The world of content marketing has changed a lot over the last few years. As people get more comfortable and well-versed online, our tactics to market to them effectively has changed in huge ways! (For example, people are better at using and navigating the internet by using advanced Google search tips and have a greater understanding of the internet.)
As a result, the same old marketing and customer acquisition tactics simply won’t resonate anymore. Customers can see past them and require new tactics to be acquired and marketed to successfully.
We need to go above and beyond to make sure we’re creating good/useful/valuable/engaging content, using solid lead magnets and making sure leads are nurtured before simply going for the sale. There is a lot more involved in the marketing process than ever before, and it can be confusing to some people or businesses. But, over half of marketers say that creating content for their blog is a top inbound marketing priority. As a result, your blog is a good place to start when it comes to marketing your product or service.
Blogging can be an intimidating thing for some people, but it doesn’t have to be, I gotchu. This post is going to look at the five stages of the blog sales funnel and how they can be used to increase your readers and customers quickly.
1. Attract Attention and Gain Awareness
The first stage is all about gaining awareness and attracting the attention of the audience. In this stage, assume that most people have no idea who you are, or what type of content or product you offer. As a result, most of your content should be about making them aware of who you are and what you do, and how you can help alleviate or relate to a problem they might have. Establishing yourself as an “authority” in the space is also a good idea. All of this will contribute to teaching the public why they should read your blog or check out your site.
The content in this stage should be wide and easily appeal to a mass audience. BUT, you should know your ideal audience to target the content better. The content should also be simple and easy-to-digest, while still providing value. It should help you reach the goal of getting more people to your site or blog, even if many will never convert. At least they will be aware of you and have a rough understanding of what you do.
Getting the word out about your brand, company or product is far from easy. Many companies fail to ever get the attention they desire, so be willing to put in the work. While most of the early visitors who see your initial content may not stick around, at least they are aware of who you are and what you do.
2. Collect Leads With a Lead Magnet
Once you have the awareness and attention, it is about time to start collecting and gathering some leads. This is often done by using a lead magnet of some kind. The ultimate goal of these lead magnets is to get people to provide you with their email or some other type of contact information. Need an example? Check out my free Content Creation Blueprint.
This will make it way easier to reach out to them or contact them with deals or offers.
What’s a lead magnet? A lead magnet is generally some sort of valuable and free content such as an ebook, strategy guide or even a weekly newsletter. You can definitely use more than one type of lead magnet, if the situation calls for it. The type of lead magnet you use will depend on your site, your niche, your target audience, etc.
The lead magnet should still be appealing to a decently large audience, but can be a little bit more specific or targeted than your content during the first stage of the funnel. People that are willing to provide you with their email are looking for actionable content, so be sure to give it to them within the lead magnet. Also, despite it being free for them, make sure to actually have your lead magnets provide ALL the value, make it something so amazing people should be paying for!
Sure, many people might sign up, but if your content offers no value, the chances they return or end up converting to a full-time customer or reader are low.
3. Nurture Your Leads
Once you have some leads, you might think it’s time to start selling, but no, don’t do it! Sure, these people gave you their emails, but they likely don’t fully trust or know you yet. It would be a huge mistake to try and rush the sale. As a result, you need to be sure to nurture your leads. Lead nurturing is important for a number of reasons as it can increase sales, decrease costs and even lead to larger purchases.
Nurturing your leads can be done in a variety of different ways. It can range from sending a helpful welcome email, to traditional email marketing to offering them deals, discounts or other freebies. There is no right or wrong way to nurture your leads, just be sure to try out many different methods to see which works best for you and offers the most return.
It’s all about keeping them interested in your product/service or content, and keeping them interactive. Most leads simply won’t convert (and that’s okay!) and very few will actually go on to become regular customers. Nurturing your leads gives you a much better chance of converting, without having to spend a ton of extra time or money.
4. Make The First Sale
Once you have sufficiently nurtured your lead and they trust you and are interested in what you have to offer, it’s time to make your sales pitch. This should involve making it very clear how your product or service can specifically help them fix or address the problem they are dealing with. Of course, try not to make it overly sales-focused and keep it on the potential customers and their needs.
A conversational or organic approach often works better than shoving sales talk down their throats (don’t be that person). Your sales pitch can be in the form of content, emails, videos or other methods… Again, like with lead nurturing, you should try a variety of different tactics to see what works best for your company.
Making the sale successfully will depend on a number of things. This will include your price, how much value the service or product will offer, and how quality your sales content is. Your product needs to be affordable, while still profitable for your company of course. Also, make it easy for people to make purchases and offer a range of payment options. The easier it is to seamlessly buy and pay for your product or service, the more willing they will be to do so.
5. Follow-Up and Create Repeat Customers
While many people may think the funnel is done once they’ve made the sale, that’s definitely not the case, sawry! One of the best ways for businesses to grow is to get their one-time customer turned into repeat customers. If every customer was only making a one-time purchase, many companies would #fail.
To turn a one-time customer you need to give them reasons to stick around and remain loyal to you and your brand. This could range from sending them “customer-only” deals, access to extra information or tailored content for them based on their data. Also, coming out with updates or new products/services can also help people turn to repeat buyers. It is all about continually providing value or features that your customers are willing to pay for.
Getting repeat customers isn’t easy, but if you put in the work it is definitely possible. The name of the game here is being ultra specific and tailored in your targeting, content and messages (which I’m sure you’ve heard a million times). These customers want to feel special, and not just like another number or random customer. Use their purchasing history and interests to offer them products or services that you feel they will be interested in. Earlier in the funnel is when it pays to be general, but here, you want to be very targeted and specific with your messaging.
Hopefully this article has helped you understand the 5 stages of an easy sales funnel and how you can use it to your advantage. Blogging can be a cumbersome idea for some, but can truly help you to gain more traffic, sell more products and build your brand!
Want help with your sales funnel? Reach out!