Once we believe that content marketing builds trust, one of the challenges that many businesses have is how to efficiently and effectively share and distribute content. It can get very complex very quickly. Having spent time creating that content, it seems sensible to ensure that it reaches those you believe will gain value from it.
I’m really pleased that in this week’s guest post, CMA Member Matt Ruddle shows you how automation can help you deliver content to your audience for efficiently, save you time and get you more customers.
Automation – becoming an efficient content marketer
In this day and age content marketing is the key to your success. If you read any good sales book worth its price tag, you will discover that you need to create enough noise around your business. It’s suggested that you need to have more than 7 hours worth of content about you and your business for people to consume.
This allows them to build trust and to get a sense of who you are and what your business does.
As humans, we tend not to distinguish between a digital relationship and a real face to face one. Every interaction counts, be it video, blogs or tweets. It all goes into the melting pot, building the foundations of a relationship.
The question that I get asked most by companies when working with them is “how do I deliver that content to the masses, rather than on a one to one basis?”
It’s the same as a fisherman going out on his boat with one fishing rod and line, he can catch one fish at a time. But that’s the problem, it’s one at a time. We only have a certain amount of time to do things, after all, and we do need to have a work/life balance!
How can we make it easier and faster to build relationships, and ultimately get more customers? How do we make sure we are fishing with a huge net and not a single fishing rod?
Flipping the sales funnel…
When you think of the sales funnel, people often think of it as a top-to-bottom process. You drop leads in at the top and then you get the sale at the bottom. Magic!
But sadly, it’s not that simple. In fact, the sales pipeline is better viewed from left to right, and if you have potential customer coming in at the first section, it goes nowhere unless you have the system and process in place to move them.
“An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force” – Newton’s 1st law of motion
So let’s take a look at how we can put a process in place to help move people along and build relationships.
Supporting the sales funnel with automation
At the start of the sales funnel you need to capture people’s attention, this is where content marketing first plays a part. It allows people to find you and introduces your business to people. This could be via Google or by sharing a blog on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Getting attention is just the start, you then have to do something with it. You have to entice them to want more. This is where you then ask them for their details in exchange for more of your great content.
This is also called a ‘call to action’. If you don’t have a clear call to action (a obvious next step), your audience will be left thinking “now what”?
This is the exchange – give me your email address and I will send you more amazing content to help you with this current problem. With this you have now moved them one step further into your sales pipeline. Now you can really start building the relationship.
With your potential customer hooked on your content and handing over their details ready for more – this is where automation can really add value. You want to share that valuable, helpful information that you know will make their lives easier but how do you do this to efficiently while running your business too?
Automation is the key to this whole process. Before you even publish that content, you already have your automation process built out.
I’d suggest using a system, like InTouchCRM (there are others out there but of course I’m a little biased 🙂 ). Systems like these help to drip feed relevant content to your audience.
This kind of process could be setup to keep in touch with your audience over a matter of days, weeks, months or even years. It all depends on you, your content and your target audience.
Automation sequences – Let’s take a simple example…
A simple, straight-forward sequence could look like this: –
- First you have the initial sharing via Twitter, Facebook, etc
- This then leads to a landing page to trade more value – more content for their email address
- That email address goes straight into your system and adds the person to your automation sequence
This automation example is simple – it sends them a “thank you” email to reinforce them giving you their email address, then it sends them an email every 7 days from the date they signed up. For example, if you signed up on the 1st of the month, 7 days later on the 8th I will get an email, then on the 15th, etc.
The beauty is that this system is already set up and you ‘funnel’ your prospective customers into it, meaning you don’t have to remember to send that Friday email to your potential customers. Whether they know it or not, you have added them into a sequence which automatically sends out the content you’ve created for them. Of course there is a little bit of work required up front to set this up and create the content, but once that is done, the time saving alone is phenomenal.
So that’s it, a whistle stop tour of how automation and content marketing can work together to fill your sales funnel, save you time, and move people along to making a buying decision!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic too.
- Do you use a CRM or email marketing application to help distribute your content?
- Have you set up automated your sequences to support your sales funnels?
Please share your experiences below and feel free to ask if you have any questions.
- Convertkit vs Mailchimp: Why We Moved to Convertkit
- How to identify and leverage your top performing blog articles and content
- Episode 41 – Chris Marr: Increasing your sales using content marketing
- Guest Blogging: Why I’ve started a Guest Blog
About Matt Ruddle
Matt runs The InTouch Growth Academy, the outsourced marketing arm of InTouch CRM, helping clients grow sales and manage customer relationships, though the power of content marketing.
Matt is also a regular speaker at events on a range of subjects from overcoming challenges, lessons learnt in sport as well as his core subject – Sales and Marketing Automation