As per market estimates, 65-70% of content that is created by the marketing team remains unused by sales. In order to ensure that you have a better sales impact, both sales and marketing teams have to be aligned with each other and use content marketing to their advantage. To understand the reason behind the misalignment of sales and marketing content, look deeper into how content for marketing differs from that typically used in sales.
Marketing content is not the same as sales content
Unlike sales content, marketing content does not intend to directly promote products and services offered by a brand. In other words, marketing content is meant to influence audiences without explicitly selling a product or a service. In a way, marketing content boosts awareness regarding a brand’s products and services. The choice is left to a customer, but it is an attempt to help and influence people to make their buying choices.
Sales content comes in at a much later stage following the creation of marketing content. After brand awareness has already happened, sales content explicitly sells products and services, usually at a stage when people are ready to be ‘sold’.
We can refer to a marketing funnel in this regard.
The wide top of the funnel corresponds to when prospects are becoming aware of a product or a service. At this awareness stage, marketing content can be effective in reeling in customers. High-quality, informative content is published at this stage and this is where your content can direct actual sales; you provide insights, information and services with cost charts or convince people to make the investment.
The narrow neck of the funnel corresponds to when a customer is almost convinced or engaged and close to making the final buying decision. This is where aggressive sales content can come in handy. For instance, with solid testimonials and case studies, a potential customer can be finally converted into a paying one.
Types of content that sales teams can use
1. Creating micro-content: Consumers today have a shorter attention span and therefore, smaller pieces of content have a more powerful impact with a better ROI. They work very well for social media platforms. Social media functions as a great platform where your marketing content can also work as sales-oriented content. The objective should be to answer the following questions:
- What does the product do?
- How does it provide its service?
- What value does it bring to a customer?
2. Fact-based marketing: Sales content depends heavily on facts and figures. Marketing content is designed to appeal to customers, capture their attention and generate interest through storytelling. Using graphs and figures can therefore help in driving sales more effectively.
3. Product demos: Short product demos in the form of a sales deck, quick and short informative demo videos and a one-page outline with product features are forms of content that convey the usability of your product to your audience. These also explain your product’s relevance to prospective customers. Create landing pages that enable visitors to request demos for your products and services.
For instance, the page below provides content that conveys the value of a product by illustrating its key features.
4. Focus on specific needs: To drive sales, content must specifically target individuals looking for niche content on a particular subject matter. For example, if a customer is looking to buy a property and searching for content on the real estate market or a particular product in this regard, providing case studies or testimonials can be useful.
Content designed to address such specific needs of the audience can include:
- Blog posts with product- or service-specific information that caters to sales and marketing professionals. These function as educational tools for them.
- Case studies with customer-focused content. The purpose of case studies is to convey the value that your product can provide to customers through an application-based example. This could also be in the form of a customer testimonial that adds more credibility to your content.
- Social media content that has potential to reach a wide audience. Digital marketers and content creators can curate social media-specific content that captures the audience’s attention through 30-second videos, briefs that link to your informative blog posts, and much more.
- Competitor research data based on market surveys and analyses can be insightful. It shows which areas can be improved upon.
How marketers can measure the impact of sales content
Analytical tools available online can measure the internet engagement of readers and the impact of content on its audience. These tools provide detailed data insights.
These tools revolve around such parameters as:
· Time spent on a post that indicates the retention capacity and relevance of a post
· Clicks per view
· Comments that indicate interactivity of a post
· Downloads or redirection of traffic to your website, if any
· Search engine ranking of your content page
Measuring internal and external engagement
Internal: Regular review of internal views, ratings and downloads can be used to assess customer engagement with content. The metrics give a clear understanding of content performance and allows you to make decisions regarding where to invest more time and money.
External: An external review allows you to assess buyer engagement with sales content. External views and downloads, total viewing time and viewing time per asset are some of the parameters to measure performance metrics.
Employee sales enablement programs: Sales enablement programs in the form of upskilling and training can empower sales representatives. With access to all the required tools, sales reps can make better presentations, provide accurate facts and win customers over with greater success rates. An environment where both sales and marketing people are comfortable interacting with each other should be fostered.
Measuring the impact of your content is key to understanding which of your content pieces resonate with the audience and which don’t. It creates a way for adopting better content strategies for the future. This in turn translates into better sales figures, when your business can correctly address the gaps and work on the feedback based on such data.