Selling with content
Consultants understand the power of quality content and intellectual capital. It’s often the foundation for their entire practice, and can generate leads, support a brand, train employees, facilitate service delivery and educate clients.
But if you’re using content to sell a product on the web, how much content is too much?
It’s a question I think about every day. We sell content integrated with web-based software to consultants. There’s a tremendous volume of content in the private area of our site, and we decided to put a healthy dose of it in the public area also, to
- Give consultants samples of our offering;
- Generate leads; and
- Build our brand.
Since we’re a web product, or prospects are scattered all over the world, and we’re not able to take advantage of a face-to-face selling environment for our fairly complex product. Instead, we use our content to facilitate our selling process, via the web and email, so our prospects can
- Understand how our product approaches business growth strategies;
- Review the tools that we offer; and
- Determine whether our product can help them achieve their goals.
We publically display less than 5% of our available content. Sometimes it works as planned, sometimes not: Some prospects have been overwhelmed with the volume of content. Even though our consultant clients are intellectuals, they face the same time constraints as everyone else.
Our strategy is to strike a balance between showing “not enough” and throwing the “whole kitchen sink” at them. The end goal is to entice interested visitors to contact us to start the process.
Yesterday I was talking with a consultant about her event planning business and how, for example, she could design email campaigns to better promote her clients’ events.
I pulled up the email subject in our web-app and quickly read off the list of email marketing tools:
Email Brainstorming - helps you generate ideas for campaigns to meet various business goals
Email Campaign Strategy - develop an over-arching strategy: goals, audience, message, offer, and timing
Email Campaign Plan - define the timing, format, content, fulfillment, tracking requirements and launch plan
Email Technology Requirements - checklist of typical features you’d want from an email service provider or software
Email Creative Guidelines - a template for writing and editing the copy; includes notes for the graphics
Email Testing Plan - helps you set up a test to measure & improve your email campaign
Email Newsletter Program - general tips for content, generating subscriptions and handling signups
Email Response Rate Estimates - tips for estimating response rates
Email Budget - tips for creating your budget
Email Pre-Launch Checklist - a to-do list to tackle before your campaign goes out
Improve Your Email Campaigns - tips for improving your response rate
Email Campaign Results - a template for sharing your results and documenting your learning for the next campaign
Email Marketing.xls - calculate numeric goals, compare lists and evaluate testing
What was her response? “WOW! That is so detailed! And that’s just one subject!”
So I realized that we could still use MORE content to better display our offering. The challenge is to serve it to prospects in the right sequence, without overwhelming them.
Do you use content to generate leads and sell yourself on the web? If so, have you been able to find the perfect balance yet?
If you’re a time-strapped consultant that needs a “quick-and-dirty” review to see if our offering might fit your practice, try this:
1. Review this page for our program overview.
2. Download and scan our Strategic Marketing Process eBook. Our tools will walk you through the “Key Concepts and Steps” section of each subject.
3. Spend 5 minutes reviewing sample tools. Click on the document icons to open each.
4. Email me and I’ll send you links to private screen cast demos that show the client area and explain how most consultants are using the tools.
Tags: content email marketing