See this image? It’s a choice that our prospects face every day as they look for solutions to problems. Which direction would you take? Which direction would your prospects take?
Lots of companies want to engage in a sales discussion. But fewer simply offer to help with useful information aimed at solving a common problem.
That's what content marketing for logistics is all about – building credibility and trust early in the sales cycle using helpful information that makes it more likely that prospects will find you.
But, let's face it, content marketing is under fire.
Only 9% of B2B marketers say their content marketing efforts are “very effective,” according to a Content Marketing Institute study.
There are many reasons why companies are struggling to see an ROI on content. Kissmetrics has a good summary of these reasons here.
But one of the key reasons is just the sheer amount of content being created – most of it aimed at the same set of decision makers. There is incredible competition to win “share of mind” with these executives. The more competition, the more each of us has to raise the bar on content quality to even have a chance of breaking through the clutter.
It’s a daunting task, but the reason I remain a fervent believer in content is that I know….people love to buy, but they hate to be sold.
They want to educate themselves about the options and then make the smart choice for their company. Early in the sales cycle, they are not ready to buy and not open to blatant sales pitches. But they are open to information that makes them smarter and gives them a unique take on a particular challenge – one they perhaps hadn’t considered.
Content Marketing for Logistics Does Work
Content marketing for logistics absolutely does work – if you hit on the right pain point and create the great content around that pain. We've seen lead volumes easily triple and quadruple thanks to content, including very pointed sales leads.
For one logistics industry client, we wrote an ebook that looked at “alternatives to XYZ.” (I can’t get more specific since this is a competitive strategy for the company). We have blogged on this topic several times and have seen about 12 solid sales inquiries that have come in via the web specifically asking to discuss “alternatives to XYZ.” Using Hubspot, we can see the clear path prospects are taking – from content to conversion.
What are the magic topics that can make the needle move for you?
Your sales team typically has a good sense of what is keeping customers and prospects up at night. Start there.
Sometimes it’s hard to predict those hot button topics. You simply need to create content consistently and then use your analytics data to monitor engagement (reads, shares, conversions). This analysis should tell you which subjects resonate and which don’t.
When you hit on a hot button, double down. Don’t worry about needing to support the diverse needs of multiple services or business units.
Write to the pain!
Ultimately, content marketing is aimed at solving a problem. If you can solve a problem, you can make a sale.
Asking salespeople to fill, as well as close, the sales pipeline can lead to inefficiency, poor results and attrition.