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Content Marketing And The Sales Cycle: Why Timing Is Everything
By Steve Lazuka, Zerys for Agencies
Shortening your sales cycle is an effective way to increase profitability. Fortunately, you can use your website to accomplish this goal. When your sales prospects can quickly and easily find the information that is most useful to them, they work their way through your sales funnel much quicker than they would if they had to contact your business and ask questions. That's one reason that timing is everything when it comes to content marketing and the sales cycle.
Let's look at how content marketing can help shorten your sales cycle and reach more potential customers just when they need you.
When looking for information online, people want answers and they want them fast. Help them to get the answers they need by including a simple but information-rich Frequently Asked Questions page on your company's website. A well-designed FAQ page ensures customers that they can trust your company and that your company is ready and able to serve them. Don't forget to use SEO in your FAQ page, and make sure you address potential customers' most pressing questions.
Products and Services Page
Some companies take a hide-and-seek approach when it comes to their products and services. They might showcase what they consider to be their flagship products and services but make it difficult to see everything else. Again, be up front about your company, and let customers know everything you bring to the table. If you have a lot of information to share, consider creating an overview page with tabs to more detail about your products and services.
Since you're selling something, at some point cost is going to come up. You might as well be up front about it so you don't waste their time or yours. Some companies rationalize not putting pricing on their website by saying that they want customers to contact them so they can explain it in person, but that's not a good method for the modern buyer. Just put your pricing up there on your website to promote trustworthiness and transparency.
Testimonials and Reviews Page
The modern-day version of talking over the hedge is reading reviews online. When your customers give you positive reviews and testimonials, ask them for permission to post those statements online. This gives your potential customers confidence in your ability to solve their problems. Update this page regularly so readers can see that your authority and competence is ongoing and steady.
Blog and Social Media Content
This is another area where timing really comes into play. Not only does consistent, timely blog posting help you to land more traffic and more new customers, but it also helps you to shorten your sales cycles and take advantage of seasonal and news-related timing.
Your standard website pages, such as your FAQ and Pricing pages stay fairly static throughout the year, but your blog and social media content can by dynamic, timely, and fresh, and it can bring new traffic to your site that otherwise may have never found you.
Keep your blog and social media content timely by using the following tips:
- Blog and Post About Industry News. Did something new or innovative happen in your industry? Write about it right away. People will be searching for information about this new development, and if you're the one with the scoop, you'll be viewed as a thought leader in your industry.
- Write About Seasonal Topics. Every industry goes through changes over the course of the year. Tax deadlines affect financial services, weather affects landscapers and construction companies, and the school year affects education. Think about the topics that are important at different times of year in your industry, and schedule your editorial calendar around those seasonal topics.
- Answer Questions. In your line of work, you hear questions all the time: questions from existing customers, questions from potential customers, questions from co-workers and suppliers. Use these questions as topics for your blog. If one person is asking the question, you can be sure others are asking it as well, and when visitors to your website find answers to the questions they're looking for, your value goes up in their eyes.
As you build your web content to include these helpful tools for potential customers, you'll find that your sales cycle shortens because you've already addressed issues and time-sensitive concerns before your customers ever contact you.
Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, creators of the Zerys Content Marketplace and Zerys for Agencies content marketing platforms. Follow Steve @SteveLazuka
Zerys is a powerful content project management tool and writer marketplace that makes it simple to manage any content project from start (strategy planning) to finish (auto-publishing). Zerys for Agencies is a custom, private-labeled solution that allows agencies to manage all their clients’ content projects from one, simple dashboard. Zerys was founded in 2008, and is now used by thousands of businesses and hundreds of marketing agencies.
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