We’ve all been there. Listening to countless webinars with ‘marketing gurus’ talking about the importance of putting more content out into the public to attract an audience. They keep on telling us to publish content every day whether you feel like it or not just so that you get your brand out there to your target audience. They even go to the extent of saying that you should keep on publishing content even if you feel you have nothing to write or share about just to be constant in your content production.
I disagree with this! If you want to make content marketing work for your business, you got to learn how to publish content that will help to improve your sales funnel conversions! Otherwise, it’s going to be pointless spending all that precious time producing content for your audience.
Just ask anybody who has decided to buy something, especially if it’s an expensive product or service – “Did you just wake up one day thinking about buying that thing and magically went to buy that thing without hesitation?” The answer will probably be a – “No!”
A buyer usually goes on a journey. They call this the ‘buyer’s journey’. This is a process whereby a person goes on a journey of researching and evaluating the situation that he or she is in before deciding on whether or not it is the right move to buy a particular product or service.
If you want to use content marketing, you need to understand what sort of content to produce as well as when and where to share that content to improve your sales.
Although ‘impulse buys’ do happen, most consumers will begin their buyer’s journey at a stage when they are unaware of the need to buy a particular product or service.
But when a triggering event happens, they start to become aware of the urgency to solve a particular challenge or ‘pain’ that they have. This will encourage them to go on a journey to discover potential solutions to what they are facing.
So if you put out content without proper planning, you will fail to connect with your audience in a way that will encourage them to go on a path to ultimately realising that your products and services are the best solutions to their challenges. This will make you lose out on sales!
What Is Content Marketing?
If you’re wondering what content marketing is, it is a strategy used to promote businesses through creating and sharing content. For example, you may create blog posts, YouTube videos, infographics, cheat sheets, free training, webinars, social media posts, newsletters and other sorts of content to share with your target customers in hopes to convert them into paying customers.
When you use content marketing to attract people to your business and eventually turn them into paying customers, you are using a content marketing sales funnel.
Why Is Content Marketing So Important?
Unlike ‘hard sell’ techniques that are no longer working in today’s world, content marketing is one of the best ‘soft sell’ methods that you can use to stay in touch with your potential and current customers so that they will remember your brand and make purchases from you.
The way content marketing works is that it utilizes content to connect to customers by providing useful information that either entertains, informs, educates or assists them to solve a pressing problem.
When this connection is made, customers will feel that sense of trust that will lead them towards deciding to purchase from you.
However content marketing will only work if you share the right sort of content to your customers according to what stage they are at in their buyer’s journey.
The 4 Phases In A Sales Funnel
There are typically 4 phases in a sales funnel. And to help you understand how content marketing can be incorporated into your sales funnel, I’m going to list down each stage with some explanations and examples of potential types of content that you can produce and share to help you strengthen your funnels for better sales conversions.
Phase 1: Top of the Funnel – Discovery
This is a crucial phase in your sales funnel because it’s all about getting your brand name out there. At this stage, your target audience may not have heard about you.
In this phase, you would want to produce educational or viral content that will be able to grab your target customers’ attention. You can create content that answers some of their burning questions, especially questions about the challenges that they think they might be having.
Some of your target audience may not even be aware that they have a problem that they need to solve. So your content should address the situation that they are in and the potential problem they could be facing.
At this stage, you wouldn’t want to talk about your brand too much. Just focus on educating and informing your target audience for free and make them curious about your brand so they’ll want to find out more about your brand.
This is a time when you need to make them interested in the topics that your business is specialising in!
Even if they don’t opt-in to your email list, when they see more and more content produced by you, they’ll start to remember your brand and associate you as a thought leader in your industry.
Examples of content that you can produce are:
• Blog posts
• YouTube videos
• Cheat sheets
• Free reports
• Email newsletters
• Comprehensive guide books
• Social media posts
Phase 2: Middle of the Funnel – Consideration
Once your target audience consumes your content at the ‘discovery’ stage, they will begin to associate your brand with the industry that you’re in.
At this stage, they would have become aware of the potential problems that they are facing and would be looking for possible solutions for their challenges.
The fact that they already recognise your brand as a thought leader in your industry will help because they will be open to your recommendations for solutions for their challenges.
You can introduce them to the products and services you offer as the solutions for their pressing problems.
To make them more confident in your products and services, you can provide them with the following information so that they can evaluate your offerings to see if they are a good fit for their challenges:
• Product demonstration videos
• Case studies showing people in similar situations solving their problems with your products or services
• Product descriptions
• How-to tutorials that demonstrate how your products or services can help them
• Product reviews from customers who have bought from you
There are many ways you can reach out to the people who have consumed your content from the ‘discovery’ stage. You can either capture their details and showcase relevant content in the ‘consideration’ stage through:
• Follow-up emails
• Social media posts
• Remarketing/retargeting campaigns
Phase 3: Bottom of the Funnel – Conversion
Finally, after moving your target audience through the ‘discovery’ and ‘consideration’ stages, you need to invite them to purchase your products or services.
I know that many may find this stage difficult because it takes courage to ask people to buy from you. But conquering this stage is absolutely necessary if you want to stay in business!
Your target audience must know that your products or services are available and they can buy them. And they should also be given precise information that will help them to understand how to buy from you.
At this stage of the funnel, there might be some people who are on the fence in deciding whether or not it’s worth purchasing from you.
You need to give them the confidence, knowing that it is the best option to buy from you and not anybody else!
The following content will help you to convince your potential customers to make that decision to purchase from you:
• Customer testimonials
• Unbiased customer reviews
• Explanation about what to expect after making a purchase
• Information about the uniqueness of your products and services
• Guidance on how to make the purchase (step-by-step!)
Phase 4: Beyond the Funnel (After Sales Conversions Happen) – Retention
Hurray! Now at this stage, you’re finally getting people to pay for your products and services. That’s great. But your sales funnels do not just end here.
If you want your business to continue growing, you need to be able to nurture your existing customers who have bought from you in the past.
You need to cultivate a good relationship with them so that they will continue to remember you and buy from you in the future. Plus, you might even get them to pass on the news about your products and services to other people whom they know!
So do not skip this stage!
When building a relationship with your existing customers, you may want to consider providing them with the following content:
• Email newsletters
• Retargeting / remarketing campaigns
• Special offers
• Loyalty program information
• Onboarding information / manuals
• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) information on product/service usage
• Live chat/chatbot services
• Access to referral programs and information and how to join these programs
How Do You Create Content When You Have No Time?
Right now, you might be asking yourself, “Okay, so I need to create and share all this content, but how do I create the content when I do not have time?”
That’s very easy. You just need to outsource all the content creation work to somebody else!
All you need is map your buyer’s journey and know what sort of content you need to create and get somebody else to do the content for you.
In fact, I might be just the person you need for the task. I’m a Conversion Copywriter for coaches, consultants and trainers. For more information about my copywriting services, go here.
How To Get Your Designs For Content Marketing Done On A Budget?
Customized designs are great. But if you are on a tight budget, you can consider purchasing ready-made template designs to grow your business through content marketing.
The good thing about buying ready-made template designs is that is much cheaper to purchase them. And you can use and modify the same template designs to suit the different content marketing campaigns you run throughout the year without spending extra money!
A great place to get highly affordable ready-made template designs that you can further customize to suit your brand is Biz Template Babe.
This website offers ready-made template designs for ebooks, lead magnets, social media posts, sales pages, webinars as well as members/course areas.
How To Reach More People With Your Content?
It’s without a doubt that the more people consume your content, the more likely you will get more sales.
The best way to reach more people with your content is by capturing their email addresses buy using sales funnel landing pages.
Besides having professional-looking landing pages to capture the email addresses of your target customers, you’ll need an email autoresponder to store their details securely and send them automated email campaigns.
A reliable email autoresponder that I am using is ConvertKit.
I love using ConvertKit because it has a very streamlined automation system that helps me to categorize my email subscribers based on their reactions to the emails that I have sent to them. This helps me to understand their needs better so that I will be able to send to them emails that they will be interested in reading. This improves my email open rates.
Need Help With Your Content Marketing Copy?
Now that you know how to implement content marketing in your business to improve your sales funnel conversions, it’s time to create a content plan and start creating relevant content that will help you move the needle in your business.
If you find it challenging to translate the knowledge and expertise that you have in your mind into words that would encourage more leads, conversions and sales, I’m here to help. I’m a Conversion Copywriter for coaches, consultants and trainers. I help with non-salesy copy that converts. For more information about my copywriting services, go here.