In a recent Forbes article on The Top 10 Business Trends that will drive success in 2016, one of the top trends was integrating content marketing into your sale process. I personally love this tip and I hope all my clients adopt this trend. But what does this actually mean and how can you implement it in your business in 2016.
Content marketing is a term bandied around in the online world all the time. Put simply content marketing is when you create a digital asset and use it to promote your product or service. The content needs to valuable, relevant, and consistent and is designed to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience, normally your target audience. The digital asset can be a blog article, how to guide, video training series, ebooks, checklist and more. There are lots of large companies that have been doing this well for a long time. In 2015 we saw more and more smaller businesses create great bits of content as lead magnets in their business.
The new trend is to continue to use content marketing as part of your inbound marketing strategy but also throughout your sales process. Not just at the beginning of the funnel. So ask yourself a quick question. Are you using content throughout the sales process? If you aren't using it - you might be missing out on sales. Here's how. Many consumers now spend time researching products either before or during the sales process. Customers value impartial good quality input and advice about products and services. If your not providing the content to help them make the decision someone else probably is and that someone could be your competitor. If they give them the answers they need - more than likely they will buy from them because they have become the trusted advisor.
So the hot tip for 2016 is to find ways to integrate valuable impartial content to support customer buying decisions. The key here is that it must be impartial - you need to expound what you good at but also acknowledge what you are not good at. Being honest and authentic is key here.
YOUR TURN --->
So how would you actually implement this is your business this year.
Task 1: Beef up content on your product or sales pages to keep customers there
- Look at your product and sales pages afresh. These pages play an important role in supporting customer buying decisions. Ideally if you can provide all the information or content the customer needs to make the buying decision on your page, they won't leave and go somewhere else to get it. They will stay, add the item to the cart and checkout.
- Assess whether you have included honest information about your products or services. Its important to list all the good points and sometimes to helps to include a list of what the product or service isn't good at or shouldn't be used for.
- Make sure your product or sales pages include reviews and quotes from real customers. This builds trust and helps the customer to feel confident about the purchase. We don't really want them leaving to go to a product review site to set the information. Once they are there a review of a customers product might attract them and they never come back.
- Also consider adding a link to a PDF guide about the product or service that includes valuable, easy to read information about the product or service. In this guide include a comparison chart between you and your competitors - be honest. Make it visually easy for a customer to know if your product is a good fit for them.
- Add a "I need help" pop up box that allows the user to request assistance which triggers a guide, 'how to' or more info about the product to their email account. This guide may actually answer their question and get them to convert right then and there.
Task 2: Drip feed content over the course of the sales cycle using auto-responders in your onboarding workflow
- Do you have a lead magnet to a product or sales page? Review this lead magnet to see if more information can be added to assist customer buying decisions. Once you have captured their email address look at your auto responder emails in your onboarding series that move customers through your funnel. Does the content in the series provide the customers with progressively more information, answer more typically asked questions etc? This is what we are aiming for - we want customers to have have everything they need to buy the product or service. If you don't provide product comparisons on the product or sales pages consider sending it as an email during the onboarding series.
If you need more help with content marketing then please contact us for a coaching session.