Don’t Underestimate The Importance of Content Marketing as an Internal Sales Tool.
Content marketing isn’t just for SEO. It’s one of the many reasons to write blog posts. SEO gets all of the attention and glory. It’s like that one beautiful friend we all have who constantly has to be praised and fed compliments. It’s annoying and exhausting.
But that’s not the only friend we have in our group. Most of us also have that one really supportive friend; you can tell her anything — and vice versa. She doesn’t want you to go clubbing; you sit on the patio and chat for hours.
Content marketing (blogging) also a great sales tool. If you have a salesperson, they have a library of content to pull from. Your marketer will also have access to this content. If you are your own sales person, then you’re saving yourself time explaining.
What Tools do Sales Reps Need?
Sales teams do what they do best — connect with folks, form great relationships, and bring business to the table. They’re one part of your business strategy. Salespeople need sales tools. Meaning, they need a database of customers (CRM), warm and cold leads, and talking points. It’s not that a salesperson isn’t technical; talking points is something your marketing team has put together to make their job easier. They already have to remember everyone’s dog’s name, what sports team they like, and when the last time they purchased a website maintenance contract from you. That’s a lot.
If you’re large enough to have a business development partner (sales) and a social media manager (marketing) then you free yourself up to work in your business. They work on your business so you can work in your business.
That sounds the opposite of what everyone else has said, right?
“Work on your business, not in it.”
Why did you start your business? Because you love accounting? Doubtful. Oh I know, it’s because you love being on social media? Oh, that isn’t it either? Ah, I see. You love building websites. You love creating your furniture. You love designing interiors. You love the work you do. So, do it.
The worst advice I have ever heard is to get entrepreneurs to work on their business. Hire that out. Whether it is an employee or a vendor, your billable hours are worth more than sales, marketing, or accounting.
How is Content Marketing a Sales Tool?
Now that we agree to work in your business, let’s think about your content marketing. Sure, it’s a little bit “on your business,” but work with me here. Okay? (Wait, talking points is content marketing? Yes. Yes it is.)
What are the questions you constantly get from customers? What do you wish they knew? (These prompts are all in my eBook, by the way.) I recommend that you keep a journal beside you to write down those pain points (theirs or yours).
Why? Because the more you answer people’s questions, the more you build up your content marketing library. As a side benefit of this approach, you also tell Google that you’re publishing and that your website is relevant (read: SEO).
If you have a marketer, voice type a rough draft for them to edit and publish. You can do this easily with Google Docs. Now, your whole company will have a cohesive voice and will not over promise and under deliver.
Sometimes we technical people are afraid that sales folks will say “yes we can do that,” when, in fact, we can upload 1,000 pdfs to your WordPress media library, but it’s best if those are either in a CDN or published as custom post types — not PDF documents. (Hello, 1990 called.)
Working on your business means that you provide the expertise and guidance so that you can delegate these sales and marketing tasks to people who have a passion, instinct, and education for that. Get the specs out, and get back to the work you enjoy.
Sales Tool Use Case: Epoxy Injection
Back in my days as the Office Manager (and self-appointed Social Media Manager) at Riggins Construction & Management, Inc., I was one wall away from overhearing pain points. Also, yes, I built that website in WordPress back in 2015. My office shared a wall with my boss and, as you can imagine in construction, he was on the phone more than four hours a day. As I heard these pain points, I wrote them on post-it notes and stuck them on my cabinet doors.
One of the Billboard Hits of Pain Points (there were many) was epoxy injection to fix cracks in concrete panels. So, I had a chat with Art Dodge of Dodge Concrete and asked if he would allow me to interview him and film some of the processes. He was in and we had a project that we contracted him to do. Kismet!
The video I recorded, edited, and published in 2012 on how epoxy injection welds concrete panels together now has over 3,500 views! It was a great tool for Tom Riggins and probably still is.
I could overhear him saying, “I’ll send you a link to the video my Office Manager put together” every time someone asked about epoxy injection for their tilt-up building.
Three years after this video was published, we got a lead, from this video. Yes, the client called because he did a search on Google, found the video, and called us. That lead went from an $8,500 contract to $97,000. It turns out that most commercial property owners own more than one building. This gentleman owned ten.
What’s the ROI of content marketing and social media?
The gross profit of that one job paid for ½ of my salary for a year.
Bonus Insight From Warren Laine-Naida
“Your inside sales team is NOT a call center. You are the glue that holds leads in anticipation until the sales team arrives.” Warren Laine-Naida
- Content is like Alka-Seltzer! It should offer relief and it should offer REAL support to a problem.
- People want high-quality content and they want it easy to consume. It should be actionable, relevant (responsive) to our times, and issue the pain points you identified.
- For every hour you spend writing your content you need to spend an hour distributing it. Your sales team (external) should share it and talk about it. It is a tool for them, right?
What Will Be Your First Blog Post as a Sales Tool?
So when it comes to blogging, think about how you can address pain points. Maybe you’re the CFO and the CEO and the salesperson like Tom Riggins is. Either way, you’ll make your life easier by publishing content that answers frequently asked questions.
I dog dare you to write out five things you wish your customers knew. What are they? Let me know in the comments.
I double-dog dare you to write a 300-500 word blog post answering those questions.
I triple-dog dare you to make a 1-5 minute video and put it on YouTube.
Thanks Bridget! This was a surprise to wake up to this morning. Hmmm 5 things I wish my clients knew? Well, the 5 things I guess I always tell them but they don’t believe or want to do LOL
1. digital is a tool that works by clicking, but you need to invest just as much time in it as traditional marketing. it isn’t magic.
2. people won’t find you just because you have a website. There are billions of them.
3. you don’t need to have a thousand dollar budget for google ads. start with a dollar a day. learn and be amazed at what you see!
4 digital isn’t a secret. these buzzwords shouldn’t distract you. just do it. everything you do today is something more you know tomorrow!
5. I have to pay my bills just like you do. please don’t squeeze me for every dollar. when you give me a dollar you get two back in value.
Ok, so now I’ll see about that blog post and video ;o)
Thai is so good! I love these points, especially about starting and learning as you go.
Isn’t it fun to do a simple exercise that prompts a topic for your blog?
Thanks for being a good sport!
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