No matter how great your business’s products or services are, there are always going to be people who haven’t heard of you. Those potential customers often become the focus of a brand’s sales and marketing efforts. But reaching out to them can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to grow beyond your own local community.
At one time, businesses engaged in one-on-one prospecting tactics like telemarketing and cold calling. But, in the internet era, those techniques have become outdated as sales teams have come to realize just how counterproductive they actually are. Buyers no longer answer their phones or doors to strangers, and businesses have gatekeepers that prevent unwanted salespeople from getting past the front desk.
This has led to a push to first introduce customers to a brand before making contact – or better yet – to try and get them to initiate contact with you. Here are a few ways to use content marketing to make those introductions and boost your chances of getting a meeting.
When someone thinks about making a purchase or signing up for a new service, often, the first thing they do is ask for referrals. By incentivizing your current customers to recommend you to their friends and colleagues, you can boost your customer base with minimal time or money investment.
Consider putting a substantial referral reward in place to make it worth each current customer’s effort. Determine how much revenue a new customer brings in, and make the reward a percentage of that.
Make it easy for customers to refer you on social media by adding share buttons to your checkout confirmation page, product or service description pages, and blog posts.
Before you bring prospects over to your website, make sure you’ve explained your product or service in a fun, easy-to-understand format. Explainer videos can serve as a great tool to convert customers, since many internet users prefer watching a video to reading paragraphs of text.
In addition to placing your explainer video prominently on your website, share it across your various social media platforms and conduct a special email campaign around it.
Make sure it displays prominently in search rankings by creating blog posts and sending a press release about it.
The email equivalent of cold calling is sending thousands of emails to random contacts on an email list. Businesses have abandoned this practice, as well, as technology has become more advanced.
If you’re using the “spray and pray” approach to email marketing with a list of registered subscribers, then you’re squandering your assets. And if you’re not working with an opt-in list, then you’re not an email marketer at all – you’re a spammer. By segmenting your list and using lead intelligence tools that can pinpoint the best contact person for each offering, you’ll yield better results than mass mailings.
Savvy marketers know how to do this using publicly-available data, previous interactions with on-site content assets and other signals. Just make sure each email contact receives an email that is most likely to convert.
Guest blogging brings a variety of benefits, including introducing your brand to people who haven’t yet heard about you. Once you’ve identified the right guest post venues, be sure you create content that will provide value to that venue’s readers.
The goal is to establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry, which will naturally draw customers to you, especially if you provide services that require an expertise in a particular niche. Once your post is live, share it across all of your social media platforms.
Hopefully this will lead to the host site sharing it, as well, bringing more exposure to both of you.
Traditionally, conferences and seminars have been a great way to get the word out about a business. This often requires traveling, though. Look for events nearby that will give you an opportunity to network and gain brand recognition, whether it’s through sponsoring a booth or serving as the keynote speaker.
You can also get wider exposure at minimal expense by hosting webinars on topics that are important to those within your target market. Make sure you publicize your webinar heavily to bring in customers beyond your current audience.
If a business wants to get the word out to a large number of people quickly, the best way to do that is through content marketing.
Individually going from one person to the next to try to make a sale is far more time-intensive than sending tastefully targeted email messages or social media posts. Learn to get the word out to generate viable prospects before launching into a one-on-one sales pitch, and your business will see great results.