Essential Elements for an Impactful Content Marketing Program

With 88 percent of missed deals due to sales reps not finding or leveraging internal resources, can companies afford to waste their time and money on ineffective content marketing? Definitely not, since sales teams see 67 percent improvement in close rates when sales and marketing are aligned. Here are some essential elements your content marketing program needs to consistently articulate your brand's value:

  1. Quickly create the content you need. In a mobile world, content has a very short shelf life and customers have an even shorter attention span. Your content marketing program should allow you to quickly create highly engaging sales presentations or customize existing presentations for different clients using drag-and-drop tools, reducing the time it takes to create compelling social content. Not only is it a must that it should be quick and easy, you should have the capability to make it interactive. With built-in templates and interactive elements, you could enhance your slides and capture customer attention — all while staying on brand. Your program should allow reps the flexibility to customize presentations to prospects while ensuring core brand elements remain consistent. And all of this should be available to your team whether on a laptop, tablet or phone.

  2. Be memorable with video. Moving from static content that’s meant to be consumed to interactive content that clients can engage with can help bring your presentation to life and add an additional dimension to your pitch. Include moving video backgrounds, touchable objects that link to other assets or web pages, and add dynamic elements that get the viewer invested in the content. Interactivity provides a new experience for the customer — one they’ve never seen before in a presentation. It captures their attention and helps them remember you and your brand. You could even think about it as "gamifying" your sales presentation to make it more sticky. You can find stock video sources through many websites like Pixabay or Life of Vids, and you can even use video from an iPhone, which is getting better and better in terms of quality with every version.

  3. Manage, update and distribute. Fast turnaround time is an important feature, but so is ensuring that every sales rep has access to the latest and greatest sales presentations. A content marketing program should make it easy to push new or updated presentations to every member of the sales team. Teams always have access to the latest and greatest content, and don’t have to spend time searching for assets or creating rogue decks. Providing the tools to tell an aligned, consistent brand story will only drive your sales numbers up.

  4. Have the ability to measure and refine. Speed and content control will get you two-thirds of the way there. The ability to measure and refine your content can close the deal. Use presentation analytics to measure what content resonates, and then tailor your deck for better results. For example, seeing whether a solution, product or case studies slide is viewed more frequently could help a sales rep zero in on the right focus to progress the sale. Track user engagement and analyze their activity when viewing presentations to measure impact all the way through to the final sale.

You can’t overstate the impact on your sales numbers when all of these elements come together. When the right tools are in place for an effective content marketing program, your sales team will be empowered to engage customers in an accessible, easy-to-use, measurable way.

Dean Curtis is chief operating officer of Ingage, an interactive content creation startup based in New York, that creates products to improve content marketing and thus, customer engagement.

Total RetailIvan Flores