Sometimes I get asked why, if I work in outbound sales, I also do content marketing. For example, I have a blog (you’re reading it now) and I have an e-mail newsletter (you might read that too), and those are sometimes things that outbound sales specialists don’t do. What gives? Why am I utilizing content marketing? There are a few reasons, but let’s actually start with some negatives.
Content Marketing: Today’s issues
In general, content marketing is tied to inbound sales. By definition, that’s different than outbound sales. The first syllable of each is the key. In outbound, you push outward. Inbound is supposedly about drawing people inward, towards you.
Now here’s the main issue: there’s a big supply-demand problem in content marketing. More and more people are using it and producing content, but … that doesn’t mean that people’s attention spans (the potential readers of this content) has gone up. It’s actually probably gone down. So while content production has increased, engagement has stayed roughly the same or also decreased. That was a concern, for sure.
But there are many positives to content marketing too!
Content Marketing: Why it works for outbound sales specialists
There are a few different reasons I like content marketing in an outbound sales role.
- Telling your story: It allows you to effectively position yourself, your brand, and your story for potential customers and clients. For example, next week (or maybe the week after) I’m going to write a post about how I came to create BizXpand. It’s kind of like a superhero origin story! If I wasn’t doing content marketing, it would be hard for me to have a place to put that story.
- Viewpoints: In sales, which is very competitive, I think one thing you can always use to rise above potential competitors is having an interesting approach or viewpoint. This can always get you followers, and those followers can become business. When everyone says the same thing — which sadly also happens in content marketing around sales sometimes — that is boring. But when people break through with new ideas, that is cool. And that drives them business.
- Inbound lead generation: The lead/developing leads process looks a little bit different in outbound and inbound. When you get outbound leads, sometimes you have no idea of context or even if there’s a degree of interest. With inbound leads, they could still be tire kickers, but … you know they gave you info because they liked something you put out into the world. That’s cool!
- Most importantly – outbound sales also need content: To support your buyers along their buyer journey, you have to provide them the right material depending on the buyer stage they are in. Sending a proposal when your prospect isn’t ready to buy doesn’t make any sense. You need to bring some other “new information” to nurture the relationship. Here’s a complete blog article about that subject.
Quick note on content marketing and ROI
You will not necessarily make buckets of money from content marketing, no. But it’s a good way to share viewpoints, get some leads, nurture outbound leads along their buyer journey and develop relationships with potential future clients. Because the ROI back to your pocket isn’t immediate, I would recommend working with a freelance writer at a cheaper-to-mid-level rate if you don’t like writing as much yourself. I have a few I can recommend. It’s easier that way, and you are not spending a ton. And that way, if you do it for six months and you think other methods are working better, you can fade out. It’s better than buying some $10,000 marketing suite and being stuck with it as it earns no return.
What else would you say about content marketing being applied to outbound sales?