Content Marketing: What It Is, What It’s Not, and How Sales Can Use It

by | Content Marketing

You sit down to watch a YouTube video—that one your coworker told you about, that one with the cat. However, before you can actually watch the video that everyone else has been talking about, you have to sit through a 30 second ad, on some product that you’re not even interested in. This ad is the perfect illustration of what content marketing is not.
Content marketing is not invasive or intrusive. Content marketing is not pop-up ads or unrelated video clips. Rather, content marketing is valuable, relevant information that your customers and web visitors want to watch or read.
The major benefit of content marketing? It helps your marketing and sales teams attract leads, and close them into customers.
Say, for example, that there is a potential lead out there, entering a Google search, asking a question like “What is content marketing?” or “How can sales leverage content marketing?” Google then pulls up a series of web pages, some with blog posts answering these questions—blogs like this one.
This blog is an example of content marketing. It is answering questions that potential leads might have, it is valuable to them, and something that they want to read.
So what does content marketing look like? Well, as mentioned, blog posts are one form. But content marketing can come in many shapes and sizes. Some of the most common types of content marketing are listed below:

  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • White papers
  • Web pages
  • Case studies
  • Social media posts

The common theme amongst these different forms is that they all provide information. Content marketing educates potential leads.
But this leads us to another question. How can your sales team leverage content marketing? How can you capitalize on your efforts?
Content marketing, used effectively, has several powerful benefits. One such benefit is the ability to qualify leads through various forms of content marketing. Sales can leverage content marketing materials to educate potential prospects and even convert them into customers.
By keeping in mind common questions that your sales team regularly comes across, content should be created and readily available to answer these. This way, after talking with leads, your sales team can follow up with an email with this content. This shows leads that you are aware of their challenges and that you are knowledgeable and ready to help.
That being said, your sales and marketing teams should work together to create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey. This content can be used to guide leads from awareness, to consideration, all the way to the decision stage, nurturing them and answering their questions as they go. Content marketing is a powerful sales tool in the modern age of selling–use it wisely and to your advantage!
Discover some great ideas for content marketing in the guide below!

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