.Content has always been the backbone of successful marketing. From the days when word of mouth was the only means to spread awareness about a business to the current digital era where everything is available, literally, at your fingertips; there is nothing quite like engaging content when it comes to converting buyers.
Today, I am going to explore some amazing ways that content marketing can drive buyers through the sales journey…
Discovery – the first point of contact with the buyer
Every buyer out there is on the lookout for a solution for the problems that they’re experiencing right now.
Considering the fact that there are virtually countless options available to them, the only way to capture the buyer’s eye is to provide them with something unique and intriguing. This is where content comes into the picture.
During the discovery stage, the buyer is completely naïve (i.e. he has a problem does not know the solution). So, he’s trying to figure out what to do to get some satisfaction. And, more importantly, he’s in a place where he’s looking for content that educates, inspires, and most importantly helps him with his problem… Content that can play a key role in getting him to the next stage in your marketing funnel.
Powerful content, like informative blogs and articles, creates an initial impression with your brand, building a connection and enticing him further into your sales funnel and sales letters.
Consideration – one step further in the relationship
So, now the buyer knows that you have the solution to this problem. What next? He’d want to know how good you are or in other words – are you the best help he can get?
This is again where the power of content marketing can make or break the connection established between your brand and your prospective buyer. Now that the buyer is considering your business as one of the probable solutions to his problem, he will want to explore your products and services more specifically.
Powerful content makes sure that your buyers get to know about your expertise in the field and what makes you the perfect fit for his problem. Content like landing pages and “content upgrades,” therefore, become the key component of content marketing that can drive sales.
Decision – the phase that can make or break your marketing efforts
Now, the client has moved down further in the marketing funnel, but he has is still indecisive on whether you are the best fit for his needs or not… So, how are you going make sure that he makes the decision in your favor?
The one word answer to this question is – CONTENT! (Notice a trend?)
Content forms like case studies, buyer testimonials, and success stories work towards building faith and confidence within your buyer’s mind. It is a basic human psychology to trust the experience of others. Therefore, by going through content like use cases and success stories, you can give your prospect a taste of what it’s like to finally have their problems solved because of your business!
As a matter of fact, this works as the final push that drives the buyer into the last stage of the buying journey… Getting converted!
Want to leverage content marketing to make the most of your marketing strategies? Check out free workshop where we detail the content you need at every step of the sales funnel!
Retention – going above and beyond
Most businesses think that the buyer’s journey is limited to only the intial sale… This is a big mistake.
Smart businesses know that there is still another important step left on this journey. This step is to retain those buyers AND sell them more stuff. You might be shocked to know that studies reveal that 80% of future sales come from 20% of your existing buyers.
So, continuing to feed your buyer with more information once the sale has been completed becomes key. This is where content elements like email newsletters, product updates, festive greetings and social media posts come into the picture.
Remember, buyer relationships are a journey that you need to keep nurturing or else it becomes stale. After all, building trust is not just a one-time thing. You need to keep the buyer hooked on the fact that you are constantly evolving and doing things to make their life easier, and better.
Content plays a role at every stage of the funnel!
The points mentioned above paint a clear picture of how content plays an integral role to keep buyers hooked at every stage of the marketing funnel. A slight weakness in content at any stage could mean losing the buyer forever.
While there are many businesses that focus too strongly on the top of the funnel, it is quite evident that content plays an inseparable role at every stage. From building buyer’s interest in your business to ensuring that the buyer completes the journey by converting into a customer rather than leaving before they ever get the chance – content is the one decisive factor in conversion.
So, are you putting the right focus on content?
Now the question is – how much importance do you put on creating content and aligning it with your marketing efforts in your sales funnel?
Remember – no matter how good your marketing strategies are – if they are not supplemented with the well-crafted content they will prove to be of no use. That’s why the adage, “Content is King,” has been around forever…
And, in order to get the best out of your marketing efforts, you need to focus on crafting content that leaves an instant impact on your prospects.
Producing content that matches the customer’s psychology, offers help and support, and builds trust can be the key differentiator between your business being a hit or a miss. So, pull up your socks and invest in content if you want to see your business shining brightly in your market.
After all, the ultimate reason for a business is to help customers and create revenue, making sure they stick to you for the long haul. Powerful content can help you do that!
Get an inside look at generating revenue online through a sales funnel.
Register for the free Digital ROI Workshop here!
How Content Marketing Drives Sales Throughout The Buyer Journey
This entire week we’ve been talking about content marketing. Today, in particular, we are going to be covering, how content marketing drives sales throughout the buyer journey.
Content marketing is interesting because all our clients that we run paid traffic experience the first level of awareness. When you’re getting brand exposure – basically throwing your brand, offer out there, and you’re trying to get people to pay attention to you, it always starts with a piece of content. That content, sometimes a Facebook post, social video, you’ve seen all kinds of this stuff from us and our clients.
Basically what we’re trying to do is get awareness.
We’re trying to engage with prospects so that they raise their hand and say “Yes, I’m interested in what it is you do.” That is where the whole sales funnel starts. They raise their hand and say, “I’m interested in what you do. I read a blog post and an article.”. What we’re going to talk about today are blogging and advertorials. “I watched 15 seconds of video,” whatever, basically something triggers where that person is now engaged with our brands. What we want to do is we want to continue putting messages in front of them so that they engage deeper with our brands. That’s the role that content marketing should have. Then your paid traffic kind of exacerbates that. It amplifies that content marketing piece.
Today what we’re going to talk about is, how content marketing drives sales throughout the buyer journey.
Now, so content marketing, it’s always been the backbone of successful marketing. I mean, the saying forever is “content is king.” Way, way back, when I started getting into blogging, I don’t know how many people know kind of where I originally started, but basically, I was a Pepsi truck driver. A lot of you know that. I was driving a Pepsi truck and I ended up stumbling across this PDF one day that was half-finished, and I don’t even remember the author, but it was this 14 or 15-page document on how to become a professional blogger. And I was like, “Well, I can type, I can write. Maybe I’ll try to be a professional blogger.”
This entire PDF was how to be a professional blogger by writing online, and the steps were really pretty simple. You log in, create a Blogspot blog, which for those of you who don’t remember, blogspot.com used to be a free blog. It’s kind of like WordPress.com now. It might even still be around. So this is what I did and I ended up kind of falling in love with the blogging thing.
I had zero visitors and nobody gave a shit. I had very, very little traffic and I blogged every day and I wrote about whatever the hell I wanted to write about it. It wasn’t focused, niched and it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t anything, but it was a start. And so I wrote a couple of hundred blog posts within the course of a couple of years, and in the first check that I got from Google, you would’ve thought it was a million dollars, it was like $104. There’s a picture of it somewhere online. And that was my advertising check because I put Google AdSense the posts.
Then I figured out that if I put text link ads, then I could make a lot more money, just having text links on the website. Those PayPal payments were like six, 700 bucks, and all of a sudden I started making money, and then that made me really, really dig into it. To get more traffic, I started doing research. How do I get things ranked in Google, I run paid traffic, or how do I make money online?
I started down those rabbit holes, and everything came back to this idea that content is king. And as we talked on Monday, you know that I ended up having some affiliate sites that were making 10, $20,000 a month. Google happened, the Panda update happened, Penguin happened, and all of a sudden those sites disappeared, which is fine. You know, it wasn’t at the time, but that of course led to growth.
We started running paid traffic, selling our own products and building sales funnels, working with clients, working with folks, and all of that other stuff. So it all ended up being good. But at the end of the day, the journey started with content and it ends with content. There will always be content. If you think you can build an online business without content, then nobody’s going to buy anything. I mean, you’re never going to sell stuff because every business, the only thing you have, the only currency you have, is content. Whether it’s a Facebook ad, a video, a sales copy, or an email copy, everything is content-based, so that’s where we’re at.
1. Awareness Phase
Now, so the first thing, the first time that somebody is probably going to interact with you or your business is this discovery phase, this awareness phase, and this is where people end up kind of jumping down your rabbit hole. It’s the time that somebody Googles something and lands on your website. It is the time that they’re scrolling through something on Facebook and they see your logo, and then there’s a video or there’s a post or there’s something that engages them. It is always that first piece of awareness, that first interaction that somebody gets. The beautiful thing with what we’re able to do with content marketing now is that we can quantify that engagement and we can advertise to that engagement.
If somebody watches more than 10 seconds of a video, we can throw up some banner ads in front of them. If they hit our websites, we can follow them around with banner ads. We could never do that before. Before they always had to buy there, or they have to sign up for an email list. They had to take concrete action. But now we have all these kinds of loose actions that somebody can take to learn more about us. They can follow us, they can like our stuff. Just showing up on a website means that we can retarget them. There are all of these small pieces of commitment that then lead to bigger commitments and it’s all content-based.
2. Consideration Phase
The next step is a consideration, so basically, buyers know that you have the solution for the problem and they’re asking, What’s next, are you a good fit, are you good at what you do, are you going to be around. All of that stuff starts to kind of play into the … or play into the decision, which is the next phase.
3. Decision Phase
The decision really is the make or break for your marketing efforts. You know, it’s that sales copy, the webinar copy, the email that they get that tells them to go do something or to buy something or to book a call with your service-based team, or whatever. That’s the decision, you know? So once you cross that, it might be a decision, it might be desirable, you get them to take action, but once you get them to cross that threshold and sell them, then basically you’re moved into the retention piece.
Now, your content marketing, kind of aids every piece of this journey, because every piece is based on content. It’s just really, really, really important to understand what each piece of content means throughout how content marketing drives the sales funnel. Your blog posts and advertorials are all front side stuff. That’s all front side content marketing, content that you need to have in your funnel, whereas your webinar is kind of like … that’s desire content. I mean, that’s decision content. That is the pivotal piece of content that is going to get somebody to go from, this person has a solution to I want to work with this person and this is how I do it. That’s where, how the content comes into play.
I have a couple of pieces of kind of front-end content that we’re going to talk about. These are advertorials. You already know of this content. You’ve seen them in magazines. You’ve seen them all over the internet, whether you know you’re looking at an advertorial or not. I have one popular blog that a lot of people have ripped off for years for an antiaging skin cream. Basically, it’s kind of the same blog post, same page. You see it all over and they just swap out different CPA offers.
This is an Instagram-worthy anti-aging content marketing post that is a skin cream, called HER, this particular. If you look at the language here we have, “and although they’ve run out of stock,” oh, we’ve got to show that here. They’ve run out of stock a few times over the past month. This is due to a huge spike in demand from women all over the world. They are currently running a special offer that lets you try the entire HER solution booty system for a massive 70% discount for first-time customers. This is obviously a call to action link. So you click this link, you’re going to be able to go buy this.
Now, if this company went defunct or whatever, then they could just swap in another skincare cream. Just run traffic to the same advertorial. This is the pre-framing piece. So this is the piece that pre-frames a buyer to actually purchase the thing. You see this kind of stuff all over the place once you actually learn to look for it. Basically, advertorials are inserted in newspapers and magazines. This stuff all the time is always present with digital traffic. You click an ad, which oftentimes put you on an advertorial that is going to presell the solution. Then that advertorial then gets the clickthrough to ultimately go through and buy.
Now, I used to think, a long time ago, that why would you put another step in between the ad and the offer? Why would you throw an advertorial in there and make somebody read when you could just go right to how content marketing drives sales copy? Then I started seeing that all the big media buyers were using advertorials, every single one of them. They basically had this bridge page, which was the page that’s sandwiched between the ad, bridge page, offer. The advertorial is required when you’re driving a tremendous amount of traffic. What it does is it lets you advertise some things that maybe Facebook won’t necessarily want you to advertise straight away or Google.
More than that, it lets you pre-frame the offer. You can standardize how people are going to show up and take in the offer on the next page. Think about this, you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and you’ve had a really long, hard grueling day. The kids were crying and you’ve worked and all this other stuff. You’re scrolling through your newsfeed, then you hit an ad. It goes right to how content marketing drives the sales page, but you’re not in the frame of mind to actually buy that thing. You are mad and you’re just not in the frame of mind to go get your credit card and purchase something.
Now, compare that to somebody. They’re on vacation and they are sitting in a hotel. They’re on Facebook and they’re just kind of enjoying life for that particular moment of that day. They are scrolling through Facebook. They hit an ad, the same ad as you, then they go to how content marketing drives sales page. Next, they buy because they are in the frame of mind to buy. Now, what a good bridge page, kind of advertorial page does a good piece of content, is it puts both of those people in the different frames of mind on the same page, quite literally, pun intended.
It puts them on the same page so that they’re reading, and then by the time they get to the call to action, by the time they see that link, they are both thinking the same thing. It standardizes it, normalizes their thoughts so that they know exactly what they’re getting into. They’re both reading the same piece of material, and they click the link and then they go buy. So that is what a good bridge page, that’s what a good advertorial, does is it standardizes how content marketing drives sales process.
It allows for a bunch of different people with different emotions and feelings and thoughts and preconceived notions and biases and all that other stuff to hit a page, normalize, and then go to how content marketing drives sales offers. Oftentimes with the right bridge page, the conversions will go up as opposed to just direct linking right to the sales page. So that’s why the big media buyers do it. It takes a lot of testing to make sure that the advertorial is working the way it should. It’s something that you definitely need in your toolkit.
Now, we have a couple of advertorials that we use. I just wanted to kind of throw them up here just for example’s sake. Here’s one sales funnel, “Avoid the needless bottlenecks and maximize output”. It just kind of goes through all the bottlenecks you might have when you have content marketing drives sales funnel. It is like KPIs and metrics that matter. Of course, we have a call to action, which is to watch the video. We’ve been throwing more videos on these things too. Here are “Three tips to make your sales funnels less complicated”. These are all blog posts. I mean, that’s all of these, are blog posts with calls to action in them.
“Tip number one, strive for simplicity, tip number two, avoid multi-step landing pages”
Then all the way down, so we have a little banner call-out box here, a little feature box. We have a button at the very bottom, a little call to action. Here’s another one, “How to use lead generation to improve your sales funnel”. We drive cold traffic to these pages all day long, and we split test them. We split test the headlines, split test the little banner boxes, all that other stuff.
Here, we’re talking about content marketing and some different things to do. Then we have one here for Facebook. We drive a lot of traffic to this too, so Facebook ads for e-commerce, so people who are running Facebook. I want to run Facebook ads for e-commerce specifically. These are just some of our kind of internal pages that I was kind of going through. Some of the advertorials end up turning a lot of our folks into how content marketing drives sales. Somebody said they still have – “still have those Blogspots”. That’s funny. I think Google bought them? Or maybe Google-owned them way back then. I’m really not sure.
Well, what ended up happening was, when I got into blogging, I went from Blogspot, and then I knew that I was going to try to make money. I wanted more customization over the theme because I knew I was going to want to put in banner ads. I ended up moving to WordPress and it was WordPress 1.2 or 1.3, years and years. That’s really where I started falling in love with WordPress and then web design. Then mucking through FTP servers and web servers, and all of that stuff was very self-taught. So that’s really where I started way back in the day.
For Questions and Guide
For those of you who would like to go through and do kind of a content marketing audit, where we go through, look at your content, plan out some content, look at how content marketing drives sales funnels, look at your traffic sources, all that other stuff, go to doneforyou.com/start, fill out the little form and then book a call with our team and we’ll go through and put together an action plan for you.
If there’s anything we can do ever, just go to doneforyou.com. In the lower right-hand corner, there’s a little chatbox. Here you can go through, you can learn a little bit more about our services. So if there’s anything we can do ever, just, by all means, let us know, drop us a line.