March 30

B2B Content Strategy: How to Create 2nd-Click Content That Drives Sales

All B2B content falls into one of two content classes: there is 1st-Click Content (the kind you're most familiar with) and 2nd-Click Content, the kind most B2B marketers are not yet producing but should be, to truly arm their Sales Teams for social selling success. But not all 2nd-Click content is created equally and today I'll share our proven template for making great 2nd-Click content that helps your Sales Teams have conversations that convert to customers. 

How Do Salespeople Use 2nd-Click Content to Sell More Effectively?

We've long lived in a self-educating buyer world where those buyers really don't want to be sold. Instead, they prefer feeling like they are making a smart buying decision. That's why they'd rather spend their time talking to Google than your salespeople. But, in virtually every sales process, at least those involving a human sales team, there comes a time when the prospective buyer can't answer every question or concern with a Google Search. 

That's where 2nd-Click Content shines. 2nd-Click Content provides the perfect answer to every question or concern; all saved in hidden directories on your current website. Then, armed with the perfect answer to every question or concern, your salespeople can help those self-educating buyers complete their education, producing that all-important feeling of making a smart buying decision vs being sold. 

5-Characteristics of Effective B2B 2nd-Click Content

Because 2nd-Click Content isn't designed to win a Google Search, B2B Content Marketers have permission to create something completely different from the more common 1st-Click Content they've been churning out since the invention of Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing strategies. Instead of creating content designed for the broadest audience, they now are free to produce CRAP. And by producing truly compelling CRAP, they give their salespeople one of the most powerful tools in their sales nurturing and closing toolbox. 

So what are the hallmarks of effective 2nd-Click B2B Content?  

  • Concise: Everyone is fond of suggesting humans now have an attention span shorter than a goldfish, but the truth is, humans are plenty capable of paying attention, they lack the TIME to pay attention. So great 2nd-Click Content is ruthlessly edited to ensure every word, picture, element, etc., has a purpose.  
  • Relevant: The Self-Educating Buyer doesn't have time nor inclination to work to understand what you're telling them. Thus, a single answer to a sales question results in not a single, but many 2nd-Click Content answers, each 100% dialed into a particular category or vertical; or even to different buyer types or roles within that category or vertical. That's why you hide 2nd-Click Content from Google so that you avoid the dreaded duplicate content penalty. 
  • Persuasive: This is a non-negotiable characteristic of great 2nd-Click Content. And it has to because you're asking your salespeople to use this content to answer sales prospects' questions or help those same prospects overcome sales hurdles to facilitate a conversion. This means intelligent B2B Content Marketers will co-create 2nd-Click Content with their Sales counterparts and defer to Sales when the inevitable creative disagreements arise.
  • Honest: There is no room in 2nd-Click Content for shading the truth, puffery, or gaslighting of the facts. 2nd-Click Content must always be a direct answer to a direct question. If your product or service is truly the best solution, this should be easy. If it's not the best solution, you should save that self-educating buyer and yourself some time and help them make the right buying decision, even if it's not your product or solution. 
  • Clear: Leave the corporate jargon and buzzwords on the content marketing creation floor. The best 2nd-Click Content makes perfect sense to any sales prospect, regardless of product or service familiarity. One good tip I'll share with you — hire a technical writer to help you craft any 2nd-Click Content attempting to explain a complex system, process, or product. They'll help you see where you've skipped a step or assumed buyer knowledge that may or may not exist. 
  • Available: This one is huge but probably not for the reason you think. 2nd-Click Content derives its power from existing BEFORE the self-educating sales prospect asks the question or poses the sales objection. It makes zero sense, is completely illogical, but believe me, sending someone an answer to their question penned by another and created before the question or objection was raised makes the answer more believable. I've done the experiment hundreds of times in sales keynotes and breakouts around the world. And I've never been wrong. 

Click to See a 3-min sample of a Tom Talk

5-Steps to Create Effective 2nd-Click B2B Content

Historically Sales and Marketing don't usually play well together. But, if you're going to create truly effective 2nd-Click Content, the kind that your salespeople can use to answer sales prospects' questions and help them overcome sales objections, you've got to overcome that hurdle. Over the last decade, we've helped numerous companies accomplish this by aligning Sales and Marketing behind a common goal and then empowering them to achieve the goal with a simple, repeatable system to quickly and effecienefficientlytly create effective B2B 2nd-Click Content. Here they are: 

  • Create a Searchable Questions & Objections Database: This can exist as a simple Google Sheet, tied to a Google Form to make it easy to add new questions or concerns on the fly. Or you could build a fully searchable online database complete with tagging options, etc. The key is to create a single platform of truth that your sales teams can quickly search, find, and then share answers to questions and objections. 
  • Designate a Critic: Warning, this person won't be very popular with either Sales or Marketing. The Critic is the most important cog in this 2nd-Click Content machine. They are the person who reads every answer or objection response and calls bullshit on those that don't meet the criteria listed above. But, a great Critic is the key to success. 
  • Establish a Template: One way to make the content creation process faster and more efficient is removing unnecessary thought. Develop a set of templates or maybe even a flexible template system like Axios' to help your content creators and their sales partners quickly and easily craft the perfect response to every question or hurdle.   
  • Designate a Whip: Just like Congress has Whips to whip up the votes, you'll need a Whip to keep the trains running on time. But don't mistake this position as simply a project manager. Nope. The Whip is a project manager with teeth. When they say get it done, it gets done because they report directly to the highest levels of the organization and have the C-Suite's ears.  
  • Get to Work: Don't let perfection inhibit production. Sure, the initial efforts will be messy, complicated, and likely cause a few people a few headaches. But the faster you get your 2nd-Click Content in the real world, the sooner you'll get feedback on its effectiveness. And the sooner you have those kinds of answers, the easier it is to perfect your content, style, tone, and delivery to create the ultimate B2B 2nd-Click Content to consistently turn conversations into customers. 

This post was originally published on Painless Prospecting, the weekly sales and marketing blog created by the fine folks at Converse Digital. If you want to learn how to create, engage in, and convert conversations into new clients and customers, give them a call

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