A few weeks ago, we talked about how content marketing can generate leads by getting the doorbell or phone to ring. Now we turn our focus to how content marketing can lead to direct sales. In other words, how can content can get the cash register to ring?
If you Google content marketing and direct sales, you will find blog posts and marketing experts who claim that content marketing is not intended for the purpose of direct sales. I disagree, and a few examples from our experience at Hammock and other great marketers might help you see how content marketing can be a direct sales engine.
A magazine just for prospects. One of our clients, for whom we publish a magazine as a benefit to their members, was looking for a recruiting tool to use against a brand new list of prospects they had acquired. We created a magazine versioned for this new audience and mailed the magazine as a way to introduce the organization and share an example of one of the primary benefits of membership – the magazine itself. The mailing was successful at generating enough new memberships to more than cover the additional printing and postage costs of the program.
Content that sells. Trader Joe’s and Wegmans, both great consumer marketers and grocers, use newsletters and a blog to distribute recipes based on the items found in their stores. Both are successfully driving sales from the content they are putting in the hands of their customers, whether that content is delivered in print or online.
Keeping customers on your website. We work with clients who are looking for ways to ensure that customers, once they enter the e-commerce engine on their site, don’t jump off because they have a question about something. Knowing that we have all become inveterate comparison shoppers up until we make that last push of a button, it is vital to have content that helps answer critical questions at that stage of the buying process. At Hammock, we call this “know” content—the definitions, how-tos, customer manuals, reviews and analysis that fills in the gaps of knowledge we need to make decisions.
There are many ways to execute a content marketing strategy to help you generate direct sales, but it will come down to creating one that is influential and can be measured. Will it be as efficient as other direct sales methods? In some instances, the answer is yes. Let us help you determine custom content strategies that will help boost your company’s sales directly.