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If ‘Great content is the best sales tool in the world’* – better make sure you do it right.


Everyone’s a thought leader these days, everyone’s publishing endless content, so how do you ensure yours is being read and valued?

 

The scary facts:

 

+200million people use ad blockers – which is one reason for so much content being created, for all those you can’t reach with digital ads.

 

37 seconds – the average amount of time people spend on an article – the fact that you’ve read to here is already a bonus.

 

71% of decision makers reported that less than half of thought leadership content they read is valuable – made worse by the glut of low quality content that came out due to the recent Covid pandemic **

 

The great facts:

 

Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound and generates 3x as many leads

 

-47% of buyers stated thought leadership content led to find and purchase from a company they had not considered as leaders in their category.

-48% of companies awarded business to the organization responsible for the thought leadership

-53% of companies increase the amount of business they did with the organization who produced the thought leadership content**

 

Hybrid working has resulted in different a different buying process – from McKinsey

 

70-80% of B2B buying interactions have moved remote or digital:

- including finding and identifying new suppliers

-once find, then evaluating new suppliers

-ordering and reordering.

-70% of B2B decision makers are to open to making new, fully self-serve or remote purchases in excess of $50,000 and 27% would spend more than $500,000.

 

The good news:

 

There’s a lot to compete with but get it right and you’re making cost effective sales.

 

You and 88% of B2B marketers already have a content marketing strategy in place. But is it working as well as it could and is it delivering sales? Maybe now is a good time to review and re-evaluate.

 


What’s the role of content?

 

When done well, it helps the salesperson to be on the same plane as the prospect:

-it shows you understand your customer’s challenges and issues

-ideally creates urgency to act on the issues and solutions you’ve presented

-it positions you as the go-to-resource on topics that are relevant to your prospect and primed a preference for your brand

-builds trust and credibility across the buyer group (remember there can be as many as 10 different roles involved)

-elevates the conservation to a more strategic level, beyond sales and to long-term value, by leading the prospect to think more deeply about solutions they need.

 

With the right data and evidence, it helps the customer to make a sales decision.

 

How to produce great content – the check list.

 

1. What business objectives will your thought leadership achieve?

-agree on that internally and track accordingly to see if it has helped

-ensure measurement tools in place.

 

2. Will your content deliver value? Will it teach your prospects something they don’t already know?

-read what competitors are producing and find gaps

-keyword searches

-what is the industry talking about?

-make it salesy and it’s over.

 

3. Who is your audience

-remember there can be up to 10 decision makers in the a B2B decision, map their roles, their needs and what is going to make them famous.

 

4. Be strong and bold in your content – you need to stand out

-especially if you’re not a leader in your field, act like you are.

 

5. Who is the face of your thought leadership?

- do you have Subject Matter Experts who are known by your prospects, or at least have valuable insights to bring (see point 2).

 

No time, no problem.

 

Audience preferences for content types are:**

-59% want primer style with quick take aways, written for a general audience

-59% also want short content that makes a strong point but light on details

-58% want ideas and insights that help me perform better in my day job.

 

Revaluate your plans and good luck. Let us know if anything has helped and equally what has worked well that we’ve not included.

 

*Marcus Sheridan – The Sales Lion.

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