The way people make purchase decisions is changing rapidly. In the nineties and down, when salespeople aren’t moving about trying to pitch products to prospective customers, they are in the office with their telephones almost always trapped between their shoulders and cheeks.

In this internet age, however, buyers are more informed and avail themselves of the advantages of search engines, social media, and online reviews when making purchase decisions. They have more control on which adverts they want to see and which sales pitches they want to hear so much that it should be no surprise to a company if the number of inbound calls from leads brought in by salespeople has reduce drastically.

A smart company would thus rely on online content in order to reach the many potential clients who are unreachable via the regular unbidden visits and cold calls for which salespeople are known. This means making your blog posts and other informative website content your outbound salespeople. Equip them with information about your product and services like you would equip your salespeople. Your content brings in the leads and you then follow up.

This doesn’t mean we no longer need salespeople. But in a world where 92% of consumers, according to the National Retail Federation, now often research products online before buying, a good sales team should know to adjust with the trend.

Here is how good content marketing is similar to salespeople and can help you improve sales.

  • Content Marketing Generates Awareness

Content marketing, if done well, puts your business out there and gives you the opportunity to reach consumers before they have even decided on what they want to purchase. With authentic content and the right keywords, your website’s ranking on search engines improves. This means your content will be among the first to be listed whenever a consumer runs a Google search about a product related to what you offer.

This is why you should make sure your content says exactly what it needs to say and in a way that relates to consumers. If you feel you are not well equipped to make your content sing, then hire a professional copywriter to nail down the basics of your products and services in words and to polish up your pages with good content, so that when that traffic funnels in, your content is ready to do the work of a salesperson.

  • Content Marketing Informs

What going on during a regular call session between a salesperson and a prospective client is a sort of question and answer. The client asks and the salesperson answers.

In this tech age when consumers can access the internet using all sorts of devices ranging from their smart phones to regular computers, about 70% of people prefer to learn about products via online content than via ordinary adverts. They Google things like ‘how much is X phone?’ ‘Does Y air conditioner come with a warranty?’ ‘Z television specifications’.

This is information that should be in your content—product description page, ‘FAQ’ page, your regular blog posts… And if your content is authentic enough and follows the general rules on content marketing, then your pages should be able to appear first when a consumer runs a search related to your niche.

Also, Google questions consumers often ask salespeople. Your content should be able to answer those questions.

  • Content Marketing Musters Trust

This is why it is important to include a blog on your company website. Since blog posts are informing, prospective clients visiting your website for the first time would not only get to learn about your products and service, but also get to relate with you and asks questions in the comment area and you answer. That way, you incite trust in them through transparency.

You can even also earn the trust of search engines. When you run a blog and update it regularly with authentic stuff, your company website, to search engines, becomes reliable. This translates to those search engines indexing your site first, since they want to display quality stuff to people.

Hence, your content attracts more leads—something that salespeople also do.

  • Content Marketing Forms and Nurtures a Relationship

Contenting marketing isn’t only a means to drive traffic to your products and services, but is also a platform where you can have a healthy relationship with your clients. You interact with them on a regular basis. Frequently updating your blog with informative posts—for instance, ‘how to’ posts related to using your products and service—helps you follow up on the leads brought in via inbound links and search engines.

Also, with the ‘follow’ button and ‘follow by email’ on your blog, you even get to deliver your content straight to your clients’ feeds and inboxes.

While you are at it, be careful not to carelessly pitch your products and services in your updates. Instead, let sales emerge from the relationship you have built with both your regular and potential clients.

  • Content Marketing Strengthens Your Brand

Some people say branding is how you want people to perceive your products and services.

Your website, of course, already details down specific information about your products and services—information like a list of things you sell, your product descriptions, what makes your products and services stand out from the multitude of others. Content marketing takes this information to the next level.

How?

Think transparency through regular blog posts and interactions with clients in the comment area. This is where you indirectly inform customers on the benefits of your products and services. This is where you tell the story of your brand. This is where customers learn that you don’t only care about making sales; they learn that you care about them too.

  • You Can Retain Customer Using Contenting Marketing

A major fact about content marketing is that when your content is authentic and serves the needs of your site visitors, those visitors will most likely return.

Instead of a salesperson pestering clients with unexpected visits and unwanted calls, why not avail yourself of this content marketing fact? Post genuine content that is related to, and reminds your customers of, your products and services. Post them regularly. Meet your audience’s needs and they will be compelled not only to patronise you, but also to remain with you.

By now, it is not difficult to see that content marketing actually works and can do the work of a salesperson. It goes beyond clicks to your website. In fact, it generates more leads. It drives sales. It also reduces the cost of running a business. Content marketing via email newsletters nudges consumers to action. The best part is that content marketing works for you 24/7, unlike a regular salesperson who works from 9am to 5pm and only on weekdays.

So why not tap into the world of content marketing, perhaps, not to replace, but to integrate its benefits with, the dwindle but still viable use of salespeople.