Educational Content – the fuel that makes Social Selling effective

Wurlwind Social Selling - Educational Content

The Internet has allowed everyone to become a publisher. But not everyone understands how to link content with sales.

Many claim that Content is King. We add that Distribution is Emperor, and Context is Queen.

While Self-Service via search and Content Marketing is important in low value high volume situations, when it comes to low volume high value touches in Social Selling it’s the role of the sales person to convey the right message to the right person at the right time through the right channel and using the right medium, ideally.

The value of a sales consultant is to provide guidance towards a decision, as an experienced and trusted advisor.

Well crafted content is a way to increase the impact and productivity of sales consultants, so prospects are prepared prior to contact with a consultant and can be sign-posted to relevant content as a follow-through, with a follow-up.

Quick Tips for effective educational content for LinkedIn and Social Selling

It’s all too easy to hand craft every message, or to suffer from writer’s block, so start with these three tasks to give yourself a fast start or a boost in LinkedIn.

  • Identify routine communications on LinkedIn ( eg. making and accepting connection requests) – and create standard phrases, paragraphs and email text to start from
  • Create a series of articles that address the most frequent topics that come up in meetings with prospects – and publish these as articles in LinkedIn
  • Create a set of engaging messages highlighting aspects of the article(s) – and use these in your mix of status updates and in emails.

And don’t overlook your Personal Profile (and those of your colleagues) and Company Page as they also count as Content, with potentially a higher number of views than individual articles.

 

The Power of Trigger Events and Commercial Teaching

Our approach to selling – and especially to social selling and content to support social selling – has been influenced by many things, especially these ideas:

  • identify the trigger events that cause buyers to move from status quo to researching – and write content around those topics
  • find a way to reframe the buyers thinking about what’s important – which is about emotional connection rather than logic
  • where possible relate your message to how they can improve the commercial performance of their business

Think about what content you’ve read, seen, heard or watched recently – what was memorable?

Popular song writers are especially good in all four areas – for example love songs that become associated with life events.

What content do you need for effective Social Selling?

In practice there are some key pieces of content that most sales people will need, and benefit from, including:

  • LinkedIn Personal Profile – the Headline and Summary especially
  • Template to Invite people to connect on LinkedIn
  • Template response when people invite you to connect
  • Status Update Plan / Guidelines, such as the Mix of Six
  • Reliable 3rd party sources of on-topic content
  • Articles on the half-dozen main topics of interest of prospects
  • An Article per social prospecting or lead generation campaign

Further suggestions will be added periodically, based on what’s working for us and our clients.

Download our Pocket Guide to Social Selling

If you haven’t already done so get a copy of our guide, which covers more LinkedIn Tips and introduces the Social Selling Matrix.