A sales engagement model can help any content-based website improve its monetization.
Many businesses understand that they need content to make money. But they don’t always include best practices to help them increase profits.
A documented content marketing strategy, key performance indicators, and a sales engagement model are critical components for any effective content-based website or campaign.
What Is a Sales Engagement Model?
Many consider engagement to be a function of marketing.
Marketers bring in new customers by engaging them across social media, websites, and other channels, both online and off.
However, there is a good case for making engagement part of the sales department. In a survey by Salesforce’s Pardot, 64% of customers said that the “authenticity” and “helpfulness” of content were determiners when it came to staying with a service provider.
High quality content, therefore, should be used across the entire sales funnel. To make the most of your content program, you need to integrate your sales content and your marketing funnel via a single sales engagement model.
To do that, create appropriate content aimed at each stage of your marketing funnel.
Engagement Requires the Right Content at the Right Time
You’ve probably heard much of the advice designed to help you improve your content marketing and monetization:
- Add value. In other words, discover what your customers want, then give it to them. People need problems solved, and content that doesn’t solve problems doesn’t keep them engaged.
- Demonstrate credibility. Credibility comes from reputation, reviews, social proof, track record, original research, and so on. The more credible your content is, the more likely you are to be accepted and engaged with by users.
- Distribute your content widely. Content doesn’t help if no one knows it exists. Great content must be spread far and wide to achieve the maximum impact.
- Analyze content consumption. The more data you have at your fingertips, the more you can tailor content to your customers’ needs.
And so on.
Although this advice remains true, it doesn’t incorporate the sales funnel into its equation.
The sales funnel is mapped out to fit the AIDA formula:
- Awareness – Customers need to learn about a product or service that can solve their problem.
- Interest – Next, interest in a solution must be generated.
- Desire – Third, marketers must ignite a desire for a particular solution.
- Action – Finally, customers must be compelled to act, by making a purchase, opting in, etc.
Every website visitor, app downloader, or prospect that you come across will be at one of these four stages.
The problem with many marketing programs is that they don’t engage customers based on their stage in the marketing process. The wrong content can deter or confuse customers and decrease conversions.
When creating content for your funnel and your users, you should tailor it to each stage of the funnel.
For instance, prospects at the first stage of the funnel are simply looking for information. They aren’t ready to be sold to just yet. So hitting them with your brands’ products or a sales pitch will only turn them off.
These leads must be nurtured with informative content. This information should educate in a general way, without directly mentioning your products or services, or even your brand.
At the next stage, users should be warmed up even further with focused content, such as white papers, ebooks, and guides. Further down the funnel, you can present your solutions, drive traffic towards landing pages, and engage with sales staff.
Fitting Content into Your Sales Engagement Model
As mentioned above, content must add value, be tailored to meet customer needs, be data-driven, and so on.
But for content to be effective in terms of sales engagement, it must drive customers towards the next stage of the sales funnel.
Here’s what content should look like at each stage of your marketing funnel:
- Awareness – At the top of the funnel, your content should be informative and engaging. Design information for people who are just “beginners” – those who have just learned they have a problem and are trying to make heads and tails of it.
- Interest – The more interested users become in a solution, the more specific and directed you can be with your content. At this stage, you should elaborate on existing solutions, problems with those solutions, and what to look for in an ideal solution.
- Desire – To ignite desire in your prospects, start talking about the benefits of your product over the competition’s. Return on investment and your product’s USP are good talking points.
- Action – At this stage, buyers are choosing among vendors and you are attempting to elicit a response. Prospects should ideally be opted in to autoresponder sequences and they should be directed to landing pages that push for a sale.
Every content marketing and monetization campaign can be improved with the right sales engagement model. By mapping your content to your marketing funnel, you can improve engagement, retention, and your bottom line.