Are you using content to nurture and build trust with your audience?
Compelling content has a way of inspiring visitors to get into your sales funnel. In fact, in today’s highly-dense marketing environment, content seems to be the ideal way to drive consistent sales and produce happy customers.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re running native ads, Facebook ads, or connecting with influencers, great content is the #1 factor your audience needs and is the best way to increase conversion rates.
Until recently, content had somehow lost its way along the buyer’s journey. Fortunately, the dynamic nature of marketing and user behavior have once again positioned content as the solution to virtually every question your audience might be asking at each stage of the sales funnel.
Therefore, you should use content marketing to increase your sales conversion rate. A recent study by Forrester found that 82% of buyers view at least 5 pieces of content from a winning vendor before making the final buying decision.
Here’s how you can use content in every stage of your sales funnel to increase -conversions.
Understand your buyer’s psychology
Have you ever read an article that seemed as though it was written specifically for you? Did it seem like, the more you read, the more you saw yourself in the article? You were probably pretty excited. You didn’t expect the writer to read what was on your mind. But they did.
This is the same way to keep your customers hooked on your brand until they get to the bottom of your sales funnel.
You can’t do this, however, unless you know what makes your customers tick. This is why you need to tap into their psychology—you need to discover the way they think.
The best strategy to understanding your buyers’ psychology is to create a persona for your buyers. A buyer persona is a fictionalized characterization of your best customer(s) based on information about them, and about how they use your product or service.
Studies have shown that using buyer personas makes websites 2 to 5 times more effective and easier to use by the targeted users.
To create your first persona, think about a person who represents your ideal customer. Give this person a name. Get a photo to represent and describe this person.
Next, start asking and answering questions about this person. What is the person’s job? What are the person’s fears? What makes them happy? What are their pain points? What do they care about? Which part of the world do they live in and in what city?
Make sure your questions and answers are not generic, but are very specific. Here’s an example of a good buyer persona from Buyer Persona Institute:
It is important to remember that you’ll have to create a different buyer persona at every stage in your sales funnel.
With that in mind, it’s time to formulate your strategy.
Develop a content strategy
Now that you really know your target customers, it’s time to create content that answers their questions. A good content strategy will help you create, deliver, and manage your content.
According to Michael Brenner, a content strategy flips the tables on traditional, linear marketing by defining the process and then securing the right resources for producing a consistent stream of content mapped to buyer needs across all phases of the buying cycle.
Although there is no “one size fits all” content strategy, here is a link to a great content strategy template created by Moz that you can use for inspiration. The ideal approach is to analyze your business and determine the type of strategy that fits best.
Why you need a sales funnel
What is a sales funnel? A sales funnel typically represents the journey your potential customers make to become actual paying customers.
Creating a sales funnel is a great way to maximize your PPC ROI. If you don’t have a sales funnel, you’re leaving a lot on the table for your competitors. A sales funnel makes a marketing strategy effective by supplying it with data.
Without a sales funnel, it is difficult to gauge your prospect’s interest in your products. Statistics have shown that approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not yet ready to buy.
If we assume, for example, that you have over 1,000 visitors to your website in a month, it is difficult enough to know how many of these visitors are actually interested in your products, let alone to follow them up and encourage them to buy. A sales funnel can provide you with the data you need to do this.
Define your conversion goal
What is your conversion goal? It is absolutely essential that you define your conversion goal for your sales funnel. A conversion goal is derived from measuring the actions performed by a visitor on your landing page.
These actions could involve submitting a form, completing a purchase, or even clicking through to a particular page. It all depends on what you define as a conversion benchmark.
Essentially, in order to measure your campaign’s success, you must have a well-defined conversion goal.
Important stages of the sales funnel:
Before your prospects become paying customers, there are stages they go through before making a buying decision. These stages allow you to structure and measure the sales process.
Stage #1: Discovery / Awareness
In the discovery stage, your potential prospects are searching for answers to questions that relate to your products.
This is an important stage in your sales funnel. You should create informative content at this stage to answer your prospective customer’s questions in order to attract them to your business.
You can create video tutorials, infographics, in-depth blog posts, and other types of content that can draw cold visitors into your funnel.
Stage #2: Consideration
The consideration stage is arguably the most critical point in your sales funnel. This is where prospective customers start eliminating solutions that aren’t a good fit.
At this stage, you need to create content that proves you’re an expert in your industry.
Types of content such as expert guides, webinars, live interactions, and whitepapers that compare your features and benefits with that of your competitors will answer your prospect’s questions.
Stage #3: Conversions
The conversion stage is at the bottom of the sales funnel. This is the part that keeps your business running. Without sales, you’ll definitely be out of business.
At this stage,you need to create compelling content that will help convince your prospects that your product is the best solution for their needs.
Types of content that have a lot of impact at this stage include case studies, trial offers, demos, and product literature.
HubSpot is a great example of a brand that uses a lot of case studies in text and video formats to show how their products have impacted businesses all over the world.
In conclusion, if you want to increase your conversions, it is important that you first create a sales funnel, and that you then create relevant and engaging content at all stages of the funnel to inform, educate, and persuade your customers to take action.