Having an effective sales funnel in place is essential for entrepreneurs looking to broaden their reach and boost their company’s sales.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to reach your professional goals, but there is no marketing tool quite like a sales funnel that will enable you to give consumers what they need to guide themselves through your sales cycle.
Now that we have covered what exactly a sales funnel is , it is time to break down what content you can use to kick it into overdrive and see the high conversion rate every business owner strives for.
There are four main stages we look at when we are determining what content to use throughout each of the sales processes. Those stages are:
In this installment, we will take an in-depth look at the first two sections of a sales funnel and how the use of a couple specific types of content can have a major impact on the efficacy of your sales funnel.
We focus our attention first on the use of search-engine-optimized-blog content and how it can organically increase brand awareness and generate interest in the products and services you are offering.
Secondly, learn more about what lead magnets are and the role they play in building up interest amongst curious potential buyers. This will enable you to seamlessly incorporate them into your existing content to make sure you are seizing every opportunity to convert.
Why Is Content Marketing Important to a Sales Funnel?
This seems like a lot of work; is it really necessary?
Understandably, you may be asking yourself if it is really that important that businesses build and implement a sales funnel.
You may be thinking you’re doing alright as it is and a sales funnel sounds like a bit too much work for what it’s worth.
At the risk of being abrupt, you are wrong. Every entrepreneur should be taking advantage of this marketing tool.
The fact is you are already going to be creating content to reach your potential customer base, so why not use it to your further advantage? Don’t let sales slip away that could have easily been converted by the use of blogs and lead magnets.
Whether you choose to build a sales funnel yourself or utilize one of the various funnel building software options that are available, the work you put in early on will absolutely propel your business forward and have a lasting impact (if you keep your funnel content updated) on your conversion rate and sales.
Why Is Your Content Important for Your Sales Funnel?
Certain types of content are going to help educate consumers about your business and grow their interest with what you are offering; other types of content have awareness and interest as prerequisites to really get any of the benefits.
Knowing when and where to place the specific marketing content you have created will make sure it is getting into the hands of your target audience at just the right time.
You don’t want to have a link to a lengthy webinar or online course as the very first contact you have with a customer; it may end up pushing some people through your sales funnel but will also deter just as many if not more from continuing their journey with your business.
There is a time and a place for each piece of information and value-packed content you have to offer; knowing how to strategically include everything will make a world of difference in the functionality of your business’s sales funnel.
To get a full breakdown of the different stages of a sales funnel and what content fits well throughout the process, check out the first part of this series.
Make sure you get caught up and come right back; here are some key tips you won’t want to miss as these will help you leverage your content within your own sales funnel!
How Can Blog Content Increase Awareness and Interest?
You can use SEO blog posts to grab the attention of people who may simply be browsing the web without any real purpose or intent to buy when they come across your page.
If you offer high-quality blog content, the odds are favorable that a portion of those readers will end up interested in learning more about the products and services you have to offer.
As a busy entrepreneur, you may not have the time to create SEO blog content as often as you would like in order to continue growing public awareness of your brand.
If that is the case, you can always enlist the services of top-tier ghostwriters who can research and write the articles based on the information you provide.
This will not only give you consistent, high-quality content for your target market, but it also frees up your time to allow you to focus on the countless impending tasks and manage your business operations.
Why Is This SEO Blog Content We Keep Talking About So Important?
SEO blogging is a powerful marketing tool for entrepreneurs to attract potential buyers to your website, thus making them aware you exist and that you have products and services available that may interest them.
By using SEO content, you can capture your target audience’s attention through their own searches. Choosing the right keywords and blog topics will deliver curious consumers right to the front door of your sale funnel.
Having strong, effective SEO blog articles will help your business come up in Google searches based on the keywords you have chosen based on what your target audience will be searching for online.
Including valuable links to internal content you have elsewhere on your page, as well as links to external web pages hosting related (but not competitor’s) content, shows your readers that you care about their needs and want to provide them with the information they need to make a decision.
It goes without saying (but we will say it anyway, just to be safe) that gaining awareness and interest are arguably the most critical parts of any sales funnel.
If you are not able to get interested consumers to visit your website, then it doesn’t matter how great your sales funnel is structured, because there will be no leads to convert into sales at the other end of the funnel.
Why Should I Implement SEO Blog Content?
Using freely accessible blog posts is an easy way to subtly highlight what more your business has to offer. It can make these potential buyers feel as though it was actually their idea to pursue your product or service. This provides them with a sense of control over the sales process.
Using blog content is also less aggressive and in-your-face than targeted ads, and it is much more personable than mass cold calls, emails, etc.
If you are putting out relatable, shareable articles, you can also expand your reach through the readers who choose to share your posts to their social media or with friends and family. This is as free as advertising gets, really.
When it comes to brand awareness, first-hand word-of-mouth (or online shares) are invaluable to business owners.
Even if the initial reader who shared your blog content doesn’t become a paying customer, there is a chance someone who sees the post through them sharing it may end up having their own interest piqued just enough to decide to check it out for themselves.
While some people may find exactly what they were looking for after reading one or two blog posts, others may need to see more of what you have to say and how your business can add value to their lives.
In these cases, you want to offer them the option to receive more of your curated content directly to their inbox. This is where lead magnets come into play and can create the interest needed to push these people forward and onto the decision stage.
Using Lead Magnets to Create Interested Consumers
Lead magnets are another marketing tool that offer access to free content in some sort of exchange for the personal contact info of the reader.
This is an effective method of building your list of interested contacts. You can then provide future content through these channels. Overall, lead magnets increase your chances of converting leads to paying customers.
What Is a Lead Magnet and What Makes Them Effective?
Lead magnets come in all different shapes and sizes. Depending on who you are trying to reach, your content will vary to suit their needs. Some of the most popular and commonly used lead magnets you have likely clicked on yourself are:
- Calendars and planners
- Gated content, meaning you must sign up to access free content
- Ebooks and guides
- Content samples
- Quizzes that send results via email
The goal of any type of lead magnet you choose to include in your sales funnel is to get the potential customers who are now aware of your business definitely interested in what you have to offer.
Regardless of what it is you are offering, it has to be top-notch and clearly provide value to the recipient. Why else would they be willing to give out their email or any other personal information for that matter?
It is important, however, to be aware of what you are offering and just how much you are essentially giving away for free.
There is a delicate balance between sending more than just an email telling them why they should pay for your content and providing the solution to all their problems without giving them an opportunity to want (or need) more from you.
People will understandably become annoyed and distrustful of a misleading lead magnet. If they don’t get what was promised to them and instead are simply bombarded with marketing emails, they will likely hit the dreaded “unsubscribe” button.
In some cases, they may decide to share their negative experience with others and then you’ve lost even more potential leads. You absolutely do not want to do anything that will land your business name in the junk folder!
Ultimately, you are striving for that sweet spot. You want to offer valuable content while leaving them wanting more and giving them the option to pay to access more right away.
Example of a Balanced Lead Magnet
Let’s run through a quick example of how a lead magnet may help a business.
Imagine you are a dietician with a focus on helping parents find ways to manage the eating habits of their young children.
A great lead magnet would be providing a downloadable and extremely specific guide that solves a problem many parents may have.
If you are looking to increase subscriptions to your webinars and workshops, one-on-one consultations with parents, and sales of various meal plan options, you may want to start out with a guide entitled “What to Do When Kids Say ‘NO’ to veggies?”
Send out your hyper-focused guide, but don’t forget to drop some recommendations for more detailed nutrition plans, online courses, and consulting services that you offer parents.
The parents who appreciated what you have to say in the free guide will likely be facing some other struggles that can be remedied through your other paid products and services.
Finding the balance with your free guide and the more in-depth paid content you offer could be achieved by only offering a couple of the suggestions and tips you have regarding how to get their kids to eat their vegetables.
You could easily incorporate a call-to-action for parents to buy your meal plans, recipe books, etc. through the free guide.
This use of lead magnets also increases the chances of the reader sharing their success and satisfaction with your business and how you were able to help them solve a problem or fill a need, thus creating even more brand awareness for you.
This is another one of those “win-win” scenarios we talked about in the first installment of this series.
Blogs and lead magnets are essentially free marketing tools that entrepreneurs need to be taking advantage of to stand out in the heavily saturated online market.
If you choose to use a sales funnel building software platform, there are often options to incorporate blogs, lead funnels, and much more into the system and host your entire webpage all in one place.
While it may seem like this is an even more complex added layer to the sales funnel process, it is worth the work or any cost involved with creating the content that drives awareness and interest from those consuming it.
Your business is not able to succeed without potential buyers being aware of it, but even just awareness is not enough. You need to put in the work to get those initial exposures to read more, crave more of what you have to offer, and be able to deliver on the promise of value.
Whether you invest your own time writing SEO blog articles or choose to invest some capital to get them written for you, it is an unavoidable part of your sales funnel.
As mentioned, this is a three-part series. There is still more valuable info regarding some additional types of content you can use to your advantage to build a super effective sales funnel that won’t miss a single opportunity to convert.
Don’t miss out on of this sales funnel series! You will want to know what we have to say about the decision and action stages of your sales funnel and how video and webinar content can increase sales, convert leads, and retain customers!
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