For content marketers, delivering content in context isn’t a new trend. For sales reps, it’s an expectation. Regardless of whether you're in marketing or sales, if you aren’t having meaningful conversations and serving up relevant experiences, you’re doing it wrong. Great content is best leveraged by sales teams when it thoughtfully leads the buyer on a journey with specific themes, allowing us to envision the end result.
Getting Sales and Marketing on the Same Page
"Smarketing" (sales and marketing alignment) is the first step to serving up the right experiences that speak to potential buyers across the entire funnel. Sales reps tend to spends their days with their ears to the ground, listening to prospects and understanding their needs and how the solution fits. Collaboration with marketing is necessary to make sure the right content is being created, to attract buyers at the top of the funnel and provoke the right questions at the bottom of the funnel. Once you've got the right content for the right purposes, it's a matter of turning it into a journey that takes the visitor from content, to call-to-action, to customer.
Thinking Ahead to What's Next
When talking with your audience and prospects, whatever the situation, you need to think about what’s next from the standpoint of the engagement. Do you want your visitor to consume more content on the theme / road you’ve led them down? Or do you want them to request a demo and come straight to you?
At any stage of the funnel there is always a next step and some sort of desired action you’re looking for your visitors or prospects to get to. As much as we want to build for content consumption, we need to have our eyes on the outcome: provoking action or revealing buying intent.
Serving up the Right Content at the Right Time
For TOFU (Top of Funnel) engagements, we need to not only display our content in a manner where we can recommend additional relevant content, but also include a meaningful call-to-action to facilitate further conversations.
At the bottom of the funnel is where it becomes a little harder. I’ve written in the past about leveraging personalized experiences in an account-based marketing approach. Again, it’s important to ensure you’re providing the next relevant piece of content at the appropriate stage, where the action you want your buyer to take is obvious.
When prospects are this far along the buying journey, they have questions that need answers. And your content will lead to these questions by provoking the right thoughts and influencing the buying decision. Take advantage of this and facilitate the journey with a call to action that speaks to THEM.
Personalize the Experience and They Will Stay
It's just not enough to create content for your buyer's persona. You need to create content that reflects their respective buyer's journey. Your buyers need to feel like they're in the right place: from the content they visit, to the call-to-action they click, to the conversations they have with Sales.