A 3-in-1 Content Strategy for B2B Sales Cycle Success
During the past couple of years, as I’ve spent managed a content writing service, I’ve seen a lot of strategies shoot into hyper-vogue status, pop!, and disappear forever – not doing much in terms of leaving long-lasting results.
So if you’re looking for a content strategy that can grab leads and turn them into loyal customers, keep reading! Together, these three types of content can supercharge your sales cycle and make your current blog more powerful than you ever thought possible.
#1 – Thought Leadership Content
Thought Leadership content can mean a variety of things. It could be an infographic that explains why widgets are so important to the global economy, or it could be a live tweet chat in which you field questions about your industry.
Whatever form Thought Leadership takes on, it should, in the words of Michael Brenner, be associated with the questions that your potential clients are asking. Thought Leadership is your chance to stand up and share what you know with those who are eager to learn.
Obviously, blogging is one of the primary ways that Thought Leadership-style content appears. If your CEO, VP, or top-would-be-thought-leader doesn’t have time to do the blogging, a professional writing service could be your dream come true.
A writing service provides a good ROI for you on two levels:
- One, your top Thought Leader stays busy managing accounts and closing sales.
- Two, your writing service produces better content than any in-house person would.
#2 – Problem Solving Content
But Thought Leadership alone isn’t going to make a passer-by a client. It takes problem solving content to keep the sales cycle moving. This kind of content goes hand-in-hand with your lead nurturing stage.
Problem solving content should take your prospective clients’ real-world problems and give them clear, real-world solutions that can be acted upon. While Thought Leadership might focus on the big picture, stage two content – problem solving content – focuses on the here and now.
You probably have your own favorite B2B blogs that provide this kind of problem solving content. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Pardot blog. Pardot is a marketing automation company, and they do a wonderful job at giving their clients (and prospective clients) real answers to real problems.
#3 – “Pick Me” Content
Alright – you’ve got your Thought Leadership content going, and you (or your writing service) are working, nose-to-the-grindstone, at answering those tough, real world problems. What now?
This is the point where you’re becoming fairly established, and to wrap up the first run-through of your sales cycle, it’s okay to say, “pick me.” But your brand’s content had better offer a few good reasons why.
This “pick me” content can (and probably should) include the following forms of content:
- How-to Guides (downloadable PDFs)
- Case studies that show what you’ve done for your clients
- Detailed pricing information
- Sales copy about the benefits of your company’s structure
It’s Not Over Until…
… you tie it all together. Remember, I said this is a three-in-one strategy. While each of these three types of content should be separate from one another, you and your writing service need to be publishing them together.
Your content strategy is going nowhere fast if you spend three weeks in stage one, three weeks in stage two, etc. As you leverage these three types of content and move clients through the sales cycle, make sure you’re creating stuff that will hit all your different types of clients when they need it.
Questions or comments about these stages? I’d love to talk – ask away!