Have you read the Seven Habits for Highly Effective Sales Content yet? Don’t worry – either way, we’ve created this series of posts to highlight those 7 habits for success.
Think quick: Whom are you trying to reach with your content?
Unfortunately, too many sales content professionals would probably reply “anyone who will respond.” (At least this is better than “anyone with a pulse,” but not by much!)
In some way, their instincts are correct. After all, if you think about it, the first job of content is to gain attention and fill the top of the sales funnel with anyone who expresses interest. It then becomes up to salespeople or inside sales reps to further qualify these leads until they become unresponsive, “deals lost,” or more hopefully, paying customers.
So on one hand, it may be easy to rationalize the use of general content as the best way to cast a wide net and haul in prospects like proverbial fish – of all different shapes, sizes, and types to be sorted through later.
Yet in doing so, content development professionals are missing a significant opportunity to create much more effective content. By seeking to truly know their audience, what motivates them, and what type of content they are looking for. It’s the first step in attempting to create more personalized, more engaging content that can lead to better sales results.
Envision your audience
With a database full of contacts, it may seem like there’s no discernible way to truly get to know your audience. Yet there are a number of strategies you can use to categorize potential buyers to best develop content to align with their goals.
First, you can create positioning/messaging documents that attempt to categorize potential buyers into common categories such as their business role or department. This worthwhile exercise helps you begin to visualize various buyers or influencers and consider what criteria – and content – are more important to them in the buying cycle.
This exercise also shines a light on your existing content and makes it easy to determine if you need additional tools for a particular buying segment. For example, if HR is an influencer, do you have enough content that shows how your solution can help them achieve compliance with a specific regulation, improve recruiting/retention or other HR-focused metrics? If not, maybe you should.
But you should also attempt to use data fields and preferences to get to know as much about each prospect as possible. After all, you’re really attempting to engage in one-to-one marketing with your customers and prospects. For example, if your prospect is tech savvy, you may want to consider serving up content that they can open on a mobile device. Or, if not, create content that can easily be viewed on a computer or could even be printed.
Investing a little time up front to better understand your audience may seem like an extra step, and one that busy professionals may want to skip. Yet these small steps can pay huge dividends down the road and help content professionals develop much more effective – and successful – content.
Interested in learning more? Please download our whitepaper, Seven Habits for Highly Effective Sales Content, to get a closer look at seven proven strategies for developing highly effective content. Please download the entire whitepaper now to learn more.