How Content Improves the Quality of Your Prospects
If there was ever a time when “what they don’t know won’t hurt them” was a good sales strategy, This. Is. Not. That. Time. With Google at the ready for a Wi-Fi-accessing, smartphone-toting, product-researching, review-reading customer base, the top order of business for your content marketing is as follows: Feed the need for information.
What makes this plan even more plausible is that it’s easier to sell to informed prospects. Informed prospects understand what they want, how they plan to make the purchase and what they need to hear to choose the right contractor.
For one thing, this is not typically a “no thanks, just looking” kind of business where a customer calls you to the home to talk about, say, a bathroom upgrade or service panel replacement. The time invested before the phone call is sufficient to move them toward an “I’m ready to buy” mindset.
They may not know everything about their good-better-best choices (that’s your territory), but they’re ready to learn. And your content should be there to improve their knowledge so that the sales process goes a whole lot smoother.
For some big-ticket purchases, customers are “80%” there before they raise their hand and let you know they’re interested in what you’ve got to offer. They already know it’s time for a new HVAC system; they’re just looking for which one and from whom. They’re nearing the end goal in their purchasing decision. So now, marketing and sales work together on that 20% and make the close.
Content Isn’t about Selling
Marketing is about selling; we know. Yet, truth is, sometimes products are sold best when you’re not directly selling. Content marketing, to be specific, isn’t about selling your products and services. It’s about reaching prospects in their research phase – before they identify themselves to you as a potential customer.
You don’t know who they are, where they live or how to reach them. They’re not even your social media followers. They’re at the search engines entering keywords. So, if you can show up in their results and become a source of basic, reliable information and instruction, you can become a trusted advisor for people you haven’t even met.
As they visit your site or social media platforms, their awareness of and trust in your company increases. You move to the top of mind, and you become more likely to be the contact they make.
Creating Different Types of Content
Content can come in various forms – blog posts, video, reports and white papers, e-books, webinars, infographics, social media posts, etc. Much of this content can be repurposed – turning videos into blogs, blogs into reports, reports into e-books and everything into a social media post.
In addition, content can come from a variety of sources. You can create your content through your marketing team, repost industry news, link to home improvement sites or post guest blogs from experts. “User-generated” content that comes in the form of reviews and comments also qualifies.
When Content Is about Selling
Once your content is used as research for your prospect, your brand increases in respect and trustworthiness, and the prospect says, “I’d like to learn more about you,” that’s when your content becomes about selling.
When prospects become a lead, they’re looking for a direct solution for the purchase they’re preparing to make. So, you direct your content to that need – even making comparisons to your competitors, as appropriate – as they reach the final stage. Your content becomes targeted to the specifics they are seeking, and you nurture the lead toward the close.