In a perfect world, marketing provides sales with valuable, relevant content that helps convert an interested prospect into a brand evangelist and lifetime customer. But we know it’s not always that simple.
Sometimes not all the content the marketing department creates is relevant to every prospect at every stage of the sales process. And some businesses simply don’t have the resources to generate all the different types of content necessary for every point in the sales funnel.
Aside from being a core marketing asset, content helps sales teams build trust with prospects, while also demonstrating authority in a particular field to reduce rejections. But identifying which pieces of content convert can be a time-consuming process.
Fortunately, there are a few tried-and-tested content pieces that can serve as the building blocks to the path to purchase.
Here are three types of content that will empower your sales team with the material they need to convert those all-important leads:
1) White papers and e-books. These resources are authoritative and provide an in-depth solution to a common problem within the business sector you’re serving. But they are not an opportunity to simply pitch your business or promote a product. If they’re well-written, they should indirectly position your agency as an expert in the industry without being too salesy.
The benefits of white papers and e-books are twofold: First, they help capture leads. Many businesses use them to collect data about people who have downloaded the content and use their details, such as email addresses, to contact them at a later date with additional marketing material.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation, those that have engaged with these pieces of content will need to opt in to receiving additional marketing correspondence in the future. But those who do opt in can be added to your sales funnel and nurtured into warm leads through a retargeting campaign.
Second, you can use white papers and e-books as ammunition to warm the top of your sales funnel. Hardly anything in this world is free, but when a piece of informative content is offered with no cost, you can use it to give leads teetering on the edge of conversion the push they need to engage.
2) Product demo videos. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. Video enables businesses to say a lot in a short space of time. A two-minute video can offer the same information as a 2,000-word article on the same topic. Plus, it takes audiences a lot less time to digest, so they’re more likely to retain the information.
Almost three-quarters of customers would rather learn about a product or service through video than by written word, according to Hubspot. This alone should convince more businesses to produce videos that demonstrate their product or service, which would give your sales team compelling content at their disposal.
3) Case studies. Nothing sells better than evidence of satisfied customers. This is why case studies are one of the most effective and important pieces of collateral a sales team can have in their arsenal.
Case studies are great at winning over leads at the final hurdle. Prospects want to see credible results your business has achieved for similar clients in the same sector—it enables them to predict the ROI they will achieve by choosing to do business with you.
Case studies also enable sales teams to set expectations. Sometimes, potential clients have idealistic goals that may be unrealistic for their budget and timeframe. Giving clients access to case studies before they choose to buy helps them develop an understanding of your product, service and the process and shows an example of the results they can expect, making pitching an easier task for your team.
You can also use case studies as a component of drip campaigns to nurture prospects into a sales-ready state. By sending an engaged lead a case study in the final stages of a drip campaign, you are rounding off the email-only introduction stage by validating the value of your product and centering your business as the solution to their problem.
Adam Little is the CMO at Data Dwell, a sales enablement software provider that helps marketing and sales teams transform the way they work with digital content.