Sales and marketing go hand in hand. The marketing team creates the content, and the sales team follows up with the consumers of the content to create potential leads. Right?
But there might be an easier way.
Marketers are continually improving their skills, so, for the most part, they read and study a lot of content. A company’s sales team will notice when a person has delved into their company’s content and naturally, the sales team cold calls them. However, what if the marketer is simply doing some research or looking to better their own marketing capabilities and are NOT a potential consumer of the product, JUST the content?
This can be relatively annoying for both sales and marketing professionals. How does a sales team recognize who is an actual lead and who is just another professional?
Generate a profile for a targeted lead. “Know that not everyone who downloads your content will be your ideal customer. For those who leave their details you need some way of carefully segmenting this list based on a profile of your dream customer. Get your sales team to approach these people respectfully. Don’t bombard them with product or service offers – you have to earn the right to sell. Prove you have their best interests at heart. Build relationships. Court them with more valuable content until they are ready to buy,” says Sharon Tanton, marketing and business developer at Valuable Content.
Another option is to focus on creating valuable content. Tanton notes, “a company would be far better off producing a well-rounded product and then creating some fantastic content that tells the story of how their product works and what value the product brings to its users. If the product is great, I believe I would hear about it on my social networks. We all love to share good stuff. Great content spreads and takes root on the web, and I’ve found it at the right time – e.g. the time when I was looking for information about a specific product.”
In Tanton’s suggested process, sales teams could target leads that come to them due to their company’s successful content that has already stirred up the consumer’s interest rather than cold calling and hoping for a lead. It is a waste of time and it generally irritates consumers and can even cause a drop in sales.
By creating a Content and Distribution Plan for social media marketing a company can ensure that their content is relevant, timely and well written and that it reaches the target audience using the optimal means as determined by the social media marketing team.
Content creation should ideally start by defining a quantity goal and a publishing schedule with proper deadlines. Once the publishing schedule is finalized, attention should be paid to the quality of each piece of content being distributed.
As stated in a previous article by SMstudy, “In addition to good quality content, an effective social media effort must have a good distribution strategy. In other words, it needs to be shared. And that shouldn’t be a problem if the content is engaging. People naturally share information for many reasons; they could simply like the content or perhaps find it interesting. But whatever the reason, a company must ensure that their content provides their consumers with something that encourages shares or else it will be lost in the sea of content.”
Focusing efforts on creating valuable content will then bridge the gap for the sales team, eventually eliminating the need for cold calls. Sales and marketing goes hand but marketing by necessity goes first, so create content to produce the sales, rather than attempt sales from the produced content.
[Stephanie Vezilj, SMstudy staff writer, contributed to this article]
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