Jan 21, 2011

Creating Content to Drive the Sales Process

It’s not easy coming up with a steady stream of interesting, relevant content for your customers. But it’s essential. Content is the backbone of your digital marketing strategy. You need it to achieve a high search rank. You need it for customer engagement. You need it to demonstrate your expertise and point of view.

You can make content creation a lot easier if you give yourself some rails. Rails are restrictions or boundaries, and they help you narrow your focus so you can be more creative. Try this little game. Write a funny joke in 60 seconds.

Seriously. Try it. Take a moment, and try to come up with a joke. I’ll wait.

Ok, done? Great! How did it go? It’s tough, right?

Let’s try this exercise again, but this time let’s apply some rails. Take 60 seconds and write a joke in the form of a limerick such as, “There once was a man from Nantucket …” Take 60 seconds and turn this limerick into a joke about your birthday.

How’d it go this time? Much easier, right? That’s the benefit of rails. That little bit of structure helps to focus your attention, and lets you come up with better ideas faster.

Finding the rails that sell

When you’re looking to create content that will support your sales efforts, let your customers define the rails. Before your customers buy, they educate themselves. They go online and look for “best practices,” “suggestions,” or simply search to determine their “options.”

Take a moment and consider the symptoms or issues your customers face before they need your services. These symptoms are known as Trigger Events, and they’re fertile ground for finding topics.

LEAPJob, a sales recruiting firm, noticed that sales managers who experience turnover may look for information on how to hire better sales people. Turnover is an emotional event. Many managers take it personally, because they made an investment in people that didn’t work out. Before making the same mistake twice, many managers go online to find answers to improve their hiring efforts.

To address these triggers, LEAPJob writes articles to help sales managers mitigate their hiring risk. They share articles on hiring best practices, how to use assessment tools, and where to find the best sales people. They publish the articles on their site, and they also share them with other sites catering to sales managers like Salesopedia to reach an even larger audience.

Trigger Events are ideal for SEO

Trigger Events provide direction on how to optimize your content for Google. If you Google, “Mitigate Hiring Risk” or “Hiring With a Map,” LEAPJob’s articles rank high. They have optimized their content to fall in the path of search of sales managers looking to improve their hiring efforts.

What do your customers search for when they experience their trigger events? Look at the symptoms that trigger them to seek out your products or services. To find the symptoms, ask the how and why questions. How did they get to this state? Why are they there? Keep asking these questions, and go as deep as you can. When you find the situations that drove them to market, you can work backwards to create content for each of those Trigger Events.

By optimizing your content for Trigger Events you can draw in a larger audience to your website. These people might not be actively seeking your products or services, but they may be soon. By engaging them early it allows you to demonstrate your firm’s expertise, initiate a relationship and hopefully be their first call when they’re ready to buy.

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