Your company has content. Do your customers know that?

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This is a huge void in most companies when we are talking about marketing and communication. Many business leaders glass over the "content marketing" meetings because it can seem that all these content marketers "spin their wheels" with all this talk about "content". 

What is content really?

So content can come in many forms for a company and if you haven't done it yet, you should audit what your customers and potential clients see when they come into contact with your company. 

What content is for your company is the idea you want people to walk away with that brands your company. 

If I mention one brand to you, Apple - for instance, you might be able to mention not only their products but why they developed them, how long they have been in business, the reason they do what they do, and where they will be in the next 5 years. Why is this?

What if I mentioned to you a less known brand, or even your own. Do you think you or a complete stranger could recall these things you know from a company like Apple?

The reason we know so much about Apple is because of the continuous and effective job they do at promoting their content. Their messaging is consistent and it relatable to their end consumer. 

As brands today, we need to start to evolve with messaging and marketing. Too many companies today silo marketing from the rest of Ops or Sales. Why is that? Don't they want the department responsible for developing content to align the messaging of their product or service in line with the vision of the company?

Sales departments are crippled in their sales process because most consumers still research companies continuously from resources online and from the information that marketing puts out. Your content, while business development is left to fend with cold calling and networking events that portray disconnected development partners and disjointed sales processes altogether. 

If you really want to shorten the sales cycle, I strongly urge the business leadership to align the marketing efforts to match what buyers are doing online.

4 Ways To Shorten The Sales Cycle

1. Improve your website copy to match the sales process you have in place. Deliver your message, ask visitors to take action, and measure these results monthly!

2. Stop purchasing email lists and begin capturing leads through innovative content marketing efforts like Inbound Marketing. Email use is still not dead and marketers have the data to prove it. Start producing effective email content that nurtures your leads into warm contacts for business development to reach out to. 

3. Improve your social media practices. Stop treating your social media like distribution channels. They are outlets of conversation and entertainment that connect to real people and can have profound effects on your brand. 

4. Above all else, start answering your customers questions. Content marketing's sole purpose is not to sell but to educate. Doesn't this do the same thing with better and longer lasting results? Develop a content marketing calendar and be consistent with what you put out. Use blogs, webinar, podcasts, video streaming, pictures, etc for your content. Measure what your audience prefers and share moments with your customers. 

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