Our clients are always looking for the edge that will generate revenue faster. As inbound marketing strategies broadly gain momentum across the globe, concerns about lengthening sales cycles are discussed at the C-suite level. But you can cut days or even weeks off a buyer's cycle with a single tool---content. Content that attracts, informs, educates, advocates, entertains, and supports buying decisions.
Distributed marketing content is one of the marketer's most influential digital practices because today's B2B buyers are in control and seek the answers they want. Without content your brand will take longer to sell.
Content can, and should be, delivered in multiple formats (video, social, images, etc.) and distributed as frequently as possible. Enterprises that are more successful at content delivery deploy a holistic strategy that combines assets to form a single identity that engages with its markets.
Distributed marketing content helps in three ways:
- SEO...the volume, velocity, and variety of marketing assets you deploy determines how well you rank for search terms. Search algorithms are moving increasingly toward raising the importance of blended media and organic link building when they crawl. Quality white hat content generates backlink traffic.
- Thought leadership...content can be used to develop your brand as a respected entity. The tactic most cited as a digital marketing essential is the establishment of a thought leadership or knowledge authority position within your prospects' minds. Through the use of blog posts, industry articles, videos, podcasts, and other digital assets, brands establish themselves as competent, trustworthy, and valuable.
- Social engagement...as your markets are exposed to your content they become comfortable with your brand. They become more likely to interact through social media. Social is where brand advocacy takes place most often, with ambassadors sharing, mentioning, liking, and retweeting.
So how does content shorten the B2B sales cycle? First, by driving traffic to your website which, if designed effectively, becomes a sales resource that directs leads at different buying stages to the answers they seek. Distributed content provides a means to connect leads with your site. Second, by generating inbound calls to a call center which will engage, qualify, and close leads that are ready to buy. The messaging provided in the content could generate a sale on the first call. Third, content designed to satisfy leads at advanced stages of the sales cycle help quicken the pace of sales by engaging prospects who are close to a decision. A well-placed digital asset can trigger a sale almost immediately.
So the next time your brand's leadership is considering how to shorten the sales cycle, consider the quantity and quality of the content being distributed to your markets.