You probably have read multiple blogs about how to define your sales funnel, the importance of creating your target personas and then, of course, understanding their buyer’s journey. That is great and all, but once you have all of that outlined – what can you do with it to better your business? You need to learn to create the right type of content for each step in the sales funnel and make sure it aligns with your target personas. So let’s walk through this together.
Top of the Funnel
This section is designed to attract prospects and potential leads. These are the new, potential customers who have zero-little knowledge of your brand, product or service. So now that you know who is going to be in this part of the funnel, it’s time to determine (1) the type of content you want to create and (2) the subject matter you want to create.
Type of Content
These people are just visiting your website for the first time. They found you via social media, search or happened to stumble upon your services. You’ll want to keep the content short and to the point. Let’s not forget that all of this content should be ‘free’ – do not add forms or send them to gated content. They’re not ready to make that kind of commitment and it can deter them from coming back. Here are a few examples of ‘free’ content:
- Blog posts: provide some real insight and tips, but keep it short enough to keep them interested.
- Slideshows: again, short and to the point but also showcase your authority in the industry
- Graphics: high-level information that introduces you to them.
This potential customer may not necessarily be looking to invest in your product or service yet. They may not even know that they need help. Most top of the funnel visits are from people who are just searching and trying to identify if they have a problem and if there is a solution out there. Think of it as a research phase for your customers. This way, your content should focus on:
- How to identify issues
- Tips to upgrade or improve existing problems
- Suggestions on how to troubleshoot
Middle of the Funnel
This section of the funnel is primarily customers who are considering a few different options. They have done their research, identified their problem and are now looking for the right partner to provide a solution. Whether it’s a service or a product – they want the right fit for their needs. So, you want to make sure you’re crafting the right style of content to win their business.
Types of Content
They’re back! You did it right in the attract stage, so let’s keep it going through the consideration phase. You’ll want to ask them for a little more information, get to know them and what they’re looking for a little bit better. Whether they’re clicking through from ads, coming back directly, finding you through search or click on your re-marketing ads, here’s the content you’ll want to serve up:
- Landing pages: drive your potential customers to landing pages that are fully optimized
- Forms: encourage them to fill out a form, so you can gather more information about them and follow up with them.
- Emails: send them a quick email with even more helpful resources, give them more free content to highlight your willingness to help them succeed.
- Webinars: What a great way to show off your knowledge and interact directly with your target audience. You can answer questions in real-time and highlight your solutions without selling too much.
You’re asking your potential customers for some information, so the content that you share with them must be worth it. If you’re asking detailed or specific questions, you’ll want to make sure your content is worth them providing all of that information. Think of it this way – the more questions you ask, the better the content should be. Here are some topics you can start with:
- Analyzing different tools and their applications
- Identifying solutions to problems (problems outlined in the top of funnel)
- Descriptions of software / solution
Bottom of the Funnel
You’ve done it! Your customers have made it to the bottom of the funnel and they are ready to be convinced to convert into lifelong customers. All you have to do now is close the sale with your remaining content. Easy, right?
Types of Content
You’ve helped your customer identify their problem, you’ve even help them navigate to a solution but now you need to help them understand why they need your product or service. How can you do that?
- Email: You have their contact information, well now it’s time to follow up with a highly-personalized email. Take the information you gathered in the previous step and cater the content to their problem and solution.
- Workflows: Maybe they’re not ready to invest right now, but that doesn’t mean they fall out of your funnel. Add them to a workflow, so that you can touch base with them over time. Give them a few weeks and check back in. You won’t bombard them, but let them know you’re still here to help with what they need.
- Live Events: What better way to close the deal, then to meet with your potential clients in person. If this is an option for your business, it may be your strongest option to connect with your customers on a personal level.
So you’ve helped your potential clients identify their problem and determine how to solve it. But, now it’s time to explain to them why investing with you (buying your product or service) is worth it. Here’s how:
- Case Studies: if you can use past examples of how you helped others succeed, then your potential clients can visualize themselves succeeding with you as well.
- Comparisons: show your capabilities versus your competitors and what sets you apart from other products or services.
- Pros & Cons: explain the benefits of partnering with you and the downfall of not partnering with you.
Guiding your target personas through their buyer’s journey is no easy-task. But, now you have a little bit of a guideline to help you craft up the right content to take a first-time visitor all the way through to becoming a loyal customer. And keep in mind, even after they are a customer – you want to keep connecting with them. But, that’s a whole different blog post (probably coming soon).