When was the last time you really enjoyed an online experience?
Maybe you were watching the greatest baseball movie clip of all time (which is this, by the way). Maybe you found the perfect deep-dish pizza recipe. Or maybe you read a thought leadership piece that really sparked your interest.
Now think about what made you want to stay engaged with that piece.
Did it answer a question — maybe one you didn’t even know you had?
Did it entertain and interest you?
Did it give you the information you needed to do a job?
Great content informs, engages and delights the reader when it checks all three of those boxes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a feature film, a Top 40 hit or a business blog post — well-written (or produced) content works the same way across the board.
Here are three more reasons great content is crucial to helping your business succeed.
1. Content Attracts Prospects to Your Website or Social Channel
First, a quick note to explain what content is: Most people think of it as a blog post, but it could also be a video, a social post or a detailed web page. It’s anything that provides information to your prospect.
Your prospects are looking for something — like an answer to their question or information about a solution. They want to find that as quickly and easily as possible. Help them do it by figuring out what they’re interested in and writing to it.
If you want to create content that answers your prospect’s pain points, you first need to know who your audience is and what their questions are. Understanding your persona — a semi-fictionalized representation of your customers that’s created from real data — is key to unlocking insights about that audience.
Equally as important as good content, though, is a good user experience when you do attract people to your site. There’s no use in a beautifully-written article on your software services if the formatting is lousy and the reader doesn’t know what to do next.
Once you’ve attracted someone, your goal is to get them to stay — and come back. Do this through well-formatted content, an updated website and clear calls to action throughout the piece.
2. Content Guides Prospects Through the Buyer’s Journey
We touched on this earlier, but to get the most bang for your content buck, the details should be geared toward what people want to know - not necessarily what you want them to know.
That’s one reason businesses might not see success with the content they do have: Everything is a sales pitch. There’s nothing wrong with a clear call to action in your content, but the whole piece shouldn’t be about selling your products. It should be about answering the prospect’s pain points in a way that would make sense to them.
Think of the sales funnel, where the top of the funnel (TOF) is all about people looking for solutions to their problems. They aren’t ready to make a purchase yet, and they’re not interested in hearing about how great your brand is. This is your opportunity to capture their interest with an informative article that answers their questions.
Here’s another way to think about it. You wouldn’t go on a date with someone and then propose to them the next day (well, we hope not). It’s the same way with digital sales. Give the prospect time to get to know you before trying to move them down the funnel toward a purchase.
3. Content Gives Sales the Resources They Need
You might be thinking that content sounds like a marketing-department-only kind of thing. But if it’s done well, it shouldn’t be.
Content doesn’t just attract people to your website and provide them with top-level information: It can be a gold mine for your sales team. Think of the content you’re creating as a playbook for your brand. It contains all the valuable information that prospects are hungry for.
But a prospect isn’t likely to read through every single blog post on your site to find a piece of information. If they’re really interested, they’ll get in touch with your sales team and ask them questions. Then, the content you’ve created can guide the sales team in those conversations and provide them with collateral to share.
It’s also a great way to pool knowledge between sales and marketing. Marketing is uncovering prospect insights through persona and topic research, and sales can learn about — and build upon — that information. It’s a win-win for both teams.
Of course, for this synergy to become a reality, it’s crucial to keep all that content organized. Both teams need access to it, and both need to know what information is available. Organized content libraries make for happy teams.
Get Help With Your B2B Marketing
Content marketing is key to an effective digital marketing strategy, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle.
Learn more about the eight processes and tools sales teams need to succeed in our free white paper, “How to Win B2B Sales in the Digital Age.” Download it today and get your business on the path to digital success.