“Content” is a buzzword on everyone’s minds these days. You could probably rattle off several reasons for that right off the bat: good content drives web traffic, creates inbound customer interest, and helps you establish a name for yourself as a leader in your industry.
But did you know you can also integrate content much more directly into the sales process, and often further down the sales funnel? Blog posts, thought leadership articles, and white papers can do fantastic double-duty as sales collateral, and your sales team will appreciate the boost it gives them. Here are some ideas for integrating the content you’re already creating into your sales processes.
1. Use content as a value-add for cold emailing
There are a couple of different reasons why a potential client might respond to your email: the right timing, the right introduction, or the right value-add. Timing is often out of your hands, as without sophisticated marketing analytics, it’s tough to know when someone is actively seeking the service you offer. Getting the right introduction is valuable but limited, as no one has an infinite network. Achieving the right value-add, though, is something you can control—and that’s where your content comes in.
When your prospective client opens that email, you want to prove to them why reading on isn’t a waste of time for them. Linking to a blog post or thought leadership article is a great way to do just that. “We analyzed your industry’s changing trends,” you might say, “and here’s a summary of your findings that you might find useful.” The knowledge contained in your content is a totally free giveaway for the client. Even better, it makes the client feel like they’re choosing to read about your company on their own time, rather than fending off a pushy sales pitch.
2. Use white papers to gather contact info
Since white papers are considerably more hefty than blog posts, fewer people will read them, but the people who want to read them are probably willing to go an extra step to do so. That’s why it’s so helpful to tuck your white paper behind, say, a landing page with an invitation to subscribe to your mailing list (perhaps the paper is then sent via an introductory newsletter). Not only does this accurately reflect the gravitas of a white paper—since white papers usually contain proprietary research, no one expects them to be plastered all over the web for free—but now you have a potential client’s contact information, and can follow up with them at your leisure.
3. Use thought leadership pieces as hooks and proof points
Next time you publish a thought leadership article, don’t just forget about it—use it in sales emails to really convince potential clients to give your company a closer look. You can use thought leadership pieces as you would blog posts, but since they have more intellectual “meat,” you can also go a bit bolder. Use them as an exciting hook by beginning your email with something like, “Forbes agrees with us—your industry is changing in X, Y, and Z ways!”
A good thought leadership article can also be used as proof point—i.e., evidence of the quality, importance or uniqueness of your vision. Use it to show that your way of thinking is superior to that of the competition or that your ideas are respected by others in the industry. Even something as simple as linking to your latest thought leadership articles in your email signature can subtly act as a proof point that will impress potential clients and keep your brand name on their minds.
4. Use new content as an excuse to re-ping your contacts
Sales departments are always dancing a fine line between following up and actually bugging people. You don’t want to be constantly pinging and repinging, but you also don’t want your contacts to forget about you.
Content is a great way to maintain relationships with your contact list and stay top-of-mind, too. By sending a breezy email—“Our latest blog post reminded me of our recent conversation! Hope you’ll find these tips helpful…”—you’re adding value to your contacts’ day. You’re also continually building a relationship with them and showing them that you’re a goldmine of fresh ideas. Everyone’s happy; no one gets annoyed. It’s the perfect sales maneuver.
Get in touch to find out how Hippo can create great content your sales team will be proud to share with customers.
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