Why does that white paper you spent hours and hours developing not resonate with your prospects? How come that video you produced yielded so few downloads? Whether you’re a start-up or an established company, your initial communications with your target prospects and customers about your latest product or solution can be challenging.
Creating compelling content causes you headaches because you’re constantly learning what drives your prospects to consume information from you. Just when you think you have homed in on what’s important to them, new issues arise that they must address ahead of what you’re offering. Moreover, you’re not just competing with content from your competitors, but also content from all other vendors and partners that exist within their universe.
So, how do you determine what content will deliver value to your prospects to engage them on a consistent basis? First, you must go beyond simply talking to your customers and prospects and truly listen to them. Learn how they spend their days (and nights). Uncover how they work on projects and what barriers prevent them from doing their work effectively and efficiently. Determine how they deal with their most pressing problems and learn about their aspirations. What do they want to accomplish in their careers?
Once you’ve obtained this information, you essentially have the keys to the kingdom. This information is gold. It enables you to align your prospects’ problems, pains and dreams with the benefits your solution provides. Content such as white papers, by-lined articles, infographics and videos frame the problems and reveal the solutions to your prospects in the early stages of the buying cycle. Then, in later stages, deliver content that articulates the specific features and functions of your solution that makes their jobs easier, allowing your buyers to rise in their organizations as a result of implementing your solution. Now, you have numerous content options that should benefit your prospects.
Finally, it’s critical to test the effectiveness of the content you create before you release it to the public. Who in your organization deals with your prospects every day? That’s right. Your salespeople are an excellent resource to evaluate whether or not your content will positively impact your prospects. Find at least one sales representative (preferably two) who you believe understands your prospects and all of their challenges. Sharing your content with your salespeople prior to it being finalized will not only allow them to provide you with interesting insights and necessary revisions to make your content compelling, you’ll also earn points with them, as they’ll know that you want to align and help them be successful. It will also demonstrate to them that marketing and sales are not segregated, but have the same overall objectives. If marketing and sales are on the same page, the chances of your company’s success increase significantly.
Bottom line, don’t send content to prospects and customers without someone from sales blessing it first.
What is your strategy for linking content to the sales process?