What’s The Difference Between Sales & Marketing Content?
As we continue to help Tech firms drive demand and accelerate revenue growth, we’ve have come across many TechCEOs with different levels of Go to Market readiness.
When these TechCEOs kick off a campaign for a product or service with immediate sales focus, I encourage them to take a breath and look at their revenue strategy and goals. One such key element in putting together a plan for driving top of the funnel, content marketing become very important.
The reality is there’s no silver bullet in content marketing. Content marketing is all about playing both long and short game accordingly. It’s about creating content that starts a conversation, which will transition into sales down the road. It’s not selling out of the gate.
If you’re marketing through content, you can’t achieve authority position with your content and tell your sales stories at the same time. Why? Because you run the risk of diluting your message.
You have to choose one or the other: You either market your stories or you sell your products.
So, What Is Marketing Content?
One word: Compelling story telling. Marketing content is about telling a compelling story or narratiev about your product or services alongside its benefits to the client. In fact, good marketing content will charm people to the point where convincing them to buy is easy.
Marketing content is about attracting people to whatever you’re selling and the kind of company you’re building. The content people love to share (and that journalists love to write about) is not the content that says how great you are. Rather, it’s the content that speaks to your customer’s pain point and speaks to your “why” or your values.
People want to work with people that they know, like and trust. But it’s hard to establish trust or affinity with someone when you’re also trying to sell them something. That’s why your marketing content needs to make the best impression – not be an immediate turnoff.
OK, Then What Is Sales Content?
One word: persuade. Sales content is about persuading buyers that you understand their problem and your products and services solve that problem, how will you do it and why your people are a good fit for what they’re keen to solve or build.
This is your chance to highlight your customer case studies, testimonials, such as your customer list, awards, credentials, etc. That’s the sales content that will sway people enough to want to work with you.
Now How Do You Balance The Two?
As a brand, if your marketing content is strong and does a good job of telling a compelling story to prospects, your sales content doesn’t need to be forceful or pompous. It should always bring quantitative facts, align to customer context, relevant and to the point.
In short, marketing content is about selling people on you, your brand, your vision, your perspective, your story. It should show who you are and showcase your uniqueness without your having to come out and say it. Sales content is about selling buyers your products or services. It should include an articulation of why people should ultimately give you, not your competitors, their business. It should help people make their purchasing decisions more easily.
Use marketing content when people are still in the marketing stages of the journey. This is when your audience is looking for answers to their questions or needs advice about problems they’re looking to solve but aren’t sure who to turn to. Marketing content helps you nurture your relationship with them at this point.
Use sales content when your audience is in the sales stages of the journey and is close to making a purchase. Sales content here is meant to paraphrase problem, articulate contextual value, your promise and convert audience members into customers.
What happens if you use sales content within your marketing content? In some cases, it’ll turn customers away, which will hurt your sales. The most important thing to remember is that the relationship between marketing and sales content hinges on getting the sequencing right. Market when they’re in the marketing stages of their journey, and sell when they’re ready to be sold to.
Build A Solid Buyer’s Journey
The goal is always to create a delightful buying experience, not one where people are being force-sold products and services. Content is a great tool to help you do this.
You can use your marketing to showcase who you are, what you stand for, and to attract potential customers who have an interest in working with you. Then, sales can become a natural, organic progression of that interest.
Capture them with marketing content, convert with sales. (Know, though, that this won’t work if you aren’t taking the time to truly connect with your audience in the early marketing stages. You have to convince them to support you.)
Can sales content ever be used in marketing content? Maybe. But I wouldn’t recommend using this approach too often unless you’re willing to chalk your efforts up to experimenting with some new approaches.
Before people are customers, market to them. Once they become customers, you have more freedom to send sales and marketing content in tandem their way. With that said, I do think there are opportunities to use sales content in your marketing efforts to existing customers.
I say that because if they’re already customers, you’ve already gone through the effort of charming and convincing them, so you’re not starting at square one. With existing customers, you can cut to the chase a bit, but I would caution against constantly hitting them up to buy more.
Instead, focus on creating marketing content that reminds them why they were drawn to you in the first place.
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