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Building the Case for Content

Are you finding your sales teams perhaps more traditional methods of engaging with potential buyers are being outpaced by a more informed, content-hungry audience?

This article dives into the heart of this transformation, unpacking the nuanced shifts in buyer behaviour and the strategic pivot from broad-based advertising to focused, impactful content marketing.

We’ll explore the macro changes driving this evolution, including the role of artificial intelligence in reshaping content creation and distribution, and the enduring value of content marketing over fleeting advertising efforts. Furthermore, we’ll dissect the micro impacts these changes have on sales processes, trust-building, and establishing authority in your field.

Central to our discussion is a pragmatic, tactical application of these insights: the surprisingly powerful strategy of creating just six pieces of content each year. Far from a minimalist approach, this strategy is about making every piece count—deeply resonant, meticulously crafted, and strategically deployed to not just capture attention but to nurture and convert leads throughout the sales cycle.

Join us as we navigate through these shifts, offering actionable advice for sales teams eager to leverage content marketing effectively, ensuring their message not only reaches their audience but engages them meaningfully, fostering lasting connections in a competitive digital arena.

Q: Are you noticing your buyers are more informed than ever before?

Not surprising given up to 80% of a final buying decision is made before they contact you!

Q: Are you struggling to get your head around the pace of change and the shift to a buyer first approach?

Take for example that 44% of buyers don’t want to engage sales people at all – it’s no wonder it feels a bit confusing!

1. Macro Changes that support the case for content

Evolving Buyer Behaviour: Buyers are more informed and engaged with content than ever before, often consulting multiple sources before making a purchase decision.

Shift from Advertising to Content Marketing: There’s a notable shift from traditional advertising to content marketing as businesses seek to build lasting relationships and trust with their audiences.

The Role of AI in Content Strategy: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming how content is researched, generated, and personalized, though its role is more suited to enhancing human creativity and understanding rather than replacing it.

Durability of Content Marketing: Unlike temporary advertising, content marketing creates a durable, persistent body of work that continues to generate leads and engagement over time.

Digital Footprint’s Influence on AI Recommendations: The size and quality of a brand’s digital footprint will increasingly determine its visibility and recommendation by AI systems in the future.

2. Micro Impact – how content can help B2B Sales professionals be more effective

Content Marketing’s Influence on Sales: Effective content marketing directly supports the sales process by addressing buyer objections, demonstrating expertise, and differentiating brands from competitors.

Importance of Strategy Over Format: Successful content marketing focuses on strategic alignment with audience needs rather than the format or platform of the content.

Building Authority and Trust: High-quality, insightful content positions sales professionals and their companies as authorities, building trust with potential customers.

Patience and Persistence: Content marketing requires patience and persistence, as significant results are often slow to manifest compared to traditional advertising.

3. Tactical Application and what sale organisation can do to start with content.

Audience-Centric Content Creation: Start by deeply understanding the audience’s needs, preferences, and the “zero moment of truth” to create highly relevant and engaging content. When did you last take a look at the common questions your buyers are asking?

Strategic Content Planning: Define clear goals, topics, formats, and a publishing schedule that aligns with the sales process and buyer journey. Often we see organisations create content for content’s sake or just create throw away content or worse, just posting the brochure!

Sales and Marketing Alignment: Ensure sales teams are equipped with content that addresses common objections and questions, integrating content marketing into the sales strategy. The sales and marketing feedback loop should be in place to create much more meaningful and relevant discussions around customer focussed content.

Utilising AI for Research and Personalisation: Employ AI tools for audience research and content personalization, while maintaining a human touch in content creation for authenticity and differentiation. 72% of buyers only engage with personalised content. Doesn’t it make sense to make content work for you, too?

Long-Term Commitment to Content: Commit to a sustained content marketing strategy, recognising that building a substantial digital presence and authority takes time. Sorry folks, there’s no silver bullet here!

Leverage Every Opportunity for Visibility: Say yes to opportunities for guest posts, speaking engagements, and collaborations to increase the brand’s digital footprint and influence AI recommendations.

Download the Guide

A B2B Content Strategy to Engage Generational Shifts in the Digital Era

Tactical Application Part Two: Leveraging the Power of Six in Sales Strategies

Strategic Concentration on Six Key Pieces: Within the tactical framework of content marketing, one standout approach is the strategic creation of just six significant pieces of content annually. This methodology underscores the importance of depth, relevance, and strategic alignment with sales objectives over the breadth of content produced.

For sales teams, this means focusing on crafting content that directly addresses the most pressing questions, concerns, and interests of their target audience. Your buyers are most likely overwhelmed with the amount of high quality content – you must stand out!

Creating Impactful Sales Tools: Each of these six pieces serves as a potent tool in the sales arsenal, designed to guide potential customers through their purchasing journey. From initially piquing interest to overcoming objections and facilitating decision-making, this content acts as a bridge between sales efforts and customer needs. Sales teams are encouraged to collaborate closely with marketing to ensure these pieces are rich in insights, answers to common objections, and demonstrations of unique value propositions. Remember, content is a sales asset, not a nice to have marketing gimmick.

Enhancing Buyer Engagement and Trust: By committing to the creation of high-quality, insightful content, sales teams can significantly enhance engagement with potential buyers. This focused approach helps in building trust and establishing authority in the field, key factors in winning customer confidence. It positions the sales team not just as sellers, but as knowledgeable consultants equipped with valuable resources to assist buyers in their journey.

Efficient Use and Distribution: The strategic distribution and utilization of these content pieces across various touchpoints in the sales cycle amplifies their impact. It’s essential for sales teams to integrate these resources into their interactions with prospects, using them to enrich conversations, follow up on meetings, and respond to inquiries. This targeted deployment ensures that the content reaches prospects when they are most receptive and in need of guidance.

Adapting to a Focused Strategy: Adopting this focused content strategy requires a shift in approach for sales teams. It emphasizes the importance of investing in content that has a clear purpose and directly contributes to sales goals. This shift may involve closer collaboration with the marketing team to identify impactful topics and develop content that resonates deeply with the target audience.

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