A recent article in Social Media Today revealed that 88 percent of firms took advantage of some form of pre-sales web content strategy as part of their customer engagement processes. The article also revealed that customers seek out an average of 11 ½ pieces of online content prior to making a buying decision, and that 85 percent of customers regularly include online content in their decision making. It further stated that 70 percent of customers have a preference for getting to know the business they will be doing business with, using web content.
This is proof positive that content marketing is a highly valuable means for the sales team to acquaint customers with their offerings and attract pre-qualified prospects. This article discusses some of the ways that sales teams are using content to bolster their sales pitch.
Using Videos to Support Sales Efforts
Strategic Marketing Analysis specialists, IDG Knowledge revealed findings that up to 95 percent of buyers in certain web-based markets watch videos prior to sales engagement and that 78 percent of those prospects share video with their colleagues and associates.
Videos can be exceptionally powerful when they show customer product and service testimonials, assist customers with understanding their business’ offerings and how their products and services solve problems that their clients are experiencing.
Online videos targeted to a particular persona can be used as an introductory step in the sales process to acquaint customers with their company, creating a sense of familiarity and a high comfort level prior to interacting with sales representatives.
An excellent example of this is California-based, security and networking service specialists, Blue Coat, who use their videos to inform prospects about their services and introduce concepts related to the services that they offer.
The Benefits of Using SlideShares
SlideShares are another powerful Internet-based content tool that sales teams are using with very positive results. Businesses are using SlideShares to increase their rankings in the results returned by search engines. Studies consistently reveal that web users spend more time engaging with interactive image content. They also go back to it more frequently and bookmark and share it more all of which improve search ranking metrics for a given firm.
SlideShares are an excellent way for businesses to create useful tools for their customers based on their business’ marketing goals and objectives in a highly interactive way. Marketing content such as how-to guides can be used to share industry information of interest and create favorable impressions with their prospects about their companies and its offerings. They can also demonstrate the authority of the firm providing them and set them apart as leaders in their industries.
Using Webinars to Help Sell Products
Webinars are used by businesses to generate pre-qualified leads. ReadyTalk, an online leader in the webinar services market, published findings from their own studies revealing that nearly ½ of all webinars are one hour in length and that most viewers watch the first 53 minutes.
As far as a return on investment, webinars are a very cost effective means to produce leads. The average firm spends $274 to generate a lead using trade shows, yet webinars produce the same and often better results for a lower cost of $97.70.
As with the other discussed forms of content marketing, webinars provide a low-pressure pre-sales tool to acquaint customers with business offerings, while at the same time building customer confidence and trust before meeting with a salesperson.
Webinars are also conducted by key members of the business and frequently involve the sales and marketing teams, allowing them to demonstrate their personableness and competence and create a memorable first impression on their customers.
Today’s sales teams have several powerful online tools for engaging with customers before any type of interpersonal contact is established. Studies have shown that tools such as videos, webinars, SlideShares and other types of web-based content are highly effective pre-sales means to demonstrate business leadership, the superiority of their offerings and to show a strong match between their offerings and their customer needs.
What content marketing strategies does your business use in its marketing efforts? Tell us in the comments.
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