Visual content has dominated 2014 – and I’m betting that it will continue to explode as we head into next year. My prediction – more and more companies will jump on the content bandwagon as they realise the power that it can have, not only on their marketing goals, but their overall sales strategy.

The world of digital marketing may constantly be changing, but content is here to stay (at least for another year or two). According to The Digital Marketing Association, 2015 will be ‘the year of the human’, with consumers demanding real human interaction in the form of pictures, videos and humour. Nobody will have time for boring corporate messages anymore, and brands will have to respond to this by creating fun, interesting content and sharing it on their many different channels.

It’s important to remember that content can be just as damaging as it is effective – and it must be used in the right way, with a strategy in place, in order to see the benefits. With this in mind, here are my DO’s and DON’T’s of using content to your advantage:

DON’T just write one piece of content, share it and then start again. Instead, build a whole library of content that’s ready to go. 

However, DO make sure you deliver the right content at the right time. According to The Content Marketing Institute, each stage of the buying cycle has its own specific content needs. Don’t send an irrelevant white paper to a new customer – make sure content is tailored to provide the right journey for each prospect, feeding customers into the sales team at the right time.

DO gate your premium content and include a sign-up form to capture data. If somebody is interested in downloading your latest guide, they probably want to know more. Once you have their details, you can send them links to more content, record and score them on their level of activity, and then feed the lead into your sales team when ready. Marketing Automation platform Act-On  makes it easy for our team to do just this – we’re able to track each prospect’s activity from initial engagement to lead conversion and beyond.

DO use your website as a social hub for all of your content. As Offerpop suggests, you can drive more traffic to your site by getting all of your content in one place, sharing it on other channels, and then linking back to your website.

DON’T just create content, post it on your website/social media and leave it there. Make sure you’re measuring results using social media management platforms to keep track of what’s working and what isn’t. Programs such as Oktopost simplify B2B social media management by allowing you to manage all of your social media profiles in one place and effectively measure the true business value of your social marketing.

So that’s my top 5 DO’S and DON’T’S of using content to stimulate sales. To find out more, or to speak to us about using content to your own advantage, call SuccessFlow on 0845 680 5409, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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