a dock with a missing connection
There could be an important channel missing from your content distribution plan. PHOTO: Ronald Saunders

Create great content and the readers will come.

At least that's what we used to think. Today, with the proliferation of screens and abundance of content, marketers have to work harder.

Google won't do the heavy lifting anymore by consistently promoting your content at the top of the search engine. OK, maybe in some cases or maybe eventually.

Sharing Your Content

But smart marketers have their own distribution plan. Once that’s chugging along well, Google might even notice and say, “Hey, people seem to like this stuff. Let’s put it higher in the rankings.”

When you think of getting the word out, the channels that likely come to mind are social media, search engine marketing, online display advertising, content syndication and email marketing.

But telemarketing (a.k.a. inside sales) is arguably one of the most powerful ways to distribute content, even though it does not come to mind as frequently.

There are some good reasons to use phone calls as a way to distribute content.

It’s Proactive

Rather than sitting around waiting for someone to stumble onto your content online, you maintain control. You’re calling the people for whom you created the content and letting them know it exists. Now doesn’t that make sense? It puts you back in the driver’s seat.

It’s Customer Focused

“Customer-centric” is one of the key themes for marketing in 2017. And what could be more customer centric than calling prospects and finding out how you can help them best?

When reps speak with prospects, they can ask questions to determine their problems and objections. That helps reps to gauge which content could assist the prospect in solving a problem and assist in overcoming any objections.

At the beginning of the buying cycle, prospects may not have identified the full scope of the issue they’re facing. They need to talk with someone who asks the right questions to help them fully assess it.

For instance, an IT director may believe her department is encountering issues with system slowdowns and downtime because the team is not monitoring servers effectively. But the problem is bigger.

Other aspects of the company's IT environment are on cruise control, including storage and the network. If the company focuses too narrowly on a solution to monitor servers, it would still fall victim to slowdowns and downtime. It needs to look at their whole IT infrastructure.

It takes a conversation with an expert to frame the issue in a way that helps the customer find the right solution.

You Gain Commitment

Not everyone reads the white papers they download or watches the webinars for which they register. However, when you engage one-on-one, you can get an individual’s commitment to at least scanning a white paper or tuning into a webinar.

This increases the chances that they will consume your content. If you schedule a follow-up call, it will likely boost the likelihood of consumption even further.

It Helps Improve Your Content

Also, when your reps are talking to customers every day, they’ll start to learn the questions customers ask, the internal obstacles they have to overcome, how they make their decisions and more.

What they discover can help your marketers improve existing content, and fill gaps in your content library. By doing so, you’ll ensure reps always have content that meets their needs.

Lead Scoring Becomes More Robust

With marketing automation we measure clicks, downloads and views to gauge an individual’s level of interest. These online metrics, however, inform us on the age-old questions that are relevant to lead qualification.

Does the prospect have the budget, authority, need and a timeline to make a purchase? The only way to answer these questions is in a two-way dialogue.

You Create Trust and Deepen the Relationship

Finally, while disseminating content that demonstrates your expertise and thought leadership is an excellent way to build trust, it may not be enough to bring the buyer to the finish line.

Sometimes we forget that we are not selling to businesses. We are selling to people, who are both rational and emotional. The human touch is essential for building that emotional connection and solidifying the relationship.

Pick Up the Phone

Telemarketing or inside sales just might be the missing player in your content distribution plan. By adding it to the mix, you can be proactive and customer centric.

Your content will gain visibility as you disseminate it to the right people, gain their commitment and use feedback to improve it.

Lastly, you’re more likely to close deals as you score leads more accurately and solidify relationships with prospects.