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Over a century later, after thousands of improvements to the internal combustion engine and advancements in automotive technology, the modern car still runs on the same exact fuel that it did when it was invented in 1885: gasoline.
In many ways, the sales funnel is like the automobile. Despite incredible advances in sales techniques, marketing technology, and automation over the years, content still remains the fuel that keeps the engine running.
However, you wouldn’t fill up the tank of your brand new sports car with regular gas—you would end up ruining the engine. Instead, you have to use high octane fuel that’s extremely combustible and refined, allowing your vehicle to run smoothly and reach its maximum performance.
Unfortunately, many digital marketing campaigns utilize cutting-edge technology, only to fill up the tank with crude, low-quality content that gunks up the engine and slows everything down. In order to get the most out of a high-performance sales funnel, you need to pay as much attention to the fuel as you do to the engine.
Unlike gasoline, however, content needs to be specifically designed for each stage of the sales funnel—you can’t just fill up the tank with one kind of fuel and watch it run. At each stage of the sales funnel, you’ll need to use different forms of content, each with their own distinct purpose.
Let’s take a look at how both the medium and intent of our content will change based upon the stage of the sales funnel.
In the “Awareness” stage of the sales funnel, the main purpose of your content is to get your target market’s attention and make them aware of your brand, products, and services. At this stage, shoppers are simply doing their research and may or may not know about your brand yet. This is referred to as low purchase intent, which means that you have a very slim chance of converting shoppers at this stage.
As you plan your content, think about your target market’s demographics, what they need, what motivates them, and what problems you could solve in their lives. Also, consider your target market’s interests, where they spend most of their time online, and what kind of lingo they use. Taking all of this into consideration will help you create incredibly well-targeted content.
To increase awareness—and eventually grow interest—you’ll want to use social media posts, blogs, videos, emails, landing pages, and a host of SEO techniques to expose potential customers to your brand. These forms of media are most effective because they reach the largest amount of users for the lowest cost per impression. By casting a wider net, you’ll then be able to increase the number of shoppers that make it to the end of the sales funnel.
At this point in the funnel, shoppers are doing in-depth research, such as looking at price comparisons and product reviews. Most likely, they’ve already seen your content and visited your webpage for more information, but are still hesitant to put down their hard-earned cash. They’ve probably looked at the offerings of your main competitor, as well.
In this stage, you’ll want to transition to a more informative and persuasive approach. You’ll also want to effectively communicate your value proposition and put forth the case for your product/service versus the competition. Think about what kind of content would be most effective for getting your point across. Keep in mind that many people are visual learners, meaning that you might want to use videos, images, or infographics to supplement the text.
FAQs, buying guides, product pages, ratings and reviews, quizzes, infographics, product galleries, and videos are just a few examples of media that you may want to use.
The conversion stage is where your sales funnel is put into top gear. Here, you’ll focus your efforts on convincing the shopper to make a purchase and convert into a customer. You may even have returning customers coming back to your site to make a second purchase.
With a high purchase intent and the information they need to make a decision, shoppers simply need the final push to click “buy now.” Most likely, these shoppers are going back and forth between two or three options and are analyzing the pro’s, con’s, and pricing of each offering.
The most effective way to create urgency and drive the conversion is with time-sensitive offers, such as limited time discounts and sales events. If you think back to the last time you bought something you didn’t need, there’s a high chance that the item in question was on sale. By using limited time offers, the shopper feels pressure to make a decision and take advantage of the sale before it goes away forever. The psychological trigger behind this is referred to as FOMA, or “fear of missing out.”
Effective media for the conversion stage include promotions and discounts, product demos, customer service pages, reviews, articles, and more.
While the majority of marketers use content in the top of the sales funnel, many fail to effectively use content at each individual stage. Besides just creating awareness, great content can generate interest, help shoppers evaluate your offerings, and drive conversion rates.
The quality of your content is also just as important as the quantity. Any content that you create should be custom-tailored to your target market and to their needs and desires. Once you’ve refined your message, you need to choose the correct medium for your content depending on which stage of the sales funnel your prospect is in.
Unfortunately, hiring an in-house team of content creators that specialize in various media is extremely time-consuming and expensive. Finding great writers that know how to represent your brand and properly communicate your value proposition is also a real challenge.
At Sales Buddy, we not only give you a fine-tuned lead generation machine for your business but also the fuel you need to run a successful digital marketing campaign—great content. Our expert team of graphic designers and copywriters creates compelling content that touches upon each stage of the sales funnel and drives interaction with your target market.
Did we mention that all this comes with your own custom MarTech stack and distribution across our social media and exclusive B2B networks?
To learn more about how Sales Buddy creates a lead generation trifecta with content, marketing technology, and distribution, schedule a quick chat with Corey.
"As a business owner, I put big money into sales and marketing without ever really knowing what results I was going to get. Tired of this ambiguity, I decided to create a new kind of sales support company: one that provides a guarantee.
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