*Are You Closing Enough Deals? (Part Two)*
**By Michael Hammond**
***As the saying goes: Content is king. If you throw garbage content out into the lending space you’re going to get a garbage response. Last week I shared two tips from an article called “5 Ways to Win with B2B Content Marketing & Social Media” by Lee Odden that provided tips of how to turn content marketing into closed deals. Here are the remaining three tips on how you can be closing more deals today with good content:
****3. Give to Get
****Along with self-promotion, B2B marketers have a tendency to expect social communities to behave the way the brand wants them to. The guideline I like to share with B2B marketers that want to foster community and engagement is: “Give to get.” That doesn’t mean, give a sales pitch to get a sale.
****Instead, provide something of value before expecting anything in return. In fact, it’s smart to find out more specifically what consumers and those who influence them find valuable as inspiration for a social content plan. Deliver useful information, listen to how audiences respond, and make adjustments. Then repeat.
****The investment in creating value that is thoughtful for both customers and the brand’s business objectives is where consumer and corporate needs are met with social content.
****A lot of B2B marketing budgets have invested in creating content for companies, but many purists feel that great content should be left to attract attention based purely on the quality of the information. There’s a feeling that if content is really good, it will attract traffic and engagement all on it’s own. That’s a naïve perspective, especially in a competitive category and it also makes some strong assumptions about whether there is a preexisting community for the brand, or not.
****With a hub and spoke publishing model, themed content is published into a repository that represents a “go to” resource for topics that the brand wants to be known for. At the same time, that content can be promoted through spokes or social channels among communities that are interested. People often rely on content promotion to discover what’s new. Promotion can attract traffic, social shares, and links, which can all serve as useful signals to search engines and improve standard and social search engine visibility.
****Promotion works best with content that deserves to be shared. That kind of content makes a promise to social networks that it’s good. If a B2B brand can consistently create, optimize, socialize, and promote great content, the community will respond with shares, referrals, engagement, links, and even sales.
****5. Analyze and Optimize
****As they mature in their social content journey, B2B companies develop social profiles, publish descriptions, and contribute content at various intervals as part of their social media participation. They may even actively optimize social content with search keywords and social topics as a way to empathize with what consumers are looking for and talking about on the social web.
****A missing piece of this puzzle is the importance of ongoing monitoring and analysis. There’s a process I call, “The cycle of search and social improvement” that involves creating and optimizing social content. As useful content is created and promoted, it gets shared and attracts fans, friends, followers, and subscribers.
****As the community grows, even more sharing of links and traffic is involved with brand content. The increase in engagement, search visibility, and social sharing provides a rich set of data with which the brand can improve content creation. It’s a cycle of hypothesis, implementation, and analysis that can improve how effectively a brand is able to refine social content effectiveness at inspiring business outcomes.
****So, get to work on produce good content to close more deals.
Michael Hammond is chief strategy officer at PROGRESS in Lending Association and is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. They provide solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. He has close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product experience. Michael held prior executive positions such as CEO, CMO, VP of Business Strategy, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Marketing for a number of leading companies. He is also only one of about 60 individuals to earn the Certified Mortgage Technologist (CMT) designation. Michael can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.