Are you uncomfortable asking for the sale? Are your products or services not performing the way you need them to? Are you in desperate need of finding effective ways to sell more? Look no further. In today’s blog, we’ll provide the answers to your questions about increasing your sales using your content to advertise your products or services.
What does it mean to not be salesy?
The common misconception of not being salesy is that you don’t have to ask for the sale. But that’s entirely not true. In fact, the key definition to not being salesy is masking your sales’ approaches and pitches by focusing on adding value that hits home for your customers. For example, the more you answer the needs of your audience, the more value your audience sees in your solutions.
So make sure that by the time you ask for the sale, you’ve taken the necessary steps towards building a trusting and valuable relationship between you and your audience. And in the end you’ll see the result of your relationship with your audience by their purchase or lack thereof.
You can increase the bottom line while, at the same time, help your customers live better lives or get better jobs. Content marketing is the only kind of marketing that provides ongoing value, whether you purchase the product or not.—Joe Pulizzi
How do I change up my sales approach in order to sell more?
Specifically, your sales strategy should be tailored to fit your company, your ideal customers, and how these align with your products or services. However on a more general level, Marie Forleo and her channel, MarieTV: Create A Business and Life You Love, addressed this question and provided six reasons why your customers aren't buying with solutions on how to fix it.
Outside of Marie’s awesome advice, her way of asking for the sale is reminiscent of the holistic approach of inbound marketing. By Marie providing you with free educational content through MarieTV, as a consumer, she is providing you with valuable information that meets your needs and provides you with satisfying solutions that align with her products and services, i.e., Marie’s B-School.
Just as your content needs to target customers at every step of their journey with you, it also needs to appeal to their rational and emotional sides. Every customer needs to have their interest piqued, engagement provoked and confidence built.—Mark Wilson
Let your content speak for you. Use content instead to market your business—making them the best form of advertising for your products or services.
What types of content are currently and effectively benefiting most companies today?
Videos, live stream, interactivity, infographics, whitepapers, eBooks, blog posts and more are just a few types of content circulating today’s marketing landscape. Yet different types of content work for different types of companies. Because no matter what you create, in the end, it depends on how your audience responds to it. And if you know your audience like the back of your hand, you know what types of content work for them in order to lead them through the sales funnel and close the sale.
However, we’ll focus on general types of content you can create in relation to the three stages of the buyer’s journey.
People will come to your site because you have good compelling content. You need to hit it from all angles: blog posts, articles, graphs, data, infographics, interactive content—even short pictures when you Tweet.—Chris Bennett
At this stage of the buyer’s journey, a potential buyer is going to treat you like a kid shouting, “Stranger Danger.” Because even though this buyer has a need, he or she won’t look to you to solve their problem immediately, because they don’t know who you are and essentially what you can do for them.
Within this stage, informational and educational content is the best mode of getting your buyer’s attention since your content is focused towards answering their pain points. Examples of content you can use in this stage include: blog posts, infographics, how to videos, etc.
Now that this potential buyer knows who you are, they’ll further their research around what you can do for them. Within this stage, buyers’ overall needs and behaviors will become more specific and identifiable. Meaning, your content needs to be specifically tailored to their behaviors in order for them to affirm that your company is right for them. Examples of content you can use in this stage include: live Q&As about your products or services with your sales rep, recorded product demos, etc.
It’s time for the sale. However, within this stage, you can still utilize content before and after the sale in order to create a great buying experience that will hopefully have them coming back to work with you in the future.
Examples of content you can use in this stage before the sale include: providing your sales-ready buyer customer testimonials and case studies—highlighting and demonstrating how your product or service is valuable and trusted. You can add an even more personal touch to these testimonials with video. Examples of content you can use in this stage after the sale include: delighting your customers with giveaways, discounts, etc. in order to show appreciation for their purchase is a great way to nurture returning customers.
Great marketers have immense empathy for their audience. They can put themselves in their shoes, live their lives, feel what they feel, go where they go, and respond how they'd respond. That empathy comes out in content that resonates with your audience.—Rand Fishkin
How do I make my content stand out?
Essentially to create the content that stands out in your industry, try incorporating these three tips into your content strategy:
- Provide a solution.
- Create a conversation.
- Make your content relatable and shareable.
Real content marketing isn’t repurposed advertising, it is making something worth talking about.—Seth Godin
Until next FAQ Friday, keep your communication lines open. Don’t know the answer—ASK. If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ Friday, please submit them in the comments below or mention us @DirectImages on Twitter.
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