Following the success of our From the Experts webinar series, we wanted to provide you with this content through another channel to make it easily accessible and digestible for our audience.
Here you will find a summary of our latest webinar “From the Experts: Constructing the Social Bridge Between Sales and Marketing hosted with our good friend Megan Thudium, Senior Consultant, Content Marketing & Founder, MTC The Content Agency.
Navigating Business in a Covid World
We’ve all felt the impact of Covid since its rise about nine months ago. From business to our personal lives there has been a massive shift in the way we navigate going about everyday activities.
In order to stay relevant and competitive, businesses that hadn’t already done so needed to act fast to make the shift to the digital space. With face-to-face meetings, conferences, and trade shows all taken away from us, the only way to succeed now is to go digital. With that comes some fears as to how we might lose the “human touch” in shifting all marketing and sales to digital.
Content is king and much more relevant now than ever before, which means it has to be human-centric and empathetic.
Styling and Structuring Our Content
Covid has been a huge transition for the B2B marketing world. The content we’re producing needs to evolve to stay relevant and in line with the channels available to us. Historically, our sales teams would be attending trade shows bringing home dozens of marketing qualified leads. How can we reach these same people in a more digital manner?
These days, the trade show floors have been replaced with mediums like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook to build and maintain relationships. But it’s always easier to react and adapt in person, and now with everything essentially originating from content, human-centric marketing approaches are more important than ever.
There are factors that need to be taken into account, such as pronouns, conversational language, tone, and voice alignment. All the while remaining authentic, empathetic, and human with our content.
As Megan Thudium, Senior Consultant, Content Marketing & Founder, MTC The Content Agency put it, “when you are more authentic in the way that you’re producing content, and taking more of this human-centric approach, and adopting your language to how you speak, you build more trust and authenticity with your audience. People trust you because they know they have a closer idea and feeling of who they’re talking to.”
Transcend Your Organic Marketing Strategy
The foundation of any successful marketing strategy is to know your audience. Without this elemental building block, your content becomes virtually meaningless. The basic understanding of what your audience is asking about and how to produce it is what leads them to buy from you. Megan advises her clients “whatever content piece we decide to write about should be answering a pain, a challenge, or a question”, which is why we must know who we’re speaking to.
Connecting your content to the needs, pains, wishes, and emotions ensure that you are keeping a constant line of communication with your audience. It also helps us better understand what content is being consumed and what’s the rate of return on those pieces. This in turn allows you to focus your efforts without wasting valuable time and resources.
Lastly, encourage engagements with your sales team. They are on the front lines and best equipped to know what the company’s target audience is after. It would even be recommended to set quarterly reviews with your loyal customers to collect feedback on what is interesting for them. Taking this a step further, and really thinking outside the box, you can even engage in chat rooms where your audience is hanging out. Think networking events for the digital space.
Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Marketing
We can all agree that more digital transformation has occurred in the past six months vs. the last six years. With things accelerating at lightning speed, it’s inevitable that we might make some mistakes along the way, and that’s okay! As long as we fail quickly and cheaply and get right back on that horse.
As Colin Day, Managing Director of EMEA and APAC and Oktopost always says, “selling is a team sport, and an important part of that team is marketing. The two go together like hand in glove”. Marketing organizations put a ton of effort into content to support all stages of the sales process. With such time and resources being poured into content, it’s important for it to be relevant and utilized. Because if it’s not, why are we doing this in the first place?
When you have sales as your ally, you get more relevant content. Megan Thudium says, “sales are the ones on the front lines and demand customer success. They are the ones who have a direct line of communication with your customers, so they know exactly what pains they are struggling with. They are your best resource, next to going straight to your customers, in finding relevant information for your content marketing strategy”.
On the marketing side, in order to continue drilling best practices when it comes to sharing content, part of that strategy is to educate your sales team on the importance of leveraging social media to build meaningful relationships with their audiences. Social media has been an incredibly valuable tool for years. But in 2020, it has definitely taken precedence in the marketing space in terms of staying engaged in the most human way possible. When sellers are established thought leaders and portray themselves in meaningful and empathetic ways, buyers are more than willing to engage.
In order to succeed with the ever-changing times, traditional companies must adapt by leveraging tools such as social media, virtual table talks, internal communications, and live messaging. They must implement a content strategy that humanizes their brand and allows their front line teams to easily distribute that content in ways we’ve never seen before. With face-to-face interactions out the window, we are dependent on content and digital marketing strategies.