Human attention span has fallen to 8 seconds from what was 12 seconds at the beginning of this century, such was proven in a research study conducted in Canada that surveyed over 2000 participants and studied the brain activity of 112 others. This is even shorter than the attention span of a goldfish which has an attention span of 9 seconds.
What we are trying to tell you here is that until we create a piece of content that can go viral or entices people to read or watch, the content is highly unlikely to generate traffic for your website, let alone drive sales.
According to Content Marketing institute, 80% of the decision makers or potential customers prefer to get company information in a series of articles rather than those flashy advertisements.
In order to drive sales, content marketing should be at the core of all your marketing strategies. Otherwise, customers are bound to fall off that sales funnel through cracks without making any purchases.
To understand it in depth, we need to know what exactly content marketing refers to and how it can be used to drive sales.
How do you define Content Marketing?
Content marketing is defined as the art of communicating with your customers or leads with informative content that helps them in making the decision without bugging them with advertisements. According to Content marketing institute, this form of marketing allows you to make the customers feel the need of your products or services, educates them on the topic and addresses their concerns about how your product or service would be helpful of any pain-point they have.
Content Marketing in 2016
According to the experts like Seth Godin, content marketing is the future of all marketing channels and we agree no less. The graph below shows the different types of content marketing which were most used in 2014. Now whichever mix of channels you use just make sure about how and where you interact with your customers.
Seth has pointed out that the way businesses communicate with customers has changed over a period of time. Now marketers cannot lay back after putting up their advertisements and hope for the customers to make the purchase. Now it is mandatory to make a two way communication. In order to that a marketer needs to know that whether he is targeting the right audience, can your product really solve their problem or meet their interests and then go after creating content to make a whole story around it.
Using Content to drive sales
According to Brooke Ballard from Business2community, your sales lifecycle consists of the following stages:
- Attracting traffic
- Capturing leads
- Nurturing prospects according to their interests
- Converting into sales
- Deliver & satisfy
- Upsell the customers
- Getting referrals
Creating a content piece around each of these stages will help addressing the needs of customers.
Creating Content in Stages
We categorise the creation of content as per the behaviour of customers into three major categories:
Awareness related Content
This content is meant for people or customers who have never interacted with your brand in the past. Here a marketer’s job is to make the content in such a way that it is seen by as many people as possible.
- Your websites
- Social media
- Visual graphics- Audio or Video
Why a Customer must choose ‘you’ Centric Content
Now that you have grabbed their attention and to some extent they have decided to trusted you. We need to now nurture the leads by providing them with content that addresses their concerns. The time now calls for educational content and focussing on going deeper since we have their contact information.
- Testimonials by past customers or their success stories using your product.
- Case Studies on what it was like when the kind of your product was not there in the market.
- White papers
- Other kinds of social proofs
Decision driven Content
It can further be divided into pre-close and post-content.
Pre-close content allows you to close those cracks that were left in your entire marketing lifecycle and be critically important to convert sales.
- Product Demos/ Catalogs
- List of options with prices
Now Since you have closed the deal with the customer, post close content addresses the after sales support.
- Deliver & Satisfy: Thanking them for making the purchase with your brand.
- Upsell customers: New products or upgrades introduced? Let them know about it.
- Referrals: Providing the loyalty cards and giving out coupons for referring your product.
That is all required by a brand for a great marketing strategy and watch it sales grow manifold. Content marketing is here to stay and is sure to grow in future as the competition arises.
Want to know more about how Content plays a crucial role in your Sales efforts, drop a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to read more on how you can enhance your inbound marketing strategy.
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