Every year the Content Marketing Institute publishes a seminal report on the state of the Content Marketing Industry. This year, we thought we’d share it but through the lens of sales prospecting and using content to Sell Greatly.
Content Marketing Still Focused on The Top of The Funnel.
Few content marketers report they use it successfully on activities that deepen relationships. There have, however, been notable year-over-year (YOY) increases in those who us it to nurture, build loyalty, and generate sales/revenue.
Could this be a result of outsourcing content creation? 84% of those who outsource cite content creation as the number one activity outsourced. Could that be further broadening the gulf between sales and marketing?
It’s certainly plausible. As it is, it’s hard enough to get sales and marketing on the same page, sharing information and really allowing the sales teams to fully inform the marketing teams of what kinds of challenges buyers are really facing.
Add to that an outsourced content creator and you’ve created a recipe that makes it really hard, and certainly inefficient to create nurture and loyalty content. Maybe that’s why only 14% of respondents report creating Late-Stage and only 22% report creating Mid-Funnel content as part of their content marketing programs.
With numbers like these, it’s no wonder sales teams feel they aren’t properly armed to Sell Greatly. More on that in a bit.
But there is hope… the research shows a marked increase for companies reporting they use content marketing to nurture subscribers/audiences/leads and build loyalty with existing clients/customers.
The Least Successful Content Marketers Fail To Build Propinquity
When asked about providing their customers with an optimal experience across the entire engagement journey, the biggest gap between the most successful and least successful (56% points) was in prioritization of Propinquity Building in the content distribution.
Not surprisingly, only 23% of least successful vs 83% most successful content marketers agreed that their organization provides customers with optimal experiences across their engagement journey. Coincidence that the delta (60% points) is virtually identical to the delta between the two in terms of making sure they achieve proximity with potential customers during the sales journey? We think not.
But on the positive side, if your company is struggling to become more successful with your content marketing efforts, fixing the Propinquity issue is pretty darn easy. And if you need help with that, feel free to contact us for help.
The key here is that if your organization is like most, largely focused on Top of Funnel activities and content creation, you are missing a huge opportunity to leverage the power of content to nurture leads and building that all important Propinquity that turns connections into relationships and creates conversations that convert to customers.
The Least Successful Content Marketers Are Failing To Sell Greatly
When asked if they prioritize the potential customers’ information needs over sales/promotional messages, ony 50% of the least successful content marketers said yes. 88% of the most successful content marketers answered in the affirmative.
Further, that successful group, 74% craft content based on specific stages of the customer journey vs only 26% of the least successful content marketers.
If you really want to use content marketing to Sell Greatly, both in terms of marketing and sales efforts, you have to be relationship first in your approach. Nobody likes selfish people. And the same goes for selfish companies. You have to let that self-educating buyer do just that… and that means you create and share the information they need, when they need it, where they choose to look for it.
Even in content marketing, you have to give before you get.
Get Your Copy of the Entire Report
We’ve just touched on a few key highlights today. If you want to know more, we strongly encourage you to download the entire report for yourself over at the Content Marketing Institute site.
Just click here to grab a copy.