Compelling content is worth a lot. It increases traffic, helps you build authority in your niche, and it’s also a way to attract and connect with potential customers. However, creating good content is not enough when trying to achieve your sales-related goals.
To drive conversions you’ll need not only a content marketing strategy but also a sales content strategy to understand which type of content connects your customer’s needs with the products or services you sell.
Content selling is a process that helps us plan our content strategy thinking not only about boosting traffic, but also revenue in a user-centered way. Today, we’ll explore how this process works, and how can you leverage the power of content creation to sell a product online.
What Is Content Selling?
Content selling is about using content to support the sales department while employees work to “push” the customer through the conversion funnel.
Sales reps are trained to understand who the potential buyer is, where they are in the sales process, and what they need. Once they understand these factors, they can use the content to achieve their goals.
So selling content is a different strategy from the “close at any cost” approach that often characterizes sales departments. When selling content, sales and marketing must work side by side.
The logic behind content selling is that if you are truly concerned about your customer’s well-being, persisting will not yield good results. Instead, this strategy relies on empowering potential customers with the information they need to make their own decisions.
How Are Creating Content & Selling Content Different?
Although both content selling and content marketing focus on content, their objectives are somewhat different.
When selling content, the produced content must respond to a series of specific characteristics that will make them useful in sales. Let’s see what they are 👇
- Moving prospects to the next step in the consumer journey.
- Answering questions or complaints. At every step of the buying experience, the consumer faces questions. Therefore, good sales content must be able to answer them.
- Help overcome obstacles in the sales process.
- Adapt to the content consumption patterns of your buyer persona. There’s no point in making videos if your potential consumers prefer to download reports…
How to Create Content to Sell a Product?
According to Laia Cardona, Responsible for Inbound Marketing Strategy at Cyberclick, selling content can help you connect with your potential buyers and convert them into customers. However, to achieve the business goals both the marketing and the sales team must work together to identify at what stage a lead is in.
Content is always a way to show users, clients, and potential customers who you are and what you do. But for content to convert it’s crucial to set realistic and achievable goals for your content-selling strategy. A good option is to use SMART goals which can help you execute this strategy to achieve maximum efficiency.
1. Understand what stage your potential customers are in
Another important point to keep in mind when creating converting content is to focus on two main stages of the funnel: the conversion stage and the sales stage.
In the conversion stage, we want the potential customer to give us their data to become a lead. Three resources are particularly important here: landing pages, forms, and call-to-action.
For a landing page to work, it’s important that the value proposition is appropriate for our target audience. Make sure you clearly explain the benefits of your product and leave out any elements that aren’t essential 👉 If you’re thinking about starting a landing page, don’t miss our tutorial on how to make a landing page with carrd.
A good tip is also to include a simple form, an essential element that will help you attract and convert leads as this is where they’ll leave their contact details. It’s important that all the fields of the form are clear, that it’s easy to fill out, and that it doesn’t overwhelm the user.
Finally, the calls to action are the elements we use to tell the user what to do. They usually take the form of a button. When designing our landing page, we need to keep in mind that the user’s attention must always be focused on them.
We have seen that in this phase we can use the content as a “hook” to make the user give us their data. By the time they reach this stage, they should already have a clearer idea of what they need and how to solve it. So we can offer them more specific content, such as webinars, free samples or trial periods, testimonials and case studies.
We already have the user’s data and we have established a relationship with them. Now it’s a matter of gradually nurturing that relationship until they become customers. This is where marketing automation comes in, through two basic techniques: Lead Scoring and Lead Nurturing.
To organize all the work of scoring and communicating with contacts, various marketing automation tools come into play, such as CRMs. The more we automate these tasks, the smoother the process will run and the more time our team will be able to spend on strategy and creativity.
As for the type of content, it’s time to go all out. It’s about creating an offer that users can not refuse. Content at this stage includes free trials, coupons and limited-time discounts, and even personal consultations with an expert from our team.
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2. Learn about your buyer persona
You know that one of the greatest marketing maxims is “know your customers”. Because if you don’t know who you’re targeting, it will be very difficult to get your content right.
Therefore, when selling content, take the time to ask multiple members of your marketing and/or sales team what an ideal customer means to them. Take careful note of their answers. We’re sure their different answers will give you ideas when planning your content calendar!
3. Think about what content your potential customers want to see
If you’re struggling because you don’t know what type of content will be best for selling, the solution is close at hand: chat with the sales team. They’re in daily contact with people interested in your brand or product. So they know potential clients’ needs and pain points firsthand.
It’s true that for each stage of the consumer journey contents will vary. For example, a lead who’s in the decision phase (free trial, success case or story, discount, etc.) of the customer journey will look for different kinds of content than the lead who’s in the consideration phase (tutorial, webinar, ebook, blog post, etc.). Make sure you’re creating content for each specific phase.
4. Analyze the leads’ pain points
Customer questions, doubts, objections, reviews, and feedback are great sources of inspiration to create content that converts. Here’s a list of questions you can ask yourself or the sales team members 👇
- What improvements can we make to our product or service?
- What’s stopping you from buying our product?
- Why are you undecided between our brand and others?
- What do other brands offer?
5. Use metrics to track results
Knowing what metrics the sales team’s using to measure results is a crucial element within our strategy. It’s necessary to determine whether we have achieved certain goals, and learn if we need to fine-tune procedures or implement new methods.
Once we detect these metrics, we’ll focus on creating and selling content that will help us achieve successful results around these KPIs. These include total visits, unique users, traffic sources, keyword tracking, bounce rate and visit-to-lead rate, among others.
6. List clients’ FAQs
What sorts of questions do customers ask you? This question is a great starting point for generating selling content.
It can be as simple as making a list of the frequently asked questions that customers ask sales reps and creating content that answers them. Either through individual posts or a FAQ section on your website that answers them.
Lastly, remember these elements are not an end in themselves, but the beginning of an ongoing dialogue.