The ability to attract new customers and nurture them to the point of conversion and beyond is the backbone of any business. It’s impossible to survive without doing this, but for many businesses the whole process is extremely challenging. It requires that you not only understand your target audience but that you also know how to appeal to them throughout the entire customer journey.
In the marketing industry, we conceptualize this journey in the form of a sales funnel. The prospects at the top of your funnel are going to be in a completely different point in their customer journey than the ones you’ve nurtured to the point of purchase. Content marketing is the most powerful tool you have for fueling movement toward conversion.
Sounds easy enough, right? It is, but there’s a catch. The content you put out there needs to be high quality and tailored to each segment of your sales funnel. What does all of this mean? Let’s take a closer look at the sales funnel model and how to create content that sparks movement through every stage.
Sales Funnel Basics
The sales funnel model is a pretty simple concept. Through digital marketing strategies like search engine optimization and lead magnets, you attract new people to your business. In the beginning, you attract a sizable audience with varying degrees of interest in your products or services. These prospects fill up the largest, uppermost portion of your funnel.
As you work to cultivate further interests, offer solutions to your audience’s problems and establish authority and trust, those that weren’t that serious to begin with will back out – leaving you with a core audience that’s smaller but also more qualified and primed for conversion.
There are four basic stages of the sales funnel. These stages are building awareness, nurturing and generating interest, influencing buying decisions, and finally inspiring action. Here’s how you can craft content that compels action at each of these stages.
Captivating and Building Brand Awareness
This is the starting point where you have the opportunity to introduce a new audience to your business. During this stage, consumers might not be aware of your business or how you can help them with their problem or need. Content creation for this stage should be focused on providing information and establishing yourself as a trustworthy authority.
Search engine optimization, frequently referred to as SEO, is also critically important at this stage. It’s important to create content that’s SEO friendly in order to get the boost in visibility you need to capture attention.
When creating content for this stage, you want to think about some of the broader questions that your target audience is asking. Focusing on key questions like how, why, what or where in your content is a good starting point. This is the perfect stage for sharing via social media and leveraging the power of influencers.
For example, a roofing company might attract more potential leads into their sales funnel with content that covers some lesser known causes of a leaky roof as the rainy season approaches. A topic like this is timely and will capture the attention of many local homeowners. It also reaches beyond the common causes of a leaky roof to establish the company’s authority in their local industry.
The Art of Nurturing and Generating Interest
At this stage, you have their attention – the challenge is keeping it. Ideally, you’ve captured your leads contact information so you can reach out to them directly to nurture them along and continue building their interest in your business.
At this point of the sales funnel you want to get your audience thinking about why they need or want you in their life. In this stage, the customer has an increased interest but they aren’t ready to speak to someone directly or take any action that would confirm their commitment.
The content they need at this point should be saturated with information that answers all of their core questions. This is a great stage for product demonstration videos or Q&A style blog pieces that are sent via email and include a CTA to learn more about your product or service on your website.
Content that Influences Buying Decisions
Once a lead reaches this stage of the sales funnel, they’ve done enough research on their own to know that they’re seriously interested and that you might be the solution provider they’re looking for. Still, they have some reservations and they don’t want to invest their time or money in a business that isn’t going to follow through on their promises.
Content for this stage of the funnel needs to alleviate these fears. One way to accomplish this is by creating content that helps the customer form an emotional bond to your brand. Content that includes customer testimonials or emotionally driven personal stories will help to establish this connection. This stage of the funnel is also primed for more in-depth product demonstrations and content that includes a link to a discount incentive or free trial offers.
The Finish Line
Congratulations, you’ve successfully nurtured your leads to conversion – now the challenge is maintaining the relationship. During this stage, your customers are looking to build a relationship and they expect personalization.
Continue building this relationship with content that welcomes them and helps them learn more about your business. Try crafting welcome emails and supplying them with content that is more focused on their individual interests. As an example, a customer who buys a pair of hiking boots from a shoe company could be further nurtured with content about top hiking destinations or tips for increasing the longevity of their hiking gear.
Ready to Power Up Your Content Strategy?
High quality content that is tailored to each stage of the sales funnel is central to the success of your digital marketing strategy. Content needs to inspire action and commitment at every step, and we work to understand your brand and your core audience in order to create content that incites action. Contact GoingClear Interactive today to learn more about our content and SEO services.