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Enabling B2B Sales & Marketing

Is Content Marketing a Powerful Partner for Social Selling?

Posted by Bruce Rasmussen on 14-Jul-2016 11:02:11

Many B2B firms are developing both "content marketing strategies" and "social selling strategies".

Is there a link - or an overlap?

We think there is!

The Content Marketing perspective

A "content marketing strategy" sets out a series of actions to achieve certain goals/objectives.

content_strategy_overview.jpg

The actions relate to authoring, distributing and following-up pieces of content, developed in a range of formats (eg white paper, video, event etc).

There are many ways of distributing content pieces - e-blasts, face to face events, personal selling - and in the modern "digital age" increasingly "social" is a key distribution mechanism.

So - if we want to distribute our content - one mechanism that we have is social distirbution via our sales resources.

So - our "social selling strategy' needs to include actions to distribute certain content elements via social means.

The Social Selling perspective

Just like a content marketing strategy, a "social selling strategy" sets out a series of actions to achieve certain goals.  The actions relate to listening, publishing and participating in online communities.

3_key_social_media_skills.jpgRather than focus purely on platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn etc - we believe the social selling needs to describe how specific sales workflows can be improved, by including in the workflow the use of the various social platforms:

social_selling_workflows.jpgIf we are going to let our sales resources loose to pursue the workflows shown above - then we need to give them "something to say".  Certainly they will offer spontaneous comments - but these need to be shaped in line with the firm's overall messaging.

There will also be programmatic postings - publicising blog posts, talking about campaigns, offering thought leadership etc - again, these are best done in line with the overall content strategy.

Ultimately a co-dependence

content-social_diagram.jpgSo - the content strategy relies on the social selling strategy - in offering one channel with which to get the firm's message out.

And - the social selling strategy relies on the content strategy - to suggest to the sales folk "what to say online".

An enormous co-dependence.

Interesting though to see how often these strategies are developed in isolation of each other......

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Topics: Social Selling, Social Media Strategy, B2B Sales, Sales, Strategy, LinkedIn, content marketing