Everyone uses content as part of their marketing strategy – everything is content, from blog posts to videos, advertisements to infographics. But are you using content in the right way? Are you creating a successful content marketing strategy that helps lead customers through your sales funnel? Content counts – and everyone has different preferences as to how they receive their content, at different moments in the sales funnel.
Here’s how you can effectively use content marketing to improve your sales funnel.
And then blog, blog, and blog some more. Whether you are selling direct to the public or you operate a B2B company, your blog contains the content that drives people to the initial stage of your sales funnels. Blogs are highly versatile and highly mobile – they have the potential to draw in traffic from all corners of the web. Through your blog you create posts that engage people. These posts may encourage visitors to subscribe. You ultimately cerate revenue when people move from the initial stage of interaction with your company through a blog post, through other pieces of content, to the end sale.
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Effective blog posts are more than just plain text. Make sure you are using your blog to best effect by mixing up the content and the format. For example, you can embed infographics within a blog post to counteract the text overkill that many people get from being on the internet all day. Or use video within a blog post. Make presentations or embed a SlideShare document inside the blog post as part of your diverse content marketing strategy.
Use SEO in Blog Posts
As blog posts are a key first step into the sales funnel it is important you use SEO to best advantage in order for the posts to reach as wide an audience as possible. Make sure you include external and internal links, use keywords so that you are increasing your ranking in the search engines, and write posts that are at least 500 words long.
Use Different Content for Different Stages of the Customer Journey
As each customer moves through the sales funnel they are attracted by, and make use of, different types of content at each stage. The effectiveness of the sales funnel is greatly enhanced if you create content that customers prefer to consume at that point in the cycle. When you get the content mix right you can more easily convert prospects and close deals and sales.
Top of the funnel content, as shown above, is a blog post, along with podcasts, infographics, and ads, which all build brand awareness. Next you have whitepapers and eBooks for people who want to learn more about your brand or the topic in general. And at the end you have product videos, demonstrations, testimonials, and executive summaries. Good testimonials and case studies also include videos – video testimonials have been shown to be much more effective than text along at converting prospects into sales.
Make Your Brand Human
When creating your content marketing strategy make sure you use it to create a humanized, personable brand that connects and interacts directly with your audience. Don’t create generic blog posts; put your brand spark into them. Take your own photos. Create your own inspirational quotes.
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Construct your own infographics and use your content to spark debate among your audience. By increasing interaction and making your content more personable, you are more likely to get it shared and this in turn will drive more people into your sales funnel.
Take a Holistic View
It is also important to maximize content effectiveness by using paid ad campaigns alongside content. You can boost the impact of content at an affordable price, so long as you monitor your campaigns and ensure you are getting the most from your money.
Content marketing is nothing new, and there are no magic tricks that automatically ensure success. But by looking carefully at what you are trying to achieve, interacting directly with the people you hope to reach, and delivering the right content to your audience at the right time, you can improve your sales and enhance the effectiveness of your sales funnel marketing.