Using Blogs and Other Content to Drive Sales
The internet and social media have led to a more educated and empowered class of consumer. By the time prospects engage with sales reps, it is far later in the sales cycle and consumers prefer companies where they have an established a relationship. This means salespeople have to provide real value to prospects.
Rather than "Always Be Closing," Cliff Pollan notes that the new mantra is "Always Be Helpful." Buyers don't care about your product or service. They care about the problems and opportunities they face and how your expertise can educate and either solve their problems or enable them to exploit opportunities. One of the best ways to help is through the use of content.
According to Carla Young, "Where a business card lets you market to people one-by-one; a small business blog harnesses the power of one-to-many marketing. Thanks to social media, blogging lets brands build relationships with their target audiences, serve and support existing customers and create a community of loyal fans."
Business blogging is about increasing traffic, leads and sales. But more importantly, it is about increasing the right kind of traffic, leads and sales.
The Salesforce.com blog outlines five advantages of content creation for sales:
- Build relationships. Content gives you the ability to nurture leads that aren't ready to buy yet. You can educate people and help them through the process by providing insight and information that could move them closer to purchasing.
- Check in. Prospects typically don't welcome the regular call or email by salespeople. But if you are not disruptive and offer information that addresses a question or problem they have, you'll find the phone is answered more frequently when you do reach out.
- Consult. Good content helps you to increase your knowledge and will serve as a foundation on which to establish your authority. This keeps communication with prospects open.
- Build credibility. Generic marketing or sales messages don't inspire trust in consumers. But if you have content such as case studies, blog posts and infographics to back up claims, you reinforce the expertise of your company on all topics related to the industry.
- Get leads. If potential clients are coming to your website, completing contact forms and downloading items to continue reading content, you'll have is a steady flow of interested prospects to target.