A Beginner's Guide to Content and the Sales Funnel

Aug 19, 2018 | Publisher: edocr | Category: Business & Jobs |  

A Beginner's Guide to Content and the Sales Funnel If you are not familiar with the traditional sales funnel, this marketing concept can help you better get to know your target customers and what they need from you during each step of their buyer's journey. Though content marketing is often thought of as a top funnel strategy, different types of content can help you reach people during each stage of this process. Knowing what the sales funnel is and understanding where content fits into each stage can help you better provide targeted content that draws new leads and customers to your business. Sales Funnel 101: The Basics Imagine a funnel. It's wider at the top and narrows considerably at the bottom. In many ways, this resembles your sales process. You begin with a large batch of leads, some who are right for your company and others who are not. As these consumers do their research and interact with your brand, the number of leads slowly decreases until those who are a good fit become customers and you work to retain them. This is the sales funnel, which has four basic stages: Awareness At this stage, individuals are in the very beginning of their buyer's journey. They are seeking out education and new information to help them better understand the available solutions to their problems. Consideration During the consideration stage, consumers are looking for a demonstration of solutions or expertise. They are comparing solutions to find which may be a good fit for their particular need. Decision This is when the consumer is finally ready to buy and needs to make a final decision. At this stage, consumers want to experience some sort of confirmation that they are making the right choice. Retention After consumers become customers, they will continue to look to your brand for helpful information and insight as well as new products and services that continue to make their lives easier. These stages each represent a process that your leads go through on their journey to becoming customers. At each stage in the journey, these consumers need information from your brand to better understand if you provide a viable solution to their problems. Why the Customer Journey is Important When a customer buys your product or service, this is just one step in a long journey that is made up of all the moments that have led to this purchase. By understanding what your customer needs each step of the way, you can improve their experience by making the buyer's journey simple, clear, and efficient. Ultimately, this will not only help empower the customer to make a smart purchasing decision, but it will help you move them through the sales funnel faster, which improves your bottom line. Once you understand the buyer's journey, you can get to know what your target customers want and need during each stage. This allows you to create more useful and targeted content that helps answer important questions and demonstrate expertise early on and throughout the buyer's journey. How to Use Content at Each Stage You might be used to creating brand blogs or social media content, but when it comes to the sales funnel, different types of content are needed at different stages throughout the buyer's journey. For instance, when shopping for fuel-efficient cars, you are probably going to do more research on the different types of vehicles and brands that offer these vehicles before you compare prices or apply for a car loan. Similarly, consumers at the top of the sales funnel are needing different types of information than those who are ready to make a purchase. Here is a simple guide on the types of content that are useful at each stage in the sales funnel: Awareness Stage During this stage, you want to provide content that offers broad overviews of the problem or topic. Rather than delving specifically into your product or service, provide informational resources that address the problems that your product or service solves. Examples: Whitepapers, Guides, eBooks, Tip Sheets, Blog and Social Media Content, Checklists, Infographics, Videos Consideration Stage During the consideration stage, individuals are looking for examples of how solutions work and other demonstrations of expertise. This is where you can start focusing on your specific product or solution and how it works to solve their problem. Examples: Webinars, Case Studies, Reviews and Testimonials, Product and Specification Sheets, Videos, Buyer's Guides Decision Stage Once the consumer is at this stage, they are ready to make a purchasing decision. They just want to make sure that they are making the right decision before they hand over their credit card. This is where you need to provide content that validates their decision. Examples: Free Trials, Product Demonstrations, Free Consultations, Price Estimates or Quotes Retention Stage At this point, you have already made the sale. But if you want to encourage repeat sales or have the opportunity to upsell later on, you need to continue to nurture these client relationships. Examples: Free Trials, Product Demonstrations, Blogs and Social Media Content, Emails, Customer Retention Programs How to Publish Content During the Buyer's Journey Once you have created content that is geared toward each stage of the sales funnel, it is important that you publish this content in places that allow you to get the most out of your content creation efforts. There are many outlets that you can use to reach potential customers, but let's talk about a few important strategies. One of the best ways to get the most out of your content is by creating gated content. Gated content is free, quality content such as e-books and whitepapers that you offer to visitors in exchange for their contact information. You can create a lead form that asks for information such as name, occupation, and email address, and then automatically add this data into your customer relationship management (CRM) system for later follow up. In addition to gated content, you can also create SEO-focused content that will help you increase your visibility in the search engines and reach more potential customers. Publishing content on edocr is just one of the many ways that you can help improve your search engine rankings and expand your reach. The document viewer on edocr extracts text from your document so that they can be crawled and indexed by search engines. This helps improve your SEO and put your content in front of a greater number of interested leads. Want to take advantage of the opportunities that edocr offers to help you reach your target customers? Register for an account today and start publishing your content.

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If you are not familiar with the traditional sales funnel, this marketing concept can help you better get to know your target customers and what they need from you during each step of their buyer’s journey. Though content marketing is often thought of as a top funnel strategy, different types of content can help you reach people during each stage of this process.

In our latest blog post, we give an overview of the sales funnel and explain where content fits into each stage so you can draw new leads and customers to your business.

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