B2B Salespeople + Content
B2B salespeople need to be on social media to connect and build relationships with prospects, but in order to succeed and build a rapport, they also need to be armed with the right type of content.
Whether your job is SDR, sales enablement, business development, VP of sales, or some other variation, you need to be sharing content on social media. Especially when you are in B2B sales, LinkedIn and Twitter, for example, become essential platforms to reach out to prospects and build a relationship.
Yet, if you aren’t sharing the right type of content or interacting consistently, you very well could be leaving opportunities on the table. But not even just opportunities, the chance to even build more awareness for your company.
In order to generate clicks, brand awareness, and increase sales conversations, you need to be armed with various content types that will resonate with your audience.
If you are in B2B sales or know other B2B salespeople, these are the seven types of content will be essential to share on social media.
Third-party industry related content
Generally, sharing third-party content is a common practice among anyone who is relatively active on social media. It’s information that is interesting to that individual, is related to their field of interest, or is related to the overall industry they are involved in.
Yet, third-party content is an essential type of content that you, and other B2B salespeople, should be actively sharing.
You probably have heard of the 80-20 rule when it comes to content sharing: 80% being third-party and 20% being company/promotional. However, your specific percentages may vary pending if your company is producing high-level educational content or not.
As a salesperson, you shouldn’t just jump into sharing your product, data, gated-materials, or even right to the sales pitch. Instead, providing outside content on a fairly regular basis shows you are a knowledge hub and trusted resource for the best information.
It also shows you took the time to understand your industry and looking to provide top value to your networks without any obvious agenda.
Third-party is not only the type of content you want to proactively share, but should be some of the first you share directly with cold prospects you might be just starting a relationship with.
Step-by-step or how-to content
One of the most valuable pieces of content your company should be developing for you and the rest of your B2B sales team is “step-by-step” and “how to” content. The goal of these articles is to solve a particular problem your core audience and buyers have or are struggling with.
This will give you and your team the opportunity to not only position themselves as trusted advisors, but prospects will notice that your company gets their pain points.
When you educate, solve someone’s business challenges, or offer solutions to problems, it helps make your social prospecting go a bit more smoothly.
Yet, this type of content can get tricky.
For one, most likely other companies in your industry are writing this type of content too, so you don’t want to be sharing content that is too similar.
Additionally, the content needs be interesting and informative. You don’t want to slap another generic “top 10” article that is under 500 words and regurgitating common information. That is not providing any value and your brand is not being represented as the most knowledgeable.
However, you can work with your marketing counterparts to take an idea that might be common, but put a new spin on it. Add statistics, include new ideas, and improve the value that your prospects and potential buyers would find useful.
Statistics and research data related to your industry
While “step-by-step” and “how-to” content are a must, proven statistics, and data that can back up your product, services, or industry can help you close more deals. In the B2B space, showcasing studies and data can really hammer home how important whatever it is that prospects need to pay attention too.
Ideally, if your company provides a software solution of any kind, it’s important to start gathering data and insights of your own. This will help your company solidify its product value, can be used for future blog posts, added to field marketing materials, and back your claims up with raw data.
Even if your company does not have any internal data or research done, this jumps back to the importance of third-party content. For almost every industry, there is some sort of in-depth statistics or research that has been done.
You can then use this information as the perfect jump-off point to spark engaged discussions and transition into sales conversations much easier.
For me, anytime I’ve seen social content posted about specific data, statistics, or research about my industry or business challenges I face, I’m more interested reading, engaging, or re-sharing it.
As a B2B salesperson, are you armed with the right sales tools? Here are 8 essential tools B2B sales should be using.
Visual Content (Videos, infographics, slides)
While written and informative content will always be necessary, visual content has been a growing and basically, a required aspect for social sharing. People love engaging and visual content, plus it can be easier for prospects to consume.
It’s not just audiences that are fixated on this form of content, but the social platforms themselves who are starting to put more emphasis on videos. And not just video links, actual native videos uploaded directly to these platforms.
Although videos are a hot topic, other visual content like infographics, presentations, and general images that provide some sort of value are also important.
These visual representations will not only help social media engagement with audiences but helps you mix up your content and keep your networks more engaged.
As compiled in an infographic from WebDAM, below were a few interesting stats about visual content:
- The average person gets distracted in eight seconds, though a mere 2.8 seconds is enough to distract some people.
- An estimated 84% of communications will be visual by end of 2018
- People are 85% more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video
- Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.
For all B2B salespeople, not only should company videos, product videos, and infographics be shared, but even encourage your sales colleagues to directly speak to their networks through native videos.
By this, sales teams should be enabled to share their insight through a short personal video directly in their feed. You’ve probably already seen this starting on LinkedIn (I’m willing to bet LinkedIn will be pushing a lot more video capabilities this year).
Company culture content
There are plenty of companies that promote and share their company culture to the public, but you’d be surprised how many still don’t or are still hesitant to do so. Huge mistake and a missed opportunity.
As a B2B salesperson, you should be active on social media and use it more to build a rapport with your prospects. As you do this, you should be showcasing how your company treats their people and the overall culture. This can help generate more leads and help close more deals.
It can also be content related to events you are attending, your travels, client meetings, etc. The point is, showing that you’re human and love where you work can nudge prospects further along in the buyer’s journey.
People love doing business with companies who are passionate about their employees and culture, showcasing that is a great way to build a trusted foundation between you, other B2B salespeople, and social audiences.
Plus, this type of content keeps the sales agenda out of it and your prospects do not feel cautious to interact or engage in those shares without being hounded.
Company product info, news, reviews
For the most part, the type of company content B2B salespeople should be sharing is more educational and informative. However, there are times that sharing product or service updates, company news (new hires, funding, acquisitions, etc), or reviews are a great addition to the content arsenal.
The challenge is, you do not want overdue the constant shares of this information, regardless of how much news your company has.
Constantly sharing this info looks like all you care about is making a sale and spamming your networks about the company you work for. Of course, it’s salespeople’s job to make a sale and build revenue, but you still need to be seen as personable and that you genuinely care about your prospect’s challenges.
Yet, pending where your prospects are in their specific journey or new people discovering your social content, company info content can help make purchase decisions or make people aware of your company as a solution to their needs.
It also can help establish your company as a leader in the specific industry, that the business is growing, and is trusted to provide value.
Specific content that revolves around your buyer’s journey
This should be standard for most B2B salespeople by now, but it still needs to be included. Additionally, some of the above-mentioned content will probably fit into this section too, but it’s important regardless.
Many times, companies struggle with their content strategies and when they do, B2B sales can struggle to be ready with the right information they need with their prospects.
This is why it is key for sales to have a huge input to the content marketing of their companies.
Knowing the buyer’s journey, understanding the buyer’s cycle, and knowing buyer’s challenges will greatly shape the content, but also help sales start conversations and help close more deals.
The content mix for the buyer’s journey is going to include everything from educational ungated blog posts, but just as important, are things like: e-books, guides, case studies, product datasheets, product differentiators, and whitepapers.
All of these are used in various stages, but all should provide the value B2B salespeople need to direct prospects into a sales conversation. If your content sharing strategy is primarily focused on just want aspect, you end being a one-dimensional salesperson.
Make sure there is accurate content for every step of the buyer’s journey and content that can match where they are in their buying cycle.
Sharing content on social media sounds like a simple click or two and that’s it. But with the popularity of social media for B2B sales, you need a social sales sharing strategy that will help generate more conversations.
In order to see your networks grow and sales conversations increasing, you as a B2B salesperson need to have your own strategy in place as to what content you need to be sharing.
The above seven types of content are exactly what you’ll need to build a trusted sales enablement machine.
Yet, if you see that the content your company is producing is lacking for your prospects buyer journey, this is the opportunity to get with the marketing team and start correcting it.
As you have probably read elsewhere in the past, marketing and sales should work closely together to make sure everyone is on the same page and both sides have what they need to succeed.
Are you focusing on the above content types to reach your prospects on social media?