Last week a few of us from Brandpoint had the opportunity to attend the Explore Social Media Conference held here in Minneapolis. The speakers, all industry leaders, provided lots of information about the current state of social media and how businesses are using it. The good news, and my number one takeaway, is that content marketing is your best sales tool, period!! That’s how one of the speakers, who gave me lots of new ideas for blog topics, started his presentation, which happened to revolve around the power of content.
We also attended many of the breakout sessions related to content and how to effectively use social media to grow a business. Here are a few other takeaways we came away with: Jay Baer
(@jaybaer) social media speaker, author and coach touched on the following points:
- Give your audience what they’re searching for and fulfill the need they are seeking. Connect content to what your audience is searching.
- The number of pieces of information people need before making a buying decision has jumped dramatically in the last year: in 2011 it was 5.3; in 2012 it’s 10.4.
- In B2B, 60 percent of the buyer’s decision is made before they talk to a sales rep
- If you’re useful, your potential buyers will keep you close.
- Win with information
Jolina Pettice (@JolinaPettice), director of client accounts for TopRank Online Marketing touched on the following points:
- 90 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing to grow their business – 60 percent are blogging, 74 percent social, 79 percent articles.
- Content Marketing that is purely emotional performs two times better
(31 percent versus 16 percent).
- Create, curate and share relevant pieces of content with your audience.
Marcus Sheridan (@TheSalesLion), who started The Sales Lion blog, kicked things off by stating: “Content Marketing is the Best Sales Tool in the World. Period.” Enough said! Here are his suggestions:
- Create constant content for your site.
- Use every question any customer or potential client has ever asked as a blog post, this is probably what they’re searching for on Google too.
- Lay everything out, the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Measure the results and find the “tipping point” of what the difference is between those that convert and those that do not.
- Focus your tactics to “steer” potential clients in a way that they reach the “tipping point.”
- Prospects care about solutions to their problems and answers to their questions. Create blog topics and other content to address those solutions, instead of focusing on products.
Though there were plenty of other takeaways, I thought these would be most valuable to all of you.
To sum up: Be sure to give your audience what they’re looking for, be a valuable resource for them, teach what you know and understand that you have to give up a little information in order to make a return. Make sure your potential customers can find your helpful content when they are searching. They’ll keep coming back if you’ve got answers. Jason Falls (@JasonFalls) and his crew put on a great show; if they’re coming to your area, check them out.