Having a business blog is good for establishing your expertise and driving traffic to your main website and increasing conversions. So writes the inbound powerhouse, HubSpot. But can it boost the results of your email outreach campaign? Can it persuade somebody to reply? Let’s find out.
At times recipients are not sure what they should do with the cold email they got. Even if you put an excellent Call to Action at the end of your email, they may not feel like replying. It may be something totally different. They may have googled you and they don’t like the way you position your brand online. I wrote a blog post on reviewing your online presence, you can read it here:
But there’s something more that you can do to increase the persuasiveness of your email campaign. That thing is content marketing. A great content can make you more persuasive, and in turn, it increases the number of replies you get.
Producing content is an inbound tactic, plus, it’s a domain of your marketing department. Nevertheless, a sales team can also contribute. Or at least, inform the marketing team what kind of content may increase the chance of getting a reply to their cold email.
How great content makes you more persuasive?
There are several ways in which content can increase the likelihood of establishing a long-term business relationship with somebody.
Describe your workflow
Cold email campaigns contain short messages. They are meant to start a conversation. Therefore, there’s not a lot of room for long storytelling there. The caveat is, however, that for you to gain a prospect’s trust, you need to show that you’re worthy of that.
The easiest way of showing that you’re worthy of trust is transparency. You may get transparent through the written word.
Show your true colors by describing how you work at your company. Describe the problems you encountered and how you deal with them. Or describe a recurring problem your customers face and how you recommend they deal with it.
As a sales rep, you have limited time for writing. However, you don’t have to write the whole piece if you don’t have time. Cooperate with the marketing department. Set up a quick chat with your content writer and communicate what you want to accomplish with your writing. Or leave them an audio recording. Write a quick email. They will make a full-blown post from your loose thoughts.
Those two guides will get you started with content marketing:
Make a customer case study
Customer success stories show potential customers what types of companies you help.
If prospects find a story starring a company like theirs, bingo. That piece of content will show them how your solution fits into their workflow and how they can benefit from using it. Since they read a point of view of somebody outside of your company, they are more likely to trust it. Still, the case study is on your blog. So what to do to make it the most compelling one?
- Write it in an interview form – Prepare a set of questions and email them to those willing to do a case study. Make sure those are open-ended questions, that is the ones starting with why, where, how, what. You get a lot of useful information by asking those type of questions. That’s how we do it at Woodpecker.
- Start by introducing the company – Write a couple of sentences about what they do. Write something about the founders and how they established the company. End this part by telling the readers where the company is now.
- Ask them to describe the problem they had and how they fixed it with your solution – Try to steer the conversation in a way of identifying the problem the customer felt > how it impacted their business > what your solution did for them. Of course, you’ll do that by asking them questions.
- Edit as little as you can – Let their style of writing show. Try not to intervene much. That way the customer study will feel more natural. Just fix the spelling errors and punctuation marks if there are any.
If you don’t know who to ask for a case study, look into your ICPs and check out a company that your support team has recently succeeded in helping. If you add a link or two to their website, they may see it as a nice way to get links.
Interview thought leaders
A way of showcasing that you’re professional and knowledgeable at what you’re doing is interviewing thought leaders in your field.
Thought leaders are “go-to people in their field of expertise“. Having their name on your blog shows that you know your industry well enough. The headline featuring a thought leader is very clickable.
Persuasive content doesn’t need to be written
If you don’t feel comfortable writing, don’t force yourself to do this. There are other options, such as creating a podcast or video blog.
For example, many B2B companies have tried podcasting with great success. And a lot of marketers swear by it over the written word.
There are many advantages to hosting a podcast. Content in audio form builds a greater rapport than words. After all, prospects can hear the voice of a person who reached out to them. Moreover, it’s convenient to listen to the podcast. You can multitask while doing this.
However, there are also drawbacks to hosting a podcast. The first one is you need to devote a few hours each week to record and edit it. You need to be consistent so you can’t to it from time to time. Plus, you need special equipment. Good sound quality equals success in this case.
Here’s a good guide from Marketing Land to get you startedThe podcast option: How audio content can help build a B2B business >>
Explore video blogging
The other substitute for writing is video. The video is more dynamic and if you have a gift for that, go for it. There are many B2B companies that find success in doing that. Take Moz or Price Intelligently as examples.
We haven’t explored the power of video blogging here at Woodpecker, although we do have a YouTube channel. From my perspective, I’d suggest you publish your video content on your blog first and then upload it to YouTube. It’s better to have it safe and sound on your own platform, so you’re in full control of the content you created. Plus, social media channels come and go. Check out a story of Vine — once a popular video platform.
I searched for a good guide on video production for you to get a foothold and this is what I found.
These are just a couple of ideas on how to use content to be more persuasive in your email campaign. But remember that what matters most is the actual copy of your email campaign, its schedule, deliverability settings, and the group you target. You can’t skip that.