potential customer to the point of sale, it is still important to have the appropriate material available for sales representatives to help overcome the final obstacle. Unlike what happened previously in the process, the type of content that works best at the bottom of the funnel is likely to be a little more subtle, such as a well -designed conversion landing page, instead of a colorful white bookor ebook. The objective is not only to convince a potential customer to buy, but rather to make the purchase process as simple and clear as possible.
It is also a good idea that sellers get in touch with sales equipment when creating the content of the lower tunnel, since the most valuable material here will be anything that answers the final questions that aProspect before committing to make a purchase. This could mean the creation of a blog describing the process of adopting a service, or perhaps a simple frequently asked questions page that answers the most common questions about a certain product.
Stage 4: Retention
The final stage of the sales and marketing funnel is retention, sometimes called ‘Advocacy’. The objective is to continue the relationship with customers even after having made a purchase, in order to promote business repetition and loyalty.
Sales teams can do this forming long -term relationships with their potential customers and keeping in touch after the point of sale, and content marketing can also be an effective tool at this stage of the funnel.
One of the best examples of this is marketing automation and, in particular, email automation. By sending regular emails to customers (both potential and current), your business will remain at the forefront of your mind, helping to solidify the relationship and build a long -term confidence. The content of these emails can be as simple as profile updates of a service, or you can go further and offer special offers about new products. In any case, the objective is not only to retain the business, but also to encourage a feeling of loyalty that ultimately leads to promotion – bringing even more potential clients in the future as their clients guide the new prospects to the topof the funnel.
Because it is so difficult to separate the content marketing strategy from the sales cycle, it is vital to create a global approach to the process that includes the contributions of both marketing professionals and sales representatives. When opening a dialogue between these two teams, each one is much more likely to understand what the other needs to achieve their goals. In this way, the prospects obtain the content that interests them at the exact moment in which they want it, which makes their trip through the sales funnel much more fluid and fast, while improving the general possibilities of conversion.