Marketing content is a significant piece of the lead-to-revenue cycle puzzle for engaging the customer throughout the buying journey. Brand marketing for manufacturing companies should cater to buyer preferences by providing readily accessible, cross-channel content to assist buyers in decision-making. When done correctly, this can help you significantly shorten your sales cycle.
Research from the Content Marketing Institute reveals that 73% of top-performing B2B content marketers nurture their audiences, effectively shortening the sales cycle.
Providing audiences with needed content builds trust in your brand, allowing you to better guide them through the buyer’s journey. Nurturing audiences creates leads, which then convert to clients.
- Employing effective content marketing helps lead prospects through the buyer’s journey.
- Shortening the sales process is essential for businesses to save time and increase sales and profits.
- Content marketing can help identify ways to organize marketing efforts better, cater to prospects, and reach the decision-maker to close sales.
What Role Does Content Marketing Play in Your Sales Cycle?
Recent research shows that organizations with a solid sales and marketing alignment experience approximately 67% higher conversion rates and nearly 209% more in revenue. This helps show just how valuable aligning your sales and marketing efforts can be, especially when shortening your sales cycle.
However, brands of all shapes and sizes don’t realize how vital their content marketing is to their overall sales cycle.
Not only do nearly 97% of all your consumers head online to find and research products and services before even considering a purchase, but 47% of buyers will review between three and five pieces of content before they will contact a sales representative.
That doesn’t mean you want to create content without intent. If your goal is to shorten the sales cycle, your content marketing strategy needs to address your buyer at every stage of their journey.
Shorten Your Sales Cycle Using Content Marketing: 5 Tips to Keep in Mind
When you’re creating content marketing for shortening the sales cycle, you need to make sure that you target the right audience and create content that addresses their concerns and questions.
You also need to make sure that the content is timely to the prospect and relevant to their needs.
Need help creating content that helps shorten your sales cycle? Here are # tips to help you get started:
1. Start by Understanding Your Audience
We all know that content marketing is about creating content that is valuable to your audience.
When you’re looking to shorten your sales cycle, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right audience.
Knowing your audience and their needs are essential to creating content that is relevant to them.
You can use the following questions to help you better understand your audience:
- What are the most common problems, questions, or needs that your audience has?
- What are the major pain points or challenges your audience is facing?
- How do you know that your product or service is the best solution to help your audience solve their problems?
2. Break Down Your Buyer’s Journey
To make the most of your content marketing efforts and ensure it’s helping you shorten the sales cycle, you need to know what that cycle looks like.
The sales cycle is a series of steps that customers go through to make a decision to buy your product or service.
Knowing what steps your audience is taking and what they are looking to accomplish can help you create valuable and relevant content.
You can break down your buyer’s journey into dozens of steps. However, the standard B2B and B2C sales cycle (also referred to as the sales funnel) looks something like this:
3. Decide What Type of Content Would Be Most Effective at Each Stage
Content marketing is used for various reasons, and there is a wide variety of content that you should be using to reach your audience at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
For example, those who are very early into the awareness stage of the cycle will not be interested in promotional content such as free trial offers. After all, why would they be interested in downloading a product they’ve heard nothing about?
Instead, content for the awareness stages should focus on:
- Blog posts that answer a specific question
- Research papers that give insight into a specific topic
- White papers that provide data and statistics
Content for the awareness stage directly relates to the pain points or challenges that the audience is facing.
4. Share the Right Content at the Right Time
To shorten the sales cycle, you also need to be sharing the right content at the right time.
It’s vital to note that creating and sharing content are two very different things. Just because you have posted a blog intended for the buyer’s awareness stage doesn’t necessarily mean that your audience has read or even seen it.
You need to make sure that you share the right content when it is most likely to reach your audience.
For example, if someone has signed up for your email newsletter, but has yet to make the conversion from lead to customer, then you shouldn’t be bombarding their inbox with tons of promotional content.
Instead, you need to share informative content that helps them better understand who you are and prove to them that you are the authoritative voice to answer their questions.
5. Use Content to Build Trust
The most successful content marketing for manufacturing companies uses content to build trust.
When you’re creating content for the buyer’s journey, you need to make sure that you create content that helps your audience understand that you are trustworthy and knowledgeable, but also helps them feel comfortable and confident in your brand and everything you have to offer.
Content Marketing for Manufacturing Companies
If you’re looking for a strategic content marketing partner who understands marketing for manufacturing, we would love to have a conversation with you to see if we’re a good fit for your business.
Shanahan has 20+ years of experience driving website traffic for manufacturing companies like yours to help with expansion and profitability. We specifically specialize in helping our clients drive long-term results using SEO basics for manufacturing and industrial companies. We’re here for you if your goals are building a website, generating leads, or closing sales. Your initial consultation with us is on the house.