Content Marketing And Your Sales Funnel
“I don’t need content marketing as I’ve a sales funnel” a discovery caller informed me. Now I could tell by the strain in her voice that she was at the end of the tether with calls, programs and promises of a life of ease without sacrificing your first-born hamster. I think we’ve all felt that way at some point in our business.
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I can recall buying a domain name, and then hosting and then something else and thinking my word! does this money pit never end? It was because I didn’t understand all the things I needed. And because I was searching for answers but not finding anything I understood. A simple checklist would’ve sufficed but no, all the content spoke a language that wasn’t mine.
Sales Funnels Are Filled With Content
Every sales funnel will include content designed to help move the person move through the funnel and make smart decisions based upon their experience.
A good sales funnel will include content that addresses the needs of your dream client as they make their way along their buyer’s journey. This means understanding the buyer’s journey a fundamental for all business owners and entrepreneurs.
There are multiple stages in the buyer’s journey:
The three main areas content marketing supports sales funnels are:
At the awareness stage, the buyer is not aware that they need to buy your product or service. However, they are aware they have a problem. Depending on the nature of the problems depends on where they go for answers.
An example of content marketing for a person at this point of the journey might be an article that explains how bleeding gums is a sign of gum disease. If someone has bleeding gums they need to start taking extra care of their teeth. This may mean a visit to the dentist which can cause concern or exacerbate fear or phobia of the dentist. The searcher will be looking at all kinds of alternatives before they pick up the phone and book the dentist.
This is where content marketing aids your sales funnel. Imagine for a moment that the situation was allowed to continue. Then your content would explain the perils of leaving your bleeding gums untreated. The sufferer may get all kinds of associated gum disease issues; they may lose teeth.
You content will talk about how bleeding gums would affect the individual and their lifestyle. If they’re single you can share that their existing oral hygiene may be turning off potential romantic interests.
At this point, the individual is aware that they need to do something about their bleeding gums and calls to action will help them towards the consideration stage.
At the consideration stage of the content marketing funnel, new language is used. The person knows now they most likely have Gingivitis. Your keywords go from describing the symptoms to dental language. During this stage, the potential customer is deciding on a course of action to take – and which product they need. In the above scenario, they may decide that their toothbrush needs replacing. They could also decide they need to schedule a visit to the dentist, or a change of toothpaste – or all of the above.
They understand that they have a problem, and need to decide on the best form of action to take. Your content helps them make the right decision for them.
The Purchasing Stage
At this stage of your content marketing, your prospect is looking at reviews and buying guides. They’ve identified their problem, they’ve cared enough to do more research and they’ve formulated a plan. At this point, the buyer is deciding between brands in their hunt for a solution. They already know who you are even if you don’t know who they are. That’s right, 67% of buyers identify themselves at this stage and the research indicates that they’ve known you since the awareness stage, even if they’ve not announced their presence to you.
They’re looking at different brands and makes of toothbrushes, different dentists, or different kinds of toothpaste. They are prepared to buy and are actively looking for information based on their budget and their beliefs.
When creating content for your sales funnel, it’s important that you create it for each stage of the journey. Each individual buyer will be at a specific stage of that journey when they arrive at your sales pages.
One of the most important aspects of using the buyer’s journey in your content marketing is matching your traffic source with your buyer’s stage. There’s no point in sending a seasoned professional to a beginner’s guide or someone with no knowledge of what your product does to a sales page!
As you can see, content has a tremendous impact on your sales funnel and the buyer. It was showing the roadmap visual above that helped my prospect understand that perhaps her sales funnel content wasn’t serving her. Further exploration of the content enabled us to identify leaks (missed opportunities).
If you would like help with your sales funnels then book a free funnel review here.
P.S I was hired at the end of the call. We spent two fab days together creating content and filling in any gaps as well as creating expansion packs for the sales funnels that were doing well (they’re now doing better!).