Content marketing is a serious strategy that’s used in digital marketing strategies right across the world. When it comes to content marketing did you know that it’s directly related to the sales funnel? It’s true! Without content or implementing a content marketing strategy you can fall short on the amount of conversions, sales and profits that you’ll receive throughout the life time of your business.
Generally, the sales funnel is broken up into three different stages which include the top, middle and bottom funnel. When in business you need to know and understand these three sales funnel stages in order to directly target your content to drive more results.
Content marketing is directly related to the sales funnel because it can not only reach people at all stages of the funnel but it can also push customers to continually engage with your business for future sales. This expert guide will give you insight into how a strong content marketing strategy can really push customers down the sales funnel. In order to do this however you need to know what each sale funnel stage means.
Top Funnel – Discovery
The top funnel is all about the discovery of your brand and is seen as the first step. The goal of this funnel is to create brand awareness and indirect customer acquisition. When creating a content marketing strategy for this sales funnel stage it needs to be two things:
To inform your customers about your brand you need to educate them with interesting and useful information to create that brand awareness you’re after. You need to educate them on your products, services, and what you can do for them in order to win their trust. While educating your audience you also need to create a viral effect to generate the interest in your business. You need people to be curious about your brand name and what you have to offer. Just hearing your name isn’t enough, you need to make your name go viral as a trusted brand through the content you choose to expose customers to.
The top funnel is where inbound marketing is at its best. To generate the inbound marketing leads you’re after you need to also work out what your audience wants and how you can teach them what they want to learn. If you can do this, you will resonate feelings of respect and gratitude, along with authority.
This top funnel is all about earning the trust of new potential customers. Some ways content marketing can help achieve this is by writing and/or publishing:
- Comprehensive guides
- Email newsletter
- Blog posts
- Big content such as tools, games, parallax scroller, and long-form content.
Developing a strategy around these key content areas can dramatically increase your brands overall awareness and trust for new potential customers. Make sure the content is of good quality and is useful for the most impact. When this is done right your customers will move onto the…
Middle Funnel – Consideration
The middle funnel is where people start to consider whether they’re going to purchase your services or products. The goal of the middle funnel is to gain direct customer acquisition. In this phase, the consumer begins to work out that you may just have the solution they’ve been searching for. In targeting content to this sale funnel you need to supply them with content that helps them to evaluate your products and your brand. To target your content directly to your audience in this sales funnel, you need to work on speaking to them directly. Don’t just jump straight into sales mode here. You will need to work on building their trust some more. Developing consideration content can help your possible new customers to differentiate you from your competitors. Content that you’re looking to achieve here includes:
- Demo videos
- Product descriptions and data sheets
- How to content that showcases your services and products
- Case studies.
By speaking directly to your audience and showing them what you have to offer is different from your competitors, they will then move along to the…
Bottom Funnel – Conversion
The bottom funnel of the entire sales funnel is where your visitors turn into customers as they consider to buy what you have to offer. The goal of the bottom funnel is to make transactions with customers. In order to do this, you will need to make your final brand pitch through the use of multiple content pieces. The bottom of the funnel gives you the narrowest margin to push your content to generate the sale. At this point you already know your visitors are very interested in buying what you’ve got on offer. You just need to convince them to make the purchase. This is where you need to wow your potential customers through your content. The content for this area of the sales funnel includes:
- A comprehensive, streamline, trustworthy and easy to understand sales process.
The content here should be straightforward providing your potential customers with clear descriptions of your products and why they’re valuable to your customers. This can include anything from bullet point benefits to charts that compare with other products on the market. This is where you can use your sales material to encourage your visitors to become customers.
Beyond The Sales Funnel
While you may think content marketing stops when the sales funnel stops, it doesn’t. In fact you can really improve your brand’s overall trust and reputation by going beyond the sales funnel to give your customers an enjoyable experience. This in turn is to help encourage them to be returning visitors. Beyond the sales funnel requires the need for content that provides help, support and on-boarding. Content that would be most helpful here includes:
- Special offers
- Customer support
- Help documentations
- Effective product UX
- Email outreach and a follow up
- Insider how-tos
In doing this you have a higher chance of seeing repeat customers than just a once off sale.
As you can see content marketing and the sales funnel are very closely related in whether or not your business gains a sale or profit. By understanding each stage of the sales funnel you have the ability to direct the appropriate content to these areas to hopefully encourage your visitors to turn into long term customers. So have you been targeting your content appropriately?