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How Content Marketing Impacts the Sales Funnel

sales-funnel

If you run or manage a business, you likely already know a thing or two about the sales funnel

You also know the competition you’re up against and how saturated the sales environment can be – no matter what industry you’re in. 

If you want to stand out in your space, be the go-to source, and have your sales funnel operating like a well-oiled machine, but you’re NOT investing in content marketing, you’re missing out in a big way.

The sales funnel no longer requires big campaigns and lots of money out of your pocket. Instead, by prioritizing valuable, consistent content, you can easily guide customers through the sales funnel in a much more effective way. 

The Sales Funnel Explained

The sales funnel is a model representing the journey a customer takes from first becoming aware of a product/service to making a purchase. The steps work together to gradually get a potential customer to flow through your sales process. The four key steps of the sales funnel are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Decision
  4. Action

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By understanding the process of the funnel, you can use your content to target each of these stages effectively and drive sales.  

1. Awareness

Goal: Capture the attention of potential customers.

At the top of the funnel, the primary goal is to make potential customers aware of your brand and what you offer. Without being aware of your brand, they can’t move through the rest of the funnel. This stage is all about visibility and attracting a broad audience. 

The best types of content at this stage should be engaging and informative, designed to introduce your brand to a wider audience. This content shouldn’t include promotional or sales content – that’s for much later. First, you need to make an amazing first impression on your audience, not shove your products and services at them. 

Types of Content:

  • Focus on Video: Short, engaging videos that introduce the audience to industry-related topics, trending ideas, or helpful guides. Video content is easily the most engaging and best-performing form of media across platforms right now, so it’s the perfect way to reach a larger audience. These videos can be shared on various social media sites as well as your website. 
  • Leverage Storytelling: Use storytelling to attract attention through images, carousels, etc. Sharing these posts on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn can significantly boost brand awareness.
  • Use Infographics: This is extremely saveable and shareable content that will not only keep the current audience interested but help to expand your reach. 
  • Blog Posts: Use educational articles that address common pain points and provide solutions to target people through search engines. Blogs are an excellent way to show your expertise and start building that necessary trust.

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There are other types of content that can expose your brand to potential customers, but these are some of the core pieces. By consistently producing high-value content and putting it in front of your audience, you increase awareness of your brand. 

2. Interest

Goal: Engage the audience and build interest in your products or services.

Once potential customers are aware of your brand, the next step is to pique their interest. This involves providing more detailed information about what your brand is. This includes sharing your products or services and demonstrating how they can solve the customers’ problems or fulfill their needs. 

At this stage, you’re competing with other businesses that the customer may be considering. Therefore, you need to prove to them why your brand is the one they should go with. The best way to do this is to demonstrate your expertise and authority in your industry. 

Types of Content:

  • In-Depth Articles: Go deeper than your normal blog posts to show how your products or services could be a solution to their problem. Make it clear that you simply want to help guide them to a solution for their challenge. They are the hero – not your brand. 
  • Webinars: Live or recorded sessions that provide valuable information and allow for interaction. Webinars are extremely effective for interest because you can directly speak to potential customers. 
  • Newsletters: Regular emails that offer useful content and updates about your products or industry. If you can get people to sign up for a newsletter, then you can reach them in their personal inbox, which is often more effective than scrolling past a post on social media. 
  • Case Studies: Real-world examples that show how your product or service has benefited others. Highlighting success stories of customers who have solved their problems with your products is one of the best ways to build interest.

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By engaging potential customers with valuable content, you move them further down the funnel, from mere awareness to genuine interest. The best options are educational and informative, demonstrating how your business can help.  

3. Decision

Goal: Help potential customers make an informed decision.

Following interest is the decision-making process. At this stage, potential customers are considering whether to purchase your product or service. They are likely comparing your options with competitors and evaluating the benefits. Therefore, content at this step should aim to provide the necessary information to help them make an informed decision and feel confident about choosing your brand. This means that yes, you can finally really push content around your products and services.

Types of Content:

  • Testimonials and Reviews: Positive feedback from satisfied customers is always effective. People love hearing what others have to say about a product through reviews. Sharing real testimonials from happy customers can build trust and credibility.
  • Demos: Content provides a unique opportunity to walk potential customers through your product or service in action, in a virtual environment. You can make a video showing how your product or service works, increasing their trust in your brand.
  • Detailed Product/Service Descriptions: Similarly, share comprehensive information about product features and benefits. Clear and detailed descriptions of your products or services will let the audience know exactly what they’d get through purchasing from you.
  • Product/Service Comparisons: You can take product descriptions a step further and actually compare your products to competitors. Through articles or charts, you can make the comparison process easy for your customers. 

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By providing clear content that covers all your bases, you help potential customers make informed decisions and move closer to taking action. Be honest and thorough to help people through the decision-making process. 

4. Action

Goal: Encourage the customer to make a purchase.

The final stage of the funnel is getting the customer to take action, typically by making a purchase. At this point, all the work you put into your previous content comes down to the final test. You obviously can’t force them to make a purchase, but you can make sure that the option is easily available. By including clear calls to action (CTAs) you can make the buying process as straightforward as possible.

Types of Content:

  • Strong CTAs: Clear and compelling calls to action in emails, social media posts, and ads. Ensure that your message comes across correctly and is effective in encouraging customers to finalize their purchase. 
  • Customer Support Content: One way to make the process easier is to have FAQs, how-to guides, and contact information easily accessible to address any last-minute concerns. Providing support content can remove any last-minute barriers to purchase.
  • Checkout Process Optimization: This depends on how your purchases are completed, but regardless, ensuring a smooth and user-friendly checkout experience is essential. Simplifying the checkout process can increase conversions by taking away any added stress that may be created by unnecessary complications.
  • Promotional Offers: Discounts, coupons, or limited-time offers to incentivize purchases can be effective. This also depends on what products or services you offer, but keep in mind that this can be a way to encourage that final decision of making a purchase. 

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By making it easy for customers to take action, you increase the chances of turning a decision into a completed purchase. Keep things simple, make the process easy to follow, and encourage incentives along the way. 

How Consistency and Credibility Affect the Sales Funnel

Without consistency, the sales funnel isn’t possible. Posting content here and there is not going to get you the results you want. It takes a long and thoughtful investment to reach people and build awareness. Posting once in a blue moon is never going to achieve that. Even after the awareness stage, consistent content is necessary if you want to pique interest, eventually get customers to make a purchasing decision, and keep current customers engaged in your brand. 

Over time, consistent content can build up trust between you and your audience by positioning your brand as a reliable source of information and solutions. 

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Bottom Line: Consistency is a crucial element of having a successful sales funnel. Without it, you’re simply never going to see the results you’re looking for. 

The Role of Saturation on the Sales Funnel

In a crowded market, it’s important to be seen repeatedly across different platforms. This constant presence can significantly impact a customer’s decision-making process. Seeing your brand across various platforms — blogs, social media, ads, etc .— helps reinforce your message and keep your brand at the forefront of potential customers’ minds. 

For example, while cold emailing might not work on its own, combining it with ads on social media, billboards, and commercials can create a saturation effect that piques interest and leads to sales. This level of saturation makes the brand familiar and increases the likelihood of people considering your products. It’s not just one piece of content that drives the decision but the cumulative effect of various types.

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Bottom Line: Saturation ensures that your brand remains top-of-mind throughout the customer’s purchasing journey.

How Breezy Can Help You Get Sales

Content marketing and the sales funnel go hand in hand. Without content, the sales funnel is not going to be effective in the current digital market we’re in. We can no longer just rely on word-of-mouth to spread awareness, pique interest, and lead to a sale. 

However, it’s understandable if you don’t think you have the time or resources to invest in creating a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Don’t worry, we can help. We can lend a hand with any and every aspect of your content strategy, from the strategy itself to creating content, writing blogs, and sharing it with the world. Let’s get you some more sales. Get started here.

Ready to Launch a Content Marketing Plan for Your Small Business?

 

We know that carving out the time, resources, and energy to create ongoing content for your brand or business is a full-time job. That’s why we created Breezy – your instant content marketing team.

You don’t need to hire multiple full-time employees to handle all of the strategy, planning, writing, designing, and publishing of content. You also don’t have time to wrangle tons of different freelancers to get this all completed. You need one expert team that can help get all of the amazing thought-leadership and subject matter expertise out of your head and into formalized, engaging content that keeps you top of mind with your audience.

We’re that team!

See how we can help your small business, startup, or agency with a free consultation. 

SCHEDULE A CALL TODAY!

"My favorite things about Breezy is the culture of like-minded people they have created and that everything is remote."
Emilie Hunter
Content Creator

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