Sales Funnel Content Marketing – How To Boost Your Conversion Rates
Picture this. I was searching online for a better, louder, and actually waterproof speaker for my upcoming summer beach days. There were hundreds of different options and I was overwhelmed with choices. Then I come across an article that said 2019 Top 10 Portable Speakers. I’m interested! I take a click and scroll through the options that were listed. I come across one that I thought I might want to buy, so I clicked on its product page to learn more about it.
This particular brand had a bunch of similar speakers, and I just couldn’t decide which one to choose. They were a bit pricey … it was a purchase I really wanted to think about. But I do have to admit, they were all so awesome–definitely something good to play the loud music I wanted when diving around on the volleyball court or splashing around on my lake tube. And then I check the time and, of course, realize I’m gonna be late for work. I had to run.
Later on, I was scrolling through Instagram and an ad for a vlog popped up from the same brand I was checking out earlier. Their video talked about all the other awesome speakers they had in stock, a review for each of them, and gave scenarios for the type of person who would likely use and love each of the products. Score! It was clear which one was for me–the waterproof, heavy-duty, never-damaged-by-sand one. I bought it.
Now, after having my new speaker for about week, I received an email this morning with a customized ‘Summer Celebration’ playlist from the speaker company. Woohoo, heading to the lake today!
Pieces of The Funnel
Can you identify all the pieces of content that nudged me along the buying journey with that brand?
- That 2019 Top 10 Portable Speakers listable review blog that displayed the speaker I bought along with other products
- The social media ad that drove me to go watch the product review vlog.
- The vlog that reviewed the various products the brand offered
- The super rad playlist that’s about to keep my beach days wild and keep me excited about my purchase
It’s all part of the personal content that was created at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Personalized content is effective–the closer you hit home with a potential customer the more likely you’ll be to persuade them to buy from your brand. How do we do this so our work converts? By creating content that resonates with different customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Busting the Myth: Is Content Marketing Only a Top of Funnel Strategy?
Short answer: no! You never want your content to keep customers stuck at the top of your sales funnel.
Consumers usually stay at the top stage because they’re scared to move any further, they’re intimidated by your brand, product, or price, they’re confused about what it is you actually do, or they’re just simply not interested.
These types of people don’t want to get any deeper with your brand and so they stick to the very surface of what you have to offer.
So how do we get them past the first stage of the sales funnel? A fantastic place to start is by creating better content. Here’s what we mean by “better”:
- Content that is more personalized and mindful for the needs of each customer based on their personal interests and their stage in the funnel
- Higher quality content than competitors–more thorough, more helpful, and more engaging
- Sending out content at the right time through the right channel in order to grab the attention you’re striving for
Understanding each stage of the funnel is crucial for the sales funnel content marketing process, and being able to identify which stage your customers are in at a given time is even better.
What Is A Content Marketing Sales Funnel?
The way to keep your brand out of the top funnel rut is with successful content marketing within the sales funnel. The trick to sales funnel content marketing is understanding that your pool of potential customers gets smaller the closer you get to the bottom of the funnel (it is a funnel … remember?). You’re not going to catch every person’s eye in the top stages of the funnel, and from there, you’re not going to gain a purchase from everyone who sees a social ad–that’s just not the way business works. But you can (and should) recognize what the people who move deeper into your funnel want and develop a content strategy that resonates with your customers so they want to dive deeper into your brand.
A funnel strategy should include engaging content for every stage of the buyer’s journey. In order to accomplish this, you’ll have to tailor your content to fit the needs of the customers that are in each stage of the funnel. This type of strategy provides you with the framework needed to create effective content for every stage of the buyer’s journey and ensures that top-funnel rut doesn’t happen.
There are 4 very important stages of sales funnel content marketing. Let’s funnel through the facts.
Top of Funnel Content – The Awareness Stage
More than likely the first place a potential customer discovers your brand is at the top of the funnel. You want to catch an eye from the get-go, so top of funnel content should be strategically created to build awareness about your brand and the awesome products you offer.
Top of the funnel (ToFU) content comes in many different shapes and sizes. Create educational content about your brand and products that can increase overall brand awareness. You should always strive to content with viral potential so you can get in front of more people outside of your direct audience.
Your top priority with ToFU content is to make a stellar impression that holds value to the consumer and doesn’t ask them for anything in return (i.e. shouldn’t be too salesy or up-front about purchasing a product).
ToFU content can come in the form of:
- Website content
- Blog topics relevant to what your brand does
- Landing pages
- Social media posts
- Featured blogs (like the blog we saw in the portable speaker example above)
Middle of Funnel Content – The Consideration Stage
At this stage of a sales funnel content marketing strategy, you’re shooting to move forward with existing consumers from The Awareness Stage–you want them to feel closer to your brand and to a purchase. Consideration stage content should go deeper because the consumer is deeper in your brand. They’re actively considering their options and are contemplating whether or not a purchase from you is in their future. Create content that shows them that you’re the top pick.
Middle of the funnel (MoFU) content needs to focus on the one-of-a-kind features your product has. Display the areas that differentiate you from your competitors. Show them why your product is a good fit for them–their lifestyle, their type of work, their needs. Develop content that allows your customers to picture your product solving their problem.
MoFU content can come in the form of:
- Product-specific blogs
- Product specific social media ads
- Case studies
- Product demo videos (like the vlog ad we saw in the portable speaker example above)
Bottom of Funnel Content – The Conversion Stage
You’re now in deep with a potential customer, and it’s time to take them to the finish line and create high-converting content! You have their contact information, they’ve paid attention to the content you’ve offered them thus far, and you’ve added value to their buying journey. Now they’re ready to read what other people are saying about you and gather any final information they need to make a decision. Now’s your time to show your product as the one and only solution they need to solve their problem. Specify what you bring to the table that other brands don’t. How? Personalization.
In order to increase conversion rates at this stage in the funnel and encourage customers to make a decision, Bottom of Funnel (BoFU) content has to give them more. Show the consumer that you care about them and your product delivers the right solution for them. This content has to hit home with your consumers–they need emotion, personalization, and to feel like any other product on the market definitely falls short of yours.
BoFU content can come in the form of:
- Personalized emails
- Testimonials from other satisfied customers
- Discount codes
- Interactive content
- Product reviews (like the product review vlog we saw in the portable speaker example above)
Post Purchase Content – The Retention Stage
BOOM … they purchased! Go you! Your sales funnel content marketing strategy has kicked butt so far, but it’s not over yet. Now you want to gain their loyalty for future purchases and leverage your customers to help spread brand awareness.
Creating content for retention means helping them dive into their imagination with how they can solidify your product into their lifestyle. Post Purchase content will make them feel so satisfied with their purchase that they become a loyal brand advocate. It should make them feel like you create content for loyal customers just like them because you care!
Post Purchase content can come in the form of:
- Special offers for future purchases
- Free and valuable content
- ‘Summer Celebration’ playlists (like the one we saw in the portable speaker example above)
If you’ve funneled correctly, you’ve followed the guidelines throughout the funnel content creation strategy, you’ve paid close attention to how that information is received, and you’ve pivoted your content to honor what you’ve learned, then you’re golden. Your conversion rates will start to skyrocket, you’ll be more in tune with what your customers want at each stage, and then you’ll continue creating content for returning customers who love you and keep coming back for more!