The Importance of Free Content in Sales (Part 1 – The Content)

In order for any company to succeed in sales in this evolving business environment, the key is establishing the company as a trusted leader in the industry through the distribution of quality content. Your firm needs to develop and capitalize on various forms of communication through which it can distribute informative content.

The ultimate goal of the content should be off course to drive sales. However, for this to happen, the focus needs to be on providing information for potential customers that can take them through the buying process: awareness and recognition of need, consideration of solutions, research to evaluate solutions, and making the final purchase decision. Content should be framed in such a manner that it helps potential customers with their purchase decision and provides unbiased information. In this way, your firm can portray itself as the foremost expert in the industry, effectively building up its reputation and increasing sales volume over the long term.

In order to effectively use free content to drive sales, you need to focus on three main issues: the content that you create an its inherent value, the platforms you choose to distribute this content, and the ways that these efforts can tie in with your sales strategies.

Content

The content your firm creates needs to have an industry wide focus, providing commentary and analysis on the industry as a whole which will be of value to those outside the company. The one pitfall that many firms tend to fall into with the content that they create is that they make it too company-focused, talking about news within the company and information on new products and services. This is a pitfall which needs to avoid at all costs. This information is of no interest to anyone outside the company and will not help in nurturing new leads. The focus should be on helping potential customers learn about the industry and make an educated buying decision, not pitching your firm.

Content mediums should be varied with a mixture of text, image, video, and audio posts.

The content your company creates should cover general news from within the industry, advice and opinionated pieces, and perhaps even regular media pieces such as video content or podcasts. You should also try and build up a reputation with other credible blogs in the industry through linking and discussing content on these other blogs. Building relationships with other blogs in the industry (especially non-corporate blogs) will be instrumental to the success of your “free content” strategy as it relates to lead nurturing.

One of the first steps that you need to take before getting involved with this strategy is an in-depth analysis of the blogosphere within the industry and the identification of certain blogs you should focus on building a relationship with.

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