Most of the time, a buyer takes a journey all the way down a sales funnel before becoming a customer. While marketers used to be able to reach consumers at a single touchpoint and convert, usually with bottom-of-funnel tactics, that’s no longer the case. Many marketers struggle to understand how content marketing drives sales.
Today, you have to push buyers through your funnel with various strategies across all your channels. By aligning your content marketing with your sales funnel, you maximize omni-channel effectiveness.
Mapping content to supply users with what they’re looking for at every stage of the buyer journey boosts conversions and builds brand trust.
If you’ve already planned for content that spreads across all channels, it pays to align it with your sales funnel and nudge buyers toward your end goal at every step. Companies that aren’t yet creating omni-channel content should start right away. You have an easy tool at your disposal to produce incentives to purchase, in all of the organic places buyers are searching.
Look Closely at Your Sales Funnel
If you’re good at guiding buyers from initial query to sale, you likely have a clear and focused sales funnel. The first step in ramping up your conversions is making sure that your sales funnel is appropriately defined at every stage. It needs to reach your target buyers in all of the places they’re looking for information and answers – and in a way that makes sense to the consumer.
With your sales funnel laid out and defined, you can map your content and create valuable information at logical points along the customer journey. Every marketing campaign must include content mapping to provides answers to consumers’ questions, in a natural and authoritative manner.
You should map your content to provide valuable information in each of a sales funnels critical stages:
The awareness stage is the top of your sales funnel and it’s marked by buyers making their initial queries. Consumers in this stage may not even consider themselves consumers yet. They’re researching in a general manner, and looking for opinions on products and services. Target buyers in the awareness stage want broad questions answered and they’re looking for insight that can be wide in scope.
This middle stage in the most basic sales funnel typically involves consumers doing fairly focused research. They’re comparing products and services. Some measure up and some don’t. The brands that stand out in this stage usually have very intentioned content created specifically to sway users.
Once buyers get to the bottom of the sales funnel, the purchase stage, they’re ready to click “buy” or “book,” or sign on the dotted line. While industry authority is implied in the previous stages, through carefully crafted content that has anticipated and met buyers needs, it’s now a strong call to action. And, of course, the call to action should be to choose the best brand. Your brand.
How to Align Your Content Strategy With Your Sales Funnel
If you have a plan in place to map your content so that it meet buyers’ needs – in each stage of the sales funnel – you cut down on marketing time and sales come more easily. Building a sales-minded content marketing campaign eases pressure on editors searching for things to write about and share. It makes good use of a tactic that’s a necessity for brands today.
Conversions in our current market stem from content, which should be created with the goal of getting noticed in search.
There are 4 tips that can help you create content that aligns with your sales funnel.
Tip 1: Define Your Content Needs for Each Funnel Stage
It’s extremely important that you identify content that will best intrigue, provoke, enlighten or motivate your target buyer depending on the stage. Each stage in your sales funnel needs to be considered in terms of the most impactful content. Buy creating buyer personas, you can personalize your content for your target customer at each critical stage in the sales funnel.
Top of funnel (awareness) = Social media content and blog posts to help buyers get to know your brand.
Middle of funnel (consideration) = Permission based content including email marketing and newsletters.
Bottom of funnel (purchase) = Landing pages that push buyers to convert and demonstrate authority in the industry.
Tip 2: Focus on Foundational Content
To separate your brand from the rest, create deep, lengthy foundational content that can be drawn upon for its wisdom on a topic or within a niche. YouTube videos, in-depth articles, and expert interviews are great ideas for foundational content. Also, consider Content Hubs, a strategy designed to earn authority from Google by focusing your content creation on a specific niche. For even more Google authority associated with your contents, consider an influencer marketing campaign or link building strategies, for high quality external links pointing to your domain.
Before creating foundational content, take time to:
- Conduct keyword research
- Do competitor keyword research
- Match content type to your buyer persona
Tip 3: Create an Editorial Calendar
All of the content ideas you come up with as you analyze your buyer persona and your researched keywords will make more sense when you plot them in an editorial calendar. A detailed editorial calendar keeps you organized and focused on your sales funnel. Make sure your editorial calendar includes:
- Content type
- Sales themes
- Writer due dates
- Image needs
Tip 4: Repurposing Content
You get more mileage from your content creation efforts when you repurpose material. Take sales themes and topics from channel to channel, giving them whatever treatment is necessary to further develop your brand story and to meet buyers’ needs. Test out a video approach to a how-to article or opt for infographics on your next blog post in order to explain a podcast more concisely.
Aligning your content strategy with your sales funnel makes a huge difference on your bottom line. For more tips on how to best work this marketing tactic, contact Galileo Tech Media.