Sales is a numbers game, right? So check out these numbers:
95% of potential buyers aren’t ready to buy when you’re ready to sell
The probability of selling to an existing customer is three to 35 times higher than to a new one
It takes 18 sales calls on average to connect with a buyer.
What do these numbers add up to? Sales is tough. Sales is labour intensive. Sales is often untimely. So, what’s the answer? Brand marketing. And, in particular, content marketing. Here’s another number: 72% of companies plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2022. That’s because they know it’s a better solution to their sales problem. Here’s why:
Content marketing creates a dialogue, not a monologue
These days, customers want a collaborative, informative conversation. They want to be shared with, not talked at. They want a dialogue, not a monologue. Using different types of content to understand, advise and support them meets that need. From blog posts to raise awareness, webinars to help convert or emails to maintain loyalty, content can be used to pull a customer into your sales funnel and then engage them with the right message, via the right format, with the right channel, at the right time. And that’s automatically a more personalised and more human approach, which is so powerful in today’s cluttered and often sterile B2B marketplace.
Top tip: Carry out regular customer journey and content strategy audits rather than assuming you know what your customers want to hear, how and when.
It builds long-term trust and loyalty
Remember that stat about 95% of buyers not being ready to buy when you want to sell? It’s a hard truth. But the flipside to this ’95-5’ rule is that they will be ‘in market’, contributing to your pipeline, at some stage. So if you’re using marketing to create positive memories of your brand and service, you’re much more likely to stand out, and be sought out, when they’re there. The best marketing builds memories and loyalty that has the power to influence a buyer’s decision over the long term. Content marketing does that, because, by being helpful and resourceful at the right time, it automatically creates a more meaningful, richer brand experience. Which establishes more trust. Which improves conversions. And, which, ultimately, drives loyalty and retention.
Top tip: Boost your content’s credibility with facts, data and involvement from industry leaders
It puts you ahead in the sales cycle
As content marketing allows you to start a relationship with a customer before they’re ‘in-market’, you’re already ahead of competitors who got to the pitch via cold-calling. Accenture reports that most B2B buyers are already 57% of their way through the buying process before their first meeting with a sales rep. That sobering stat underlines the importance of an always-on audience engagement strategy fuelled by content which is repurposed and rinsed to keep a long-term relationship going.
Top tip: Invest in more video and podcast content – it’s increasingly a more efficient relationship-builder
And it means customers can always easily find you
SEO optimised content improves your search rankings, which improves your online visibility, which improves your website traffic rate. Businesses that produce valued, regular content are recognised by Google as being more authoritative, so they’re pushed out more in search results pages.
And it’s always-on. It’s always beckoning people into your site when your cold callers have packed up and gone home. It’s always there, informing, engaging, converting your customers.
Top tip: Topic depth, recency, grammar, word count, and the inclusion of YouTube videos3 all help Google rank your content more highly.
Want to find out more? We’d love to talk about how we can help you build a relationship with the 95%.