Winning new business, without the selling

by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins
by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins

There is a trend that has been gaining momentum over the last few years: organisations want a steady flow of blogs and articles on their websites that position them as true experts in their fields and in doing so, win the confidence of those they want to do business with.

But what sort of content converts into leads, and just how much revenue can an organisation expect to generate from having a well-maintained blog or news page?

Content that converts readers into buyers has to be ‘valuable’ to the people you want to do business with. It needs to resonate with your target audiences by being:

  • Informative: This style of article communicates something that is newsworthy e.g. Unemployment in the UK hits lowest level since 1975
  • Relevant: This format explains what the above means to your audience e.g. With a shrinking talent pool, employers need to utilise a range of candidate attraction strategies to find the talent they need to fill their vacancies
  • Educational: This type of content shares an insight into a subject that is at the heart of your prospects’ everyday lives e.g. 5 things hiring managers can do to raise their profile as an employer of choice and engage top talent
  • Entertaining: Injecting personality into your content is great for building your agency brand, so consider a light-hearted style of post e.g. 10 of the most shocking things candidates have said in an interview

This is what is known as inbound PR.

Tick one of the boxes above, and you’re on to a winner. Incorporate all four into a single article and that would be super impressive! Your content shouldn’t be limited to the written word – infographics, podcasts and increasingly video formats are incredibly powerful at communicating and sharing your content.

The point is, while the idea of populating your organisation’s blog with content is an appealing one, it has to be the right sort of content. There’s no point chucking any old claptrap on your site – it may improve your SEO but it will damage your brand as a provider of choice.

People buy from people is a cliché, yet it is true. Your prospects want to know what you think when they engage with you. They need to see that you ‘get’ their pain points, challenges and obstacles that they face in their organisations.

FACT: 62% of marketers say video content is now the most important form of content

So, use your blog to demonstrate the thought leadership of your teams because it works – for our clients and for us, too.

We recently analysed the sources of each of our current portfolio of clients. Of the 15 clients we are working with right now, three found us via our own blog (having followed a link on social media).

They read one blog, which they liked. They then saw other blogs we had written and found value in them, too. And when the time was right for them to invest in their own blog, they got in touch with us because they recognised that our content addressed many of the challenges and needs of their own businesses.

A client of ours picked up a contract worth £60,000 – directly from a single blog we produced for them

This has generated £55,000 in additional revenues for us over the last six months alone – this equates to £572 revenue generated from each blog written during this period. For some of the clients we produce blog content for, these figures pale into insignificance – one client picked up a contract worth £60,000 from a single blog.

Of course, the issue agencies have is that of time. If you are a marketer, you will be all too aware of the frustration in trying to find time or get your people to write a blog. This makes perfect sense, after all to get someone who might not be the most confident writer in the world to take half a day out of their busy schedule to write, is a nigh-on impossible task. So, how do you do it?

Content drives sales over the long-term and the most effective way to get your teams onboard with producing blogs is to ‘sell’ the idea of using the blog to help develop the pipeline. Another way is to hire a copywriter ora content marketing agency (hey, you’re on a content marketing agency website right now!) – people who will get to understand your brand and know how to position your organisation in the most effective way.

So, the next time you think you don’t have time to write about the things you know about, consider whether you are happy leaving money on the table. Regular blogs benefit our business, our clients and they can – will – do the same for you.