“Content is queen”
“Content is the court jester” Ok, maybe you hadn’t heard that one before, but I got your attention, right? So let’s just get right to it. Content is a great way, if not the best way, to get your client’s attention long before they decide to work with you. A recent Forrester study says that 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete even before the buyer makes contact. They’re more than likely to get their information from your website or from other sites than they are to get the content directly from your sales or marketing team (especially if you work in the B2B universe!).
So how can you make your buyer’s journey simpler and easier to navigate by using content?
Increasing Revenue with Content: Stick to the K.I.S.S. Method
For those of you who didn’t have this drilled into you in the third grade, KISS stands for Keep it Simple Stupid. Well, Keep it Simple Silly, but us kids had our own version. Getting your client through the sales funnel as smoothly as possible is the goal here. So how can content help you make that final sale? Here are a few great examples of how to do that:
Know Your Audience
As with any type of writing, it’s important to know your audience and meet them where they are. If you’re potential client is reading industry-related publications to get the information they need about your service or product, make a point to syndicate articles or to offer to write a guest post every now and again. Again, you may have tons of whitepapers or case study.
Takeaway: Research where your clients (and anyone similar that could be a potential lead) are hanging out.
Create “How- to” Guides Where Relevant
Your potential client has found you, has started to do their research and comes to your site to see how your product or service actually works. Providing a free demo is a great way to draw them further into the funnel when they are at that point, but really what you need is a strong FAQ section on your site or an easy “How to use this tool” type guide. If you give someone a downloadable PDF that’s several pages long, they may take a look at it. However, if it’s simple, short, and helps you get the information you need, then they’ll think the same way about your product or service too. A recent CEB study shows that while working on their research about a particular product or service, buyers will be 57% of the way through their decision making process when they reach out to you or a member of your sales team. Whether you go with this statistic or the one we mentioned earlier on from the folks at Forrester, it’s in your best interest to get content out there that will help get your potential clients’ attention early and often. If you provide them with information that’s easy to understand and navigate then they’ll think the same thing about your product or service as well.
Takeaway: Check out the resources already on your website. Do you have a “how-to” guide? A real-time demo that will show potential client how your product or service works? Perhaps update your website’s FAQ section to make it easier to navigate and be sure that it’s searchable!
Keep those Happy Customers Coming Back for More with Valuable Content
If you’re a fan of the Inbound Marketing Methodology like we are, you’ll know that the fourth phase of the methodology is to delight your current customers so that they will become promoters or evangelists for your brand, product or service. This makes sense but what does it have to do with content and increasing revenue?
I’m glad you asked. ;)
Many customers are happy with the products and services they purchase, but they aren’t sure how to stay abreast of product updates or other services that may become available. They’re more than likely to check your website or to look for your brand online to get the information they need. If they see other products or services that are complementary to what they already have, and that are being offered at a special rate, that’s even better. Content that explains benefits, new products or why they should continue with your service are invaluable.
Takeaway: Make sure you have content to interest your current clients in upgrades or by providing the latest information available.
Going for the (Inbound Marketing) Gold
Offering loyal customers incentives through content is sure to help them stay with you instead of jumping ship to another organization. “Gold members” of an airline’s frequent flyer club who receive discounts (or first class upgrades more importantly) or who are looking for content specifically geared towards “gold members”, are definitely going to come to you time and time again. They’ll also be more likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues. This methodology works best by using email marketing inviting customers back to your website to see more. Lead nurturing or customer nurturing of this type is especially important in fields where there are many different players competing for market share. A great example of this can be seen in Arthur Middleton Hughes’s study of the telecom industry, (where customer churn is a constant threat to players in the field) “Churn Reduction in the Telecom Industry” written for the Database Marketing Institute. A recent article in Forbes also explains why preventing churn by approaching high value clients is important. These clients are the most profitable so it make sense to nurture these already existing customers.
The point here is that content can drive existing customers to become evangelists for your brand that will help drive more revenue via that method as well.
Takeaway: Give your existing clients incentives and rewards for their loyalty through content.
How are you using content to drive revenue and what methods will you try next? Let us know in the comments below.