What’s the purpose for your content marketing? Obviously you want to build traffic but is traffic should be the ultimate goal?
Ideally, you want your content strategy to bring in leads and sales.
Creating lead nurturing content increases the efficiency and effectiveness of your overall marketing campaign.
When you provide the right, relevant, content at the right time, you lead a potential customer directly into the buying funnel.
Organize Your Content Around a Sales Funnel
A sales funnel represents the different stages a potential customer goes through before they buy your product or service. A sales funnel will consist of three main steps: awareness, consideration, and purchase.
- Awareness. Awareness begins when a prospective buyer submits a form on your website and becomes a lead. You are then aware of each other, and you need to start the official sales process by identifying their needs. Look at what products or pages of information they viewed on your website. This will give you insight into how much they’ve learned about your brand.
- Consideration. At this stage, your prospect is learning more about your brand and what you offer to decide if they need your products or services. This is when you need to build their trust in your company. Provide them with useful information on the advantages of your brand.
- Purchase. At the bottom of the funnel is the prospect’s purchase or investment in your product or service. Never let the purchase become the end of your interaction with the customer. Keep in touch with all buyers and nurture their return for more. The final step of the funnel needs positive customer service to answer customer needs.
Each stage of the sales funnel requires different sales methods and different marketing content.
- Top of the funnel (awareness): How-to videos, (viral) lists, blog post series
- Middle of the funnel (consideration): Ebooks, whitepapers, industry reports
- Bottom of he funnel: Case studies, video demos, webinars, etc.
Organize your content around each step of the funnel to keep your marketing campaigns relevant and useful. Analyze the data you collect from your sales leads to determine what content to provide at each stage.
Create Content That Resonates
Providing customized content is essential for not only gaining sales but building trust with prospects. Create content that resonates with your readers. Personalize it to their individual likes, wants, and needs. The most effective way to learn what your target audience needs is to learn about their lives, careers, and interests.
- Identify your target audience and develop buyer personas that include demographics.
- Determine the problems your prospects face and how your product or service can resolve the issues.
- Create personalized email content that varies in length, tone, and purpose based on the category the lead falls into.
- Use examples in your content that buyers can make a personal connection with.
- Utilize behavioral emails that are sent when prospects visit certain websites or click specific links.
- Make it clear you are not a bot by including contact information and a complimentary close.
- Consider sharing a personal experience in your content or including a behind-the-scenes look of your company.
Enable Google Analytics Demographics feature to better understand what will resonate with your audience. The feature collects and visualizes data that includes the age and gender of your site users, as well as the interests they express through their online journey and buying habits.
Provide Informative Content
Educate your prospect on your brand and your products and services by creating informative content. Help customers understand the advantages your brand brings to the table and how your products or services can fix problems and satisfy needs. There should be a different informative guide for each stage of the sales funnel.
As the lead moves down the sales funnel, you should provide more detailed and informative content. You need to fully understand what every piece of material you create is saying, what its goal is, and who it is intended for.
The best way to get started here is to research industry questions. Ahrefs has a great feature allowing you to discover popular questions around any keyword (and then build conyent around them):
Plan Content Series
I know I have always promoted ebooks and I still swear by them. But I have found that the audience for people who will actually sit down and read a full ebook is much smaller than the one that will sit and read through a blog series.
Maybe the broken up format and skimmable way of reading makes it more approachable, or just easier to fit into a busy schedule. Either way, it is effective and helpful, while also being easy to share multiple times on social media. Think of it this way: an ebook is a single link. A blog series is many links, which gives you many more opportunities for building leads.
Once you are done with the series, you can offer your readers to download all the parts in a single PDF format making it both top-of-the-funnel and middle-of-the-funnel content asset.
Include a Call-To-Action (CTA)
Include a call-to-action in every piece of content you produce. They’re an essential and useful tool for lead nurturing. CTAs are an easy way to grab your prospect’s attention and show them how your product or service can help them or why it is precisely what they are looking for. Diversify and personalize your CTAs. Some of the options include:
- A call-to-download
- A call-to-optin
- A call-to-buy (especially when your article discusses the problem and explains how your product or service solves it)
- A call-to-follow, etc.
Here are also the collection of best-converting words to put in your CTA:
- Lead nurturing content strategy needs a lot of planning
- You need a dedicated content asset for each step in your sales funnel
- Lead generating content can either inform and entertain the reader but the most important thing is that it needs to engage them
- Target your content topics to your audience interests. Developing buyer personas may turn helpful for that
- Don’t forget to include those Calls-to-Action in each of your asset based on its location in the sales funnel.
On top of all: Never stop experimenting and testing new formats, new content marketing tools and new content ideas. With content marketing, you are never really done.