Marketing Fun Friday: Fill Your Sales Pipeline With Help From Branded Content

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Marketing, Sales 2.0 [ 0 Comments ]

Connect with Customers It used to be that to sell a product, you only really needed a great idea and a nice way to say it. The relationship was simple: you provided something unique to a customer that they felt they needed. You, the provider of said good or service, were in a position of influence – only you could fulfill that person’s specific need.  Now that the internet has opened up a (literal) world of options that have the potential to be cheaper or more accessible than yours, the relationship between buyer and seller has become much more complex.

Related: Connect with online marketing vendors to help you find customers on the web

Simply providing products is no longer enough. People –  your current and future customers – are inundated with product marketing messages all day, every day, on every web property they visit. They are deaf to your product in this sea of noise. In order to reach them, you need to take your marketing to the next level by creating engaging, and relevant content that will interest potential customers in your business, provide them with a valuable resource, and help build a relationship.

Why Branded Content Works

What you provide your customers should make sense with your product, and should work hand in hand with your product, but it doesn’t need to be your product. In order to forge a relationship with your customers that provides them with value above and beyond your product, you need to begin developing tools and resources that help your potential and current customers navigate their day-to-day lives.

  • Producing valuable, branded content for your customers – blog posts, infographics, articles, how-to’s, etc – is the best, most-bang-for-your-buck option to redefine this relationship.
  • Content that fills in a common knowledge gap or helps solve a common problem for your market is the best way to build a devoted following of people interested in your major brand themes – and who may, in time, turn into actual customers for your business.

Related: You Are a Brand – And It’s a Good Thing

Adjust your lead nurturing cycle to deliver relevant content about topics your audience members care about. Begin distributing this content in places where your target market will gather.

  • These actions will fill the top of your sales pipelines with people hooked on your content, and will be more likely to trust you and your product when they decide to purchase. 61% of customers seek out web content before making a purchase, so if you are a thought leader in your space, those 61% of consumers will be seeing your brand and content the most (Razorfish, 2008). (Tweet this stat!)

How To Use Branded Content For Lead Generation

In order for your content to generate sufficient leads, your content should reflect your product/service, the audience you are pursuing, and the problem your business is trying to solve. By identifying these things, you can make a smart assumption about what these people would be interested in reading and sharing on a day-to-day basis.

For example: if you are a baker, you want people to buy your cookies baskets online.

  • What is your product?  Cookie baskets.
  • Who is your audience? People interested in eating, baking and gifts.
  • What is the problem you wish to solve?  People who would buy cookie baskets online either don’t know how to make these items or are too busy to create gift baskets themselves.
  • The content you should test: easy cookie recipes, content about creative gifts, content about ways to easily personalize store bought items, etc.

Related: The #1 Tip For Selling With Your Content Is…

Give it a shot! You can reach thousands of new, potential leads by creating content that helps with your audience’s day-to-day problems or shared interests. When you have an existing relationship built on trust and a long history of need fulfillment, your customers will feel comfortable choosing you over your competitors. Sure, someone else’s product might be flashier or get more press, but people will come to you to buy because of the relationship you’ve invested in through the production and development of engaging, branded content.

Bio: Clair Byrd is the Director of Content and Community for Scoop.it, the leading topic-centric content curation platform. For thoughts about writing and community follow @theclairbyrd. For great content about the future of media and social tech, follow @scoopit.


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