Content Marketing is heir to the ‘Iron Throne of Marketing’; Social Selling is the latest episode in the epic series ‘An Evolution of B2B Sales’. Traditionally, Marketing and Sales face each other with swords drawn (at worst) or are frenemies (at best). How then can social selling, the newest weapon in a road warrior’s arsenal, be hewn and forged by the creative crew in Marketing?
Well…without a doubt, it is. Social selling uses content marketing as its foundation, just as our beloved Sydney Harbour Bridge uses bearing pins which handle a 20,000 tonne load each.
Content marketing is not only important to success in social selling, it is a core element of it. It is not only correlational, it is causal.
The right content at the right time – reaching the right contact – lends the right context. The right context over time transforms how you are perceived by your network. This takes a mere sales person to a sales professional, then to an advisor, to a thought leader – and eventually, to an industry expert.
74% of business buyers told Forrester Research that they conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase. Also, these buyers decided on their provider of choice based on which sales professional was first to add value and insight. So if three quarters of the customer base is researching for answers to their questions online, before involving a sales professional, would it not be wise for sales professionals to proactively reach buyers with a digital voice?
This is where content comes into play. It allows you, as a sales professional to be present before you are present in person. So, as a B2B sales professional, are you engaging content? Are you leveraging white papers, Blogs, Vlogs, eBooks, Videos, Webinars etc. to help prospective buyers? Are you adding value through content? As 74% of the buyers execute their buying journey online, is the content that you engaged putting you front of line and top of mind with the buyers?
The infographic below sheds light on how content can empower the modern sales professional.