Content & The Sales Funnel

Typical buyer sales process steps.

Some content is designed to engage those at the top of the buying funnel, some to continue the conversation with the buyer & nurture leads in the middle buying stages & some is for sales to convert prospective clients into buyers. This is applying content specific marketing to the old “Sales Funnel — Hook; Story; Close/Convert.  Each type of content is integral to the overall success of your demand-generation strategy. So, knowing what type of content to use & when & how to use it is the most important part of any successful content strategy. You need to understand that on an average, customers take 6-7 interactions before they purchase your product.

To be effective, marketers must create content that aligns with the buyer’s buying cycle. The most effective way to do this to understand your buyers’ purchase path & develop a content strategy to meet them where they are in their own buying process. Chances are, they’re all over the spectrum.

Don’t use general content for a specific purpose…a generic approach simply does not work. In fact, you may be pouring money into generic content strategies that don’t deliver the ROI you’re after. Before you heavily invest in a content strategy, understand what type of content is needed, where it would be most useful & how it can generate demand. Just “having a strategy” won’t translate to success if your messages aren’t what your targets want & need to hear.

Three types of content to use in demand generation strategy:

  1. ‘Engage’ content. Engagement content is purely educational, and all about your prospective buyers; it is meant to outline the issues they may be encountering, and the ways to solve them. So, identify your buyers’ personas & use those demographics, plus their information-seeking habits, to define your messaging & techniques. Also, use engaging content at this initial stage, to identify what the buyer is looking for, before you hone in on more targeted messaging. Limited branding should be done at this stage.
  2. ‘Nurture’ content.Then nurturing stage is designed to continue the dialogue with buyers. It should still be about them & their pain points, but at this stage, you should use some branding & describe how your company could solve those buyers’ business challenges, pointing to your particular branded solution. Focus on moving past the top-of-mind issues & into more specific solution categories that match your buyers’ challenges & pain points.
  3. ‘Convert’ content. When your prospects are ready to buy, it is imperative to enable those sales by employing relevant content that can help close the deal. Convert content is solution-specific, is heavily branded & lets you showcase how your company’s products & solutions can meet your prospects’ needs.

Businesses need to consider content developed for branding, product marketing, promotional marketing, customer marketing & much more. Each of these purposes requires specific & unique content that your buyer will interact with at different times…understand the purpose of the content itself. Only then can the strategy be defined & the content properly developed. There are many interactions buyers may have with your content before they move into a full-fledged buying cycle.

Social audio is content marketing using another form of content, like an infographic, blog post, or video tutorial. It’s the distribution & sharing of this content in audio format within a social environment. Among social audio platforms, Clubhouse’s success is evident both because of the novelty.

From a content standpoint, whether you’re hosting a room or participating in someone else’s room, the best tactic is to focus on adding value. Brands can also work on connecting with their audience by sponsoring rooms or chats organized by industry leaders. This collaboration can give marketing executives the opportunity to share your brand story, connect with customers, and have a speaker in the room highlight a product.

The biggest challenge for brands right now is being consistent. Many brands start a Clubhouse room but end up closing it shortly after or without giving it continuity. Even if your brand is successful with its Clubhouse strategy, the maximum capacity of the room at the moment is 5,000 people, so it cannot be compared to the massive audiences of other social media platforms & expect to have the same reach & engagement, & much less access to metrics.

4 mistakes when designing an evergreen sales funnel:

  1. Not having a solid plan to drive traffic to the funnel. Evergreen funnels are meant to continually promote for months but you MUST promote & continue to grow your audience for the funnel to work for you.
  2. The freebie (or opt-in) is not compelling enough to the target audience. The freebie should be value-packed & the offer should be the next logical step for the audience to take after consuming the freebie.
  3. Lack of email automation & auto-responders…email is 40 times more effective for securing new sales than Facebook & Twitter combined. By not having an email strategy, you are leaving money on the table.
  4. The offer isn’t validated with the audience. Evergreen funnels are ideal for digital products & courses that have had a successful launch & active demand. If they got crickets during the launch, the evergreen funnel is going to get that same energy.

You can also search for more thoughts by searching the Library for the key word “funnel” or request a free personalized mentoring session to learn more about creating content that aligns with the buyer’s buying cycle.

Copyright ©John Trenary 2021

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