The average marketing team spends countless hours strategizing, planning, and executing the production of content for the purposes of inbound marketing. The goal, above all else, is to use top-of-funnel content to attract prospects into the funnel.
That’s where, once in the funnel, the focus shifts as 70% of brands concentrate on converting leads to customers. But sales teams continue to struggle through that final conversion process for a variety of reasons.
If your sales team isn’t ready to roll over and give up, then consider how they could start using content strategically at key points in the buyer’s journey. Here are some proven-effective types of content that will help your sales team build relationships and dramatically lift conversions.
1. Curate content to maintain engagement
Research shows that 79% of leads never convert into sales. One reason for this is that roughly half of all leads simply aren’t ready to make a purchase decision. If your sales team is met with radio silence or a “not sure” response then disengages until a preset follow up date, they risk losing that sale completely.
Instead of going dark or sending generic follow ups, pay close attention to the pain points of your customer. Curate and share highly relevant content (your content and other sources) and pass it along with a personalized message. This kind of lead nurturing doesn’t press the prospect to convert but it keeps you in their thoughts.
Nurtured leads produce 20% more sales revenue and companies using this approach have 9% more reps meeting their target sales quota.
2. Targeted white papers
Your customers will likely share a number of pain points. Use the topics that keep them up at night to craft detailed resources. A handful of white papers, aimed at addressing specific pain points, is an essential part of easing prospect concerns and getting them to convert.
In just a handful of page a white paper can address major concerns, offer a better understanding of the cause, show data and statistics supporting recommendation alongside solutions that help them make a decision. A great white paper positions your brand as being the ideal solution without necessarily coming out and selling you on the page.
White papers are incredibly effective when appropriate targeted; a recent study showed that 84% of businesses believe white papers carry a lot of influence in their purchasing decisions.
3. Sell more with video content
There are a lot of ways your sales team can use video, from embedding video content into sales outreach and demo decks to plugging videos in throughout the buyer's journey.
It’s an approach your sales team should try, as 43% of businesses stated they would like to see more video content from brands and marketers.
Video content comes with some serious benefits:
- It can be easy to customize with tools like Wistia and Ripl
- Video makes information more memorable
- 40% of people response to visual info better than text
- 75% of executives are more attentive to work related videos
Brief videos (30 seconds or less) are incredibly easy to digest and take far less time for your marketing team to create. Once they’re finished they can be used time and again to help close prospects, making them a terrific content asset with unlimited earning potential as supporting content.
For a simple solution that lets your marketing team collaborate with videographers, a tool like Slope could be your best bet. Slope makes it really easy to leave time-coded comments on videos to decrease the amount of time it takes to leave feedback, further lowering the impact implementing video has on your marketing team’s workload.
4. Educate with infographics
In the same vein as videos, static visuals like an infographic can contribute a significant lift in close ratios. Kissmetrics is one brand with a long history of using both educational and entertaining approaches to content.
Infographics are a terrific way to highlight relevant information just like a long sales sheet or blog, but without the text heavy format. According to NNgroup, your audience will actually spend more time looking at the images in an infographic than reading the accompanying text.
This is the kind of compelling product literature that'll help sway a prospects decision. A comprehensive infographic can even become a source of education that your prospect uses to help sell the decision up the chain.
5. Targeted case studies
Your customers often take time to make a purchase decision because they want to know it’s the right solution that fits their problem. You can influence the final purchase decision by sharing targeted case studies that align with specific pain points and use cases.
Customer success stories (case studies) are very simple pieces of content collateral that add a significant level of credibility to your brand when you need it most – right at transition from evaluation to purchase in the buyer’s journey.
Do more with content
Whether you want to send more personalized emails, case studies, targeted blogs, or infographics your sales team will need to partner up and work closely with your marketing team. While they have all the tools and resources to create the content for your sales team, they don’t always have the insight. Share data between departments, including customer pain points, to help marketing arm your sales team with the most effective content.
If you've used content to help your prospects turn into customers, we'd love to hear about it in the comments!