Content Marketing and its Role in the Evolving Sales Funnel

March 4, 2021

 

 

It’s a well-known fact that digital marketing efforts and content marketing can generate conversions and drive interest in a brand, regardless of whether it’s a B2B or B2C business. It’s also a well-known fact that the events of the last year have altered the sales funnel, which calls for the adoption of new marketing and sales tactics to really resonate with our audiences. 

Stand Out with Your B2B Content Marketing

We sat down with a content marketing expert to determine the best ways to transition B2B companies from a traditional sales process to a digital marketing-oriented sales process. 

Check out the interview with Amanda Careaway, MITY Inc.’s Director of Marketing Content, for better insights into: 

  • The value of B2B video content 

  • How the evolution of the sales funnel impacts content needs 

  • The role of innovation and transparency in B2B content 

Amanda also shares some of the most engaging and creative strategies her team is using to deliver the content their audience is looking for when they need it most – you won’t want to miss it! Check out the episode now to start revamping your content efforts. 


 

Video Transcript:

CAROLINE: Hi, today I’m here with Amanda Careaway. Amanda is a writer first, which I love because marketers are storytellers. And so, it’s so great to have a marketer, a writer on the show today. And now she is the director of content at MITY. Amanda, thank you so much for being with us today.

AMANDA: Oh, you’re welcome.

CAROLINE: So today we want to talk about B2B sales and B2B marketing and the role of content in B2B. And we all know that content and digital marketing is a great way for B2B companies to generate more interest and generate more leads and reduce sales cycles. But transitioning from kind of a more traditional sales process to a more marketing-oriented sales process can have its challenges. So, what advice would you have for marketers that are trying to kind of transition a company a little bit more towards the digital marketing approach?

AMANDA: Well, the first thing that I would say is one of the most valuable things that I learned this past year. I learned from Marcus Sheridan who wrote the book, “They ask, You answer,” which is kind of a guidebook for inbound marketing. And basically, the gist is you need to answer questions online. Because us as buyers whether we’re buying for our work or whether we’re buying for our personal life. We want to guide the journey.

So, the sales funnel is very different now. It used to be all outbound sales, going out finding the customer, the salesperson provides all of the information and guides them through the funnel to where they want to purchase. Well, now buyers don’t even want to talk to a salesperson until they know what they want. So, you need to provide everything on your website that the customer needs to educate themselves to a point where they know that your product is the right one for them. So definitely start by going to your sales team find out what are the most common questions that they get for each product, each market, each type of customer, each stage of the buying process. And then you need to create a piece of content for each of those things. And I would say, definitely mix it up. I mean, you want to have a very strong blog for SEO purposes to drive people to your website. And to get as high up as you can get in the Google rankings so that they can find you. So, you want to start there.

You want to also include video content. One thing that we have been doing over the past year because things are obviously more challenging as far as shooting videos, but we just have our sales representatives shoot a video on their phone. Just hold it up, answer the question because no matter what it is it’s more engaging to have a person tell you the answer rather than you having to dig and search for it. So have infographics that are highly educational and interactive and visual. Have video as much as you possibly can.

As far as one of the things that we’ve done this year that has driven a lot of traffic is we’ve created testimonial videos with our customers and how we’ve done that, is we’ve just set up a zoom meeting just like this And we meet with the customer we ask them questions just like we would if we were trying to write a case study by talking to them in person or talking to them over the phone. And then we create a case study a customer case study on our blog. That includes problem, how we provided a solution, how we made it easy. And these are the products that the customer ended up with. And this is why, and then attached to that blog post is the video testimonial of the customer answering their questions and telling them why they like our product. And we also try to end that video with “what’s a piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is in the position you were in looking for this specific thing?” So, it’s also a way for people to get just valuable feedback from people in their industry.

CAROLINE: Right. That’s awesome. And this is what people care about the most, just feedback from the industry and what other people are doing,

AMANDA: Yeah.

CAROLINE: and how they are solving their problems. This is a great tip.

AMANDA: Yeah, because we’re all in unchartered waters We’re all trying to figure out how to solve problems that we never knew we would have. So, if you can hear from somebody else who may be in the same situation as you, they could suggest something that wouldn’t even occur to you.

CAROLINE: Yeah.

AMANDA: It’s definitely beneficial. Did that answer all of your questions?

CAROLINE: That answered, yes all of my questions and this was great. And there was a lot of good feedback here. So, what I take away from this is start with the sales team, involve them, find out what they need and what questions they answer. Be innovative, be engaging, Like your example of engaging with videos from salespeople. Like you just don’t let anything stop you. Find a way, right? That’s really great. And then leverage your customers and provide value even in everything. Even testimonials which I think is really rarely done. And so valuable, so yeah. Three great advice. So, thank you so much for this.

AMANDA: I would say one more thing. As far as inbound marketing goes, you have to be completely transparent. And I know a lot of people in the B2B space have a problem with that, because we don’t want to admit that our products aren’t 100% perfect or the most affordable option. Or if this is going to work and if it’s going to be effective it has to build trust. In order for a customer or future customer to want to work with you. So, if you are the most expensive table on the market, don’t shy away from saying we are the most expensive because we have the best warranty. We are the most durable. We…whatever it may be inbound marketing content is not going to work if it’s not honest.

CAROLINE: Yeah. That is very true. All right, well thank you so so much Amanda,

AMANDA: Yeah.

CAROLINE: and I hope that everyone enjoys it.

AMANDA: Yes, me too. Thank you.

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