When I evaluate an organization's blog, I scan through their titles, topics, and articles to find out what they think is important to discuss or share. It's easy to spot company-centric content, which is information about the organization (who they are and what they do), vs. customer-centric content, which pertains directly to the concerns of the target buyer. Here is an overview of each approach, and how they relate to the sales process.
In the age of information overload, it's increasingly difficult to capture prospects' and customers' attention. As much as we'd like to think people want to know about us and what we do, it's a pipe-dream. Humans have one thing on our mind: ourselves. So, if we want to appeal to our target buyer, customer-centric content that addresses their questions and concerns will get noticed and pique interest. The focus is on teaching, educating, and helping - not selling.
Customer-centric content is in the Awareness and Consideration stages of the buyers' journey. (If you're not familiar with the buyers' journey, check out this article.) Here are some topic examples:
- Pain points from maintaining the status quo
- Potential outcomes from trying something new
- Obstacles prospects face when making a change
- Counter-arguments to sales objections
- Questions prospects ask during the sales process
- Other educational information about how to improve
This type of content builds trust and credibility with customers and prospects and elevates you as a thought leader. It culminates in a sales library that sellers can use to support their positions and move opportunities forward through the sales process. Having a base of articles that address common issues prospects face creates consistent messaging across the organization and increases sales efficiency. Sales onboarding is much easier too!
In the Decision stage of the buyers' journey, prospects have identified a problem, found a solution, and are evaluating options for implementation. That's where company-centric content comes in to play. Now that your target buyer is familiar with you from the customer-centric content they've read, they will be more open to learning more about how your solution can potentially solve their pain. Here are some topic examples:
- Product or service web pages/brochures
- Case studies
- Company news & PR (new hires, locations, mergers, etc.)
- Coupons or discounts
With so much information available online, it's getting more and more difficult to cold sell. Back in the day, it was great - a salesperson could walk in, share great info, and Bam! Sale. The prospect didn't have the opportunity to get information from other sources easily, so they relied much more on the knowledge and expertise of the salesperson in front of them.
Now, your target buyer can go online and learn all they want about their problems, questions, and concerns without ever needing to talk to a salesperson. The organization that provides the best content will get found the most. And if you're not creating it, you're leaving the door wide open for your competitors to build relationships with the people you want to do business with.