When you think about how to build sales, you probably think about lead generation, right?

Maybe you think of teams of cold-callers and prospectors. Or maybe you think of trade shows and advertising. The reality is that how to build salesno matter what comes to mind when you think about how to build sales, you’d better also be thinking about content.

Content has an important role to play throughout the life cycle of a sale, and that role begins with lead generation. When you create a great piece of content that your sales targets want, you can exchange it for simple but crucial information like a name or e-mail address. Every time that exchange is made, you gain a new lead.

I recently spoke with Rex Hammock, the founder and CEO of a customer media marketing services company called Hammock Inc., about how to build sales using content. I’ve adapted this post from our conversation.

Are there specific types of content that lend themselves especially well to lead generation?

It’s hard to say that there’s any one type of content that’s right for that would work across every industry and market. That said, when you think about how to build sales, the best opportunities are, of course, online. Whether it’s an eBook or a webinar, a podcast or any number of other things, the sky’s the limit.

How can companies make sure that their content gets to their targets?

There’s an incredible array of tools for both the creation and distribution of content. What it all comes down to is understanding your targets, what their objectives and needs are, and what the best touch points for interacting with them are.

Start off by trying to find something that will help them do their job. If you’re selling cameras to help your customers be better photographers, for example, that’s what you should be focusing your content on. Determining what their objectives are and how you can help meet those objectives, will dictate what tools you use. In some cases, the tool will be direct mail, in others social media. The key is aligning the tool with the target.

Assuming you’ve got a great piece of content, what’s the right way to use it to convert sales targets into actual leads?

If you’ve got great content that addresses a need that your customers and prospects have, then you have to market and promote it, just like a competitor would. As a content marketer, you’re essentially in the publishing / media business and as such you’re going to have to look and see how the competition is promoting its e-books, webinars, etc.

What it comes down to, though, when you think about how to build sales, is to constantly look for ways to get the people that already like the kind of content you create, to share it with others. And, of course, it has to be easy to do, which is where social media can really play an important role. We have an incredible array of tools at our disposal today. Crafting the right mix of them really depends specifically on both the audience and the objective you’re after.

Ultimately, when you think about how to build sales, you need to understand how to use content most effectively to serve your company’s bottom line.

If you liked this article, you may also enjoy 4 Reasons Why Your Company Needs a Content Factory, What is Thought Leadership?, or The Negative Effects of Facebook on Communication.

photo by: USACE Europe District

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