Content marketing continues to be critical in improving the value of sales leads. Yet according to a 2018 survey by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), most of your competition (just 24%) are not doing what it takes to make the practice a success.
Bad news for them. Great news for you – if you are in fact doing content marketing right. If you succeed at it, you’ll put yourself ahead of the competition with increased audience trust and warmer leads for an improved sales outcome.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Get 50% more sales by nurturing relationships
You might spend lots of money raising awareness of your business, but not everyone will arrive at your website (or social media feed) ready to give you money. Without using content to nurture those relationships you’ll be forgotten by the time the person is ready to purchase. The money you spent to get their attention will be wasted.
If you keep in touch with people through useful content, you will have made enough of a connection to be first in mind when they finally want to hand over their money. Research has shown that businesses who nurture leads make 50% more sales (for 33% less cost) than non-nurtured prospects.
How to create those great customer relationships
Customers will interact with your business in any number of areas. They might visit your website, or you could be emailing them directly in which case you can provide them with regular, targeted content based on their previous engagements with you.
They may also be following you on social media, so make sure you supply regular content suitable for those platforms – including shares of useful third-party information. Always keep your content educational and useful, showcasing your expertise without selling yourself directly.
2. Get 6x higher conversation rates
According to marketing champions HubSpot, a huge 61% of businesses viewed their biggest marketing challenge in 2018 as generating traffic and leads.
In isolation, this doesn’t reveal too much. But consider these two stats: Only 18% of marketers thought outbound practices like advertising still generated the highest quality sales leads. Meanwhile, CMI research shows that 80% of marketers don’t think their organisations are properly committed to content marketing.
So there’s a gap here. One that content marketing should be filling by giving your company:
- Conversion rates 6x higher for content marketing than other methods.
- ROI 4x higher for content marketing compared to other methods of marketing and advertising.
By adopting and properly executing a content marketing strategy you will be well equipped to improve traffic and give your sales team the high-quality leads they need – allowing you to leap ahead of your competitors.
How to get better conversion through content marketing
Do your homework to see what your competitors are doing. Investigate how they are using their content and what kind of results it seems to be achieving. You might not be able to tell exactly what’s working behind the scenes, but there are often visible likes, shares and comments on articles and videos that can give you an indication of how the audience is reacting.
Use your own instinct too. Because if something engages you, chances are it will engage others. Note down these ideas and then see how you can improve upon them for your own content marketing to give you the edge.
3. 60% of prospects don’t know you – bridge that gap
Prospective customers need to know who you are and what you provide before they trust you enough to make a purchase.
Research has shown that up to 63% of prospects have very little (or no) knowledge about a particular business before a sales rep makes first contact. This makes the rep’s job that much harder.
So at this critical point, it is imperative to have already built up some level of trust or else you are just wasting your sales team’s time and money.
Content marketing can help improve trust by:
- Offering useful content to bring awareness to a particular problem, and the solutions available.
- Giving prospective and current customers the tools they need to resolve some top-level issues themselves.
- Helping your business be viewed as a trusted source of high quality information.
How you can bring in more customers
Content marketing is all about providing prospective customers with educational content. It should do this at every stage of the marketing funnel process – whether it’s raising awareness of a particular problem (and demonstrating that you have the expertise to offer solutions) or emailing warmed leads with content that you know will be useful to them.
Remember, the vast majority (as in more than 90%) of those visiting your website for the first time are not ready to make the purchase. So by whatever means you may have gotten them there – through advertising, via a referral, organically, etc. – the journey has just begun. Yet if you are not then nurturing through regular content to get them back to your site time and again, the journey may well end for them there, and you may have lost yet another sale to your competition.