$44 Billion. That’s the amount of money that companies collectively spent on Content Marketing in 2012.
According to recently published research from MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report, “the creation and distribution of unique, engaging content is becoming increasingly critical to the success of any online outreach program.”
Content Marketing has become a crucial piece of the lead generation puzzle because the way businesses buy products and services has forever changed. Before the advent of the Internet, Buyers would rely on salespeople for their information.
Buyers no longer need to—nor do they—engage with salespeople to obtain the information they need. According to research by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), buyers conduct 57-70% of their purchase process before their first contact with a supplier.
Buyers have already formed their opinions, established their priorities and defined their requirements leaving Sellers to compete on little more than feature check-lists and price.
Here’s the reality, buyers don’t like to talk to salespeople until they’ve decided who they want to talk with. That creates a problem for Sellers. So Sellers spend $44Billion to find ways to engage with prospects.
Now, I know that I’m not supposed to bury the lead, but here it is… Despite all the money and all the resources spent on content marketing to drive traffic to a website where it can be converted into leads, only 2-4% of website visitors complete a web-form. That means 96-98% of your visitors—all potential buyers—remain anonymous.
Why? Buyers resist disclosing their identity early in the sales cycle because they don’t want to talk with salespeople until they’ve done their homework. Unfortunately, this means they waste valuable time gathering and correlating information on their own. It also means that salespeople aren’t able to help at the beginning of the sales process when they have a better chance at influencing the purchase decision.
This is the reason why I, along with my business partners Geoff Rego and Vijay Dendukuri, created Hushly (launched this week) . Hushly solves this identity tug-of-war between B2B Buyers and Sellers making it possible for both sides to get what they need.
Communicating with a lot more prospects begins with installing a Hushly “Widget” on your site.
With the Hushly widget, the 96% of your website visitors that want to remain anonymous, have a way to open the lines of communication with you. When they click on the “Anonymously Connect” button (the Hushly widget), they will invite you to their evaluation. From there, they’re able to request information, post and respond to your comments, answer your questions, and share important decision-making information with you (and those on their buying team) much earlier in the sales cycle. Their name and company name remain private, but you will see their buyer profile details (like their job title, company size, industry, purchase stage, and more). If you deem them to be a quality prospect based on their profile, you accept the invitation. It’s a win-win for both sides.
Hushly helps you get a better return on your inbound and content marketing investments. Your salespeople or business development reps will leverage the great content you’ve put together to help educate the customer, build credibility, and earn trust. Soon, they’ll have helped the Buyer define their needs and will find themselves in the position of front-runner.
We believe the Hushly widget will be the fastest way to increase the percentage of website visitors that convert to quality leads. Instead of throwing even more dollars at a growing mountain of content, consider leveraging the content you have in a new way. Go to www.Hushly.com and install the free Hushly widget on your site today. And for the latest updates, follow us on Twitter @myhushly.
Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert increasing sales productivity through the use of tools. As President of Smart Selling Tools, she consults with many of the top sales productivity software vendors as well as end-user organizations looking to select the right tools. Click to get Nancy’s What & When weekly digest with invitations to complimentary webinars and informative publications. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools or subscribe to her Sales Productivity blog. Nancy can be reached at 916-596-3035. To schedule a free 30 minute consultation click here.