Mar 03 2014

Lead Generation Catalyst: Access To The Expert

Category: contentTom Shivers

 

kitty-on-huntTransformation can come to a business when their content goes up a level. This is especially true for businesses who must be viewed as authoritative by their prospects or possess expertise during the sales cycle.

You know what happens when a prospect starts asking good questions; it’s like the hunt to get all the details before putting any money down. Here are some ways to evoke the hunt in your prospects.

Research reports

Producing well done, documented research reports is sometimes the forerunner of what makes an expert (hint, hint). The content itself proves that time and effort went into collecting quality data and organizing it so it’s easy to draw conclusions from.

The opportunity for the “expert” is in revealing the results of the research for the first time. Turn it into a publicity event so as to attract those hungry prospects. Present your findings and then illicit feedback and Q&A.

Every year Experian Hitwise uses their data to report opportunities for marketers to take advantage of the Holiday shopping season with data that reveals shopping trends from Black Friday and Cyber Monday from previous years along with projections for the coming year. Interestingly, their projections always come true.
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If you have access to data that could be organized to help your prospects make better decisions, you are already on your way to becoming an expert with research reporting. Pick something that you can research and report on annually and watch your following grow year after year.

Expert interviews

Interviewing experts raises awareness of the business and has added benefits especially when the expert works for the company, endorses the brand, is a business partner or customer.

There’s usually not a lot of ongoing value to interviewing experts who do not have any affiliation with your company, unless this is the theme or purpose of your channel – all expert interviews.

Expert interviews are much better when the audience has access to them during or after the interview. If there is little to no Q&A, then the topic and/or the expert isn’t right for your audience. Good Q&A should be the indicator of success for expert interviews.

I attended a seminar and toward the end the speaker opened the mic to the crowd of 200 for questions. The questions forced him to clarify his point as it related to specific situations, uncovering details that were touched on from a high level. No one left their seat as questions kept coming, and then the moderator abruptly ended one of the best Q&A sessions I’ve experienced.

That speaker has the same quality that the right expert interview can bring to your business – an audience craving more details!

Webinars

Webinars are great for deeper dives into specific topics that your audience wants to know about.

In addition to the ease of access from anywhere worldwide, webinars attract people who have a level of respect for the expert and/or your company and often means they have a lot in common with your ideal customer. Obviously you’ll have their contact info after the webinar for relevant follow-up.

Partnering with another company to do a webinar can double your reach if each company (and expert) sends out invitations. Plus there’s often higher perceived value to a webinar with multiple expert presenters.

Webinars are another prime forum for excellent Q&A. For more on webinars, check out this infographic from ClickMeeting (a webinar platform I’ve used and like).

Product launches

Online product launches are designed to build up a following of engaged prospects before introducing the product or service. This strategy utilizes all of the above ways to access the expert plus some.

One way to implement the product launch is to prepare three awesome pieces of content that will intrigue your audience, rolling them out and building one at a time over a period of 5 to 10 days. At the end of this series, you should have a lot of new prospects all excited about the free info they have received. It is then, when you have lots of credibility, likes and social following, time to send them the offer to buy your product.
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From the beginning, and even before the first piece of content, the expert is engaged in a dialogue with the audience. In fact the entire launch is a conversation with the prospect because the content deals with the fears, frustrations, desires and dreams of the prospect.

Each piece of content in the series, regardless of type: video, blog, whitepaper, infographic, mindmap, etc., is designed to create desire based tension that inspires people and convinces them that now they can do what previously they did not believe they could do. Throughout the launch there should be no relief from the tension until the offer is revealed and the prospect buys the solution.

The point is product launches are hands down the best way to engage your audience in a way that prepares them to buy.

Maybe you’ve heard that questions are the answer. If you are an expert in business then consider these four ways to grant your audience access to the expert; it usually brings them to ask good questions and when that happens, good leads and sales tend to follow and take care of themselves.

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