We’ve all been there. You receive an email with an appealing subject line that speaks to you, open it and decide to download the white paper. Next thing you know: a salesperson calls to see if you are ready to buy.
That’s a great way to do marketing automation poorly.
If your brand is automating, do not immediately assign a sales rep for a simple white paper download — this prospect is in research mode. With a solid content strategy, your brand will have materials ready and available for the next time that prospect engages with you.
Content strategy allows you to match your content to the different stages of the prospecting funnel. Develop content as a building block to create trust and deliver it, but only at the appropriate time. In our example, send a product demonstration video to the researching prospect; don’t call.
Your content should build thought leadership and, most importantly, trust with your target audience. Over time, by delivering relevant content, you will be seen as a go-to expert in your field.
Consider several types of content (infographics, white papers, webinars, videos) and time them to the customer journey. But realize that in the B2B world, “only 9% of people consider vendor content trustworthy.”
You can play a huge role in reversing this stat.
To gain the trust of your prospects, create content that is:
- Timely — as in, appropriate to the sales funnel
- Proven for any claim you make
The ultimate goal is to build a relationship over time to give to the sales team to close. Remember, people like to give their business to companies they trust.