If you’ve been writing content for your business for a while – or even if you’ve just started – you’ve probably asked yourself more than once…
“Is all of this Content Marketing really going to get me more sales?”
Are you feeling like you’re spending a ton of time – time away from working on your business – creating content, but you’re not seeing any return for your efforts?
I get it… and you’re not alone…
I’m going to cover 3 ways that Content Marketing can be proven to get you more sales.
Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what Content Marketing is.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing / Content Development / Content Strategy – all of this is focused on this – educating, converting and delighting your prospects and customers.
Content covers MORE than just blogging…
- Blog Posts
- White Papers
- Product Descriptions
- Website Pages (About Us, etc)
When you want your Content Marketing to get you more sales, it’s important that you look at all of these pieces (and others I didn’t list) as a whole.
The First Way That Content Marketing Can Get You More Sales
Probably the biggest impact of Content Marketing on sales is in the beginning of the Sales Process – Lead Generation.
Back in the day, it probably made good business sense to buy lists of prospect email addresses, mailing addresses and phone numbers and just start contacting and pitching to them.
That doesn’t work today…
Think about it like this….
Raise your hand if you have 2 email addresses – one for “SPAM” (that email address you give to the cashier at the store because you don’t want to say “no”, or the one you use to fill out online surveys) and one for the email you really want to get.
Am I right?
Today, most lists on the market are comprised of the email addresses created for bucket #1. So while you MAY get some conversions when you purchase lists, this method is definitely not as effective as it used to be.
So then how to you acquire contact information?
You trade Content for Contact
Most days if you land on an e-commerce store, somewhere on the page – either in a pop-up or on the side column – there’s a request for your email address.
Sometimes it’s the low-converting option of “Sign Up For Our Newsletter!” but most of the time you receive a valuable coupon in exchange for your email address.
This is trading Content for Contact.
Or – if you visit a B2B site and you see that you can get access for a value-packed white paper on a topic you value in exchange for your email address – you fill out the form, right?
Again – trading Content for Contact.
When done right, once your email contact information is acquired, you’re put into a sales funnel that will then provide you with additional valuable content based on your needs. And as you move down the funnel you will eventually be converted from a lead into a sale (as long as the process has been executed properly).
The Content is used to develop a relationship with your prospects, to teach them more about who you are and what you do, and to eventually lead them to the “ask” – the final question… “Will you buy from me?”
The Second Way That Content Will Get You More Sales
One of the most often overlooked steps in the development of an effective Content Marketing Strategy is Promotion.
Promotion comes in two forms – Passive and Active Promotion.
Passive Promotion is where most people execute, and then they stop there.
Passive Promotion is simply posting your content on your site and the social media platforms that you maintain.
Sometimes you may spend money promoting the content you posted – but typically this isn’t the most effective way to spend your advertising budget, and it rarely creates the engagement that eventually leads to more traffic to your site and more sales.
The solution that works?
Active Promotion involves you reaching out to Influencers about the content you’ve created and getting them to share it with their fans and followers.
Active Promotion involves you “helping out your fellow blogger” and providing them with some content that they can use on their site.
It involves developing a strategy that will get you high-quality backlinks to your site so that Google eventually ranks your pages and starts sending you free traffic to your site.
Free traffic that you will effectively convert because you read “The First Way Content Will Get You More Sales” at the beginning of this post.
The Third Way That Content Will Get You More Sales
Raise your hand if you like referrals!
You know – the FREE advertising for your business that comes from treating your customers right?
Well – the third way that content will get you more sales is that it will help you create raving fans of your products and services.
Now does that mean you can just put out a crappy product with great content and it’s all good?
No, definitely not…
But – it does mean that just because a sale has closed, you should use content to keep your customers engaged in the “cycle of delight”. That zen state where they ask themselves “Wait! I just paid these guys and bought their stuff and they’re STILL giving me free stuff?”
Post-sale content might look like this:
- “What Do You Want Next?” – A survey that asks your customers for their top requested features (this works great for software companies)
- A high-value coupon for valued customers
- Exclusive access to 24-hour support
- Free beta access to new products
- Free curated content from around your industry (great opportunity for segments that are always in flux such as Government Regulations, Tax Code, New Laws, etc)
Keeping your customers “warm” by providing them with an ongoing drip of valuable content will make sure that you’re top-of-mind when they come across someone that could use your products and services.
So don’t stop creating and promoting great content!
When it’s developed and promoted properly it will become the workhorse of your entire marketing strategy – constantly bringing you more traffic and more sales.