In the recent "Multichannel Marketing for Business webinar," I mentioned that I've been using LinkedIn, Facebook and blogging to generate leads and sales. Many listeners wanted to know exactly how during the live Q&A. The key to success is actually founded in creative thinking about what you already know works and getting your target market off of social media.
Contrary to what many "experts" say, knowing how to be engaging within LinkedIn groups or telling compelling stories on your blog is not the key to generating leads and sales. In fact, most B-to-B content marketing plans fail because popular wisdom about the practice is fatally flawed.
Telling compelling, transparent, authentic stories about your brand won't help you make sales unless the approach is accompanied by a focus on making those remarkable stories actionable.
You've got to give prospects a compelling reason to ask for more content, because when they do that they become part of the sales funnel.
The success formula is quite simple:
- Create content that solves a problem.
- Locate and/or attract qualified discussions.
- Lure prospects into taking an action that connects to your sales funnel.
1. Create The Honey: Useful Content
Pick an itch your customer has and scratch it with content. Solve a common problem that relates to the end goal your customer is pursuing, for example. Whether you're a service or product marketer, this is the best content for blogs or any B-to-B content marketing vehicle you publish.
In my case, I published a handful of stories and audio interviews on my site featuring a niche subject matter expert. My guest told readers/listeners how to take action on a burning problem—one that related to a specific solution I sell.
The idea is to use content to give confidence to buyers. The trick is to do it in ways that increase their ability to feel emotionally grounded and intellectually stronger—fully equipped to do what they want to do: Buy.
Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded the Google Affiliate Network in 1999, and has been selling for 18 years. Jeff is adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s business school, a social sales trainer and author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You. Most social selling trainers teach the value of engaging customers and providing relevant content. Then they demonstrate the technology. But no one tells you exactly how to produce leads and sales—using a proven, systematic approach to content. Until now.