The truth is, inbound marketing generates 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing methods.
As always with content marketing, it is best to see the benefits by putting ourselves in the shoes of customers and not business owners.
So how exactly does content marketing help your business get more sales? In this article, we talk all about the ways that producing high quality content for your website drives more sales and more qualified leads.
But first let’s think about the answer to one simple question:
What Drives Sales?
Well, this is not exactly an easy question to answer. The answer really depends on the industry you are in, the type of sale you are looking for, the needs of the customer, their knowledge of your product, and a myriad of other factors.
However, even with all of these factors taken into account, there are still a few things that drive sales across all industries:
All of these ingredients make for very successful sales campaigns, and each one of them can be achieved with the right type of content marketing for your business.
11 Ways Content Marketing Helps Drive More Sales
Let’s put ourselves in the mind of a consumer who is looking to solve a problem:
Let’s say that we have frequent back pain and the doctors and chiropractor weren’t much help. Where is the first place we head to? For a majority of us, this place is the internet.
This is where the buyer’s journey begins.
1. Content Marketing Helps Customers Find Answers
So what do we do next? We go to Google and type in something like “What is causing daily pain in my lower back?”
Google populates the SERPs (results pages) with content discussing all the different causes of our pain. They all look similar to us so we click on the first result because, why scroll?
We click the article and open up a page that starts out by talking about the exact pain that we have! They describe the place and discomfort perfectly.
They even have detailed infographics showing what each type of back pain can be from and what causes each. As we continue to read this great article, about 2/3rds down the page they have a link to another article they wrote about how to get rid of the pain we’re having.
Our lucky day! So we click that link and sure enough, it mentions some great tips that temporarily relieve some of the pain. We notice that the pain has definitely improved but not gone away.
Good thing we didn’t close our laptops because on that same page is a product that cures lower back pain. How convenient!
2. Content Marketing Builds Trust
Now I am thinking that these guys who own this business clearly know what they’re talking about because they just laid out in detail my exact problem and how to fix it.
I trust these guys with helping my back get right. So I go ahead and purchase that back pain medicine and wait for it to come in my mail.
That is the entire goal of content marketing. It seemed so simple but there were so many key elements involved that led to a sale by that company.
While this particular piece of content may not always drive sales to your website in this instance, let’s look what has been accomplished here:
All of these help to drive sales in the long run. Especially when you consider that almost all customers will not convert on their first touch point. This is why a content marketing strategy is necessary for driving sales to your website.
3. Content Focuses on Invitation Marketing and Not Intrusive Marketing
So what did they do to get a sale? They didn’t show a commercial during the Super Bowl of why their product can help back pain. And if they did, would that have really been more effective?
These days, people have gained the innate ability to tune out the background noise and filter out all of the advertisements in their everyday lives.
They drive by billboards every day to work, they watch commercials in between their favorite basketball games, and they scroll right past the AdWords ads on the top of the Google Search Results.
Consumers now have more control than ever before. As a company, this means it is more important than ever to tell the story of your brand in order to gain trust and develop authority in the mind of your audience, in order to have the clout needed to close more deals.
The beauty is, in the meantime, you are building organic search traffic and improving your SEO along the way, which over time can have a impact on sales.
4. People Have Lost Trust in Brands
The average person has lost their trust in these types of ads and basically have filtered them out of their lives.
So what did the company above do differently? They let the customer come to them. They didn’t force us to see something we weren’t already searching for, but as soon as we did search for something, they were right there to provide valuable answers to us.
5. The Goal of Content Marketing is Not to Make a Sale (on the first contact)
This is where the first pillar and cornerstone of content marketing lies. The objective cannot be to gain a sale. The objective always needs to be providing value to our customers.
The first way the company did this was by answering questions about a common problem in their industry. Since they sell a product that helps back pain, it makes a lot of sense to try to answer any questions that people may have in their industry.
When companies are too salesy, they do not build the lasting brand image that companies who seek to provide value first do. Think of your clients as a fish, and your content as the worm.
You must have something that your customers want and need in order to attract them. Without providing them enough to take a nibble, you will never be able to catch them.
6. Building a Brand Through Thought Leadership
The content we read also builds a lot of trust with the company that produced it. The fact that the article was so precise and felt like they were in our heads when we read it, really led us as readers to think and say “You know what, these guys really know their stuff. Any time I have a question about back pain I know where to go”
And that’s the power of content marketing. Building trust and credibility within our industry so that whenever someone has an issue, they think of us as the first place to come to for help.
Not only will your audience know your brand better, over time, content marketing will help you get to understand your audience better, which improves click through rates, conversion rates, and overall sales.
You may be asking, “How can I find out what my audience is searching for on Google?”. Well, lucky for you, we have created a few killer resources which can help you easily create awesome web content for your audience:
Both of these guides will help you learn more about your customer in order to create better content and drive more online sales.
7. Appealing to Customers in Various Stages of the Sales Funnel
Usually, in your overall content strategy, you have different content for people at different stages in the buying cycle. Typically the 4 stages of the buyer’s journey are:
It is best to be aware of what stage your customer is most likely in while reading your content. If they’re still in the awareness phase then I suggest you don’t bombard them with pushy sales tactics.
You want to write accordingly. If someone is all the way down into the Decision phase of the cycle, now would be a good time to explain why your product or service is the right choice for them instead of one of your competitors.
With this knowledge, you want to plan your content with a content calendar in a way that makes sense for each possible stage your buyers could be at. For example:
One of the most important reasons that content marketing can be so successful is that you should always have the right content for the right time.
Unlike a commercial that can be seen by millions of people, that couldn’t be less interested in your service that you sell, with content marketing, normally only the people that are actually interested in what you do are the ones seeing your stuff. This saves a lot of wasted ad budget.
8. Answer Your Customer’s Questions Instantly
Let’s not overlook possibly the most beneficial reason that we do content marketing in the first place. For most new businesses, you aren’t Coca-Cola where everyone knows that you exist.
So we need more people to know about us, and we do this by driving more traffic to our website. Content Marketing is the bread and butter of an overall traffic strategy.
This happens through creating extremely great content that can answer all potential questions as we did earlier with the back pain.
If you only had a product page for the back pain medicine do you think that same person with the back pain above would have bought from you, or found your website at all? The chances are slim.
By adding value up front and not asking for a sale, it increases the number of people that can actually come to your site and see what you have to offer.
If you are unsure of what your audience is looking for on Google, give our free question generator tool a try.
9. Interact With Your Audience
You know what people love? Brands that actually seem to care and engage with them.
In fact, this is one of the most important things you could possibly do for your business – interacting with your audience.
Content marketing drives sales because it makes it easy for your clients to maintain a sense of respect for the level of confidence and transparency you have with your products or services.
People want to know the full story, not just your version of it. They do not want to come to your website to read a 300 word article about your subject matter, they want a video, and a comprehensive guide with step-by-step analysis of how and why it works.
On top of that, they want to feel that the content they are reading is meant for them, and not just anyone who happened to make it to your website that day.
By making the best blog content in your industry, you quickly become a source for interaction as your audience will not only ask you questions, comment, but also share your content for the world to see.
Interacting with your audience through your content is one of the best ways to make a lasting impression and drive sales with content marketing.
10. Build Organic Search Traffic
Content marketing also helps to drive more traffic to your site over time. Rather than paid campaigns (which do work and have a place in modern marketing) that focus on trying to rank for high ticket items that are often insanely competitive like, “content marketing agencies near me” producing blog content that is relevant focuses on long tail keywords.
These are terms that get less searches and are more complex, like, “how can I grow my business online with a low budget?”. While this search has less volume, it may be much easier to jump to the top of the rankings for this query. On top of that, people searching for this are far more targeted because their search tells us a lot about where they are at in the buying cycle.
Chances are, they are a small business owner who is interested in content marketing for their company, but has a low budget, and wants professional consultation but is not necessarily looking to pay for a service.
This search has a persona to it. We can now be sure that traffic coming to this article are likely highly qualified leads, and through retargeting we can likely get contact information for them and turn them into a lead and maybe even a client.
In the background, these low volume searches begin to add up to hundreds of organic visitors per month. This sends positive signals to Google, slowly building your domain authority and page rankings in SERPs.
11. Leverage Social Networking Effects
Every now and then, once you get big enough, you can have pieces of content that become viral on social media platforms.
While this is usually the exception, it is possible. Even a few dollars towards a paid content campaign can result in hundreds of views and shares. This generates traffic to your site, creates awareness, build trust, and drives sales.
Wrapping it Up – Why You Should Be Content Marketing
By now, you should understand the role that content marketing plays in the buyer’s journey, and how custom content helps your leads to be gently guided through the marketing funnel without ever knowing it.
We are in 2019. 96% of purchasing decisions are made as a result of online content of some sort, and people are becoming more and more critical of company’s content before purchasing.
Now is the time to begin creating content to drive sales to your website if you haven’t already. If you are using a content marketing strategy, but not seeing the results you would like, give us a call.
We would love to talk about what you have tried, what’s worked, what challenges you face, and give you our free content marketing consultation. This will help you to figure out:
Don’t hesitate, call now to speak with a content marketing expert from PoofNewSales, and drive more sales with your content today!
Cody Marchant is the owner of Poofnewsales.com He’s a content creation specialist who has helped 100’s of business owners create content that increases organic traffic for their websites.