The first thing you need to do for any content marketing sales funnel strategy you’re going to develop for your business is to know why you’re doing it. Every single piece of content needs a reason for being that is tied to a very specific and measurable goal.
Get Their Attention
When you’re focused on getting your audience’s attention, there are a few goals that you can work toward that work well in the attention-getting phase, or the awareness stage – such as building your reputation, getting to know your audience, and more.
Establish Your Expertise and Legitimize Your Reputation
Find ways to build trust in your expertise and reputation by publishing the right educational information that demonstrates your knowledge.
You can also collaborate with experts by interviewing them a la Oprah Winfrey. When you surround yourself with other experts who are well thought of, you will be thought of as reputable too.
Types of content to use:
- Expert Interviews
- Long-Form Blog Posts
- Educational Blog Posts
- White Papers
Where to publish the content:
- Your Blog (Always)
Get to Know Your Audience and Let Them Get to Know You
Your audience is real human beings with problems and lives. Get to know them as much as you can by creating buyer personas for every single stage of the buying journey.
For example, you might want to build a community on one of the social media platforms or by installing your own forum and message board on your website. User-generated content on forums and message boards is very important when building a community.
Surprise People with Unexpected Content and Bonuses
If you become too predictable, sometimes people tune out. Try to make the experience your audience has unique, regardless of the platform they’re using on which to engage with you.
For example, if someone downloads your free eBook, why not give them a nice coupon or make a bonus offer to incentivize them to make a purchase – without telling them about it in advance.
Or, you could host a spontaneous “live” event on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube to show your audience behind-the-scenes action.
Be Disruptive but with Caution
One way to grab attention has always been to be disruptive. Studies show, unfortunately, that negativity gets more engagement and views than positivity.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be nasty. Poke the pain points; disagree with a guru. But always ensure that whatever you do that is disruptive isn’t painful or hurtful but instead ultimately helpful to your audience.
Mind Your Data
Everything you do must be data-centric. The only way you know why about anything you do is because you check the numbers.
For example, you cannot assume a new blog post or interview is directly responsible for all your conversions unless the data supports that idea. When you set up the metrics based on your goals and really use them, you’ll improve your success with content marketing exponentially.
As you’ve learned from studying the buyer’s journey, as you build your content marketing sales funnel strategy, the first step to connecting with your audience is to gain their attention.
You can do this by focusing on content that informs, instructs, interacts with, and inspires your ideal audience to learn and act on the information you provide to them. To do this, you must get their attention.
That is the first step in the buyer’s journey (awareness) and the first step in your content marketing funnel. The next step is to move them to your email list.
Get Them On Your List
The second thing you need to do as part of your content marketing sales funnel strategy is to get them on your list.
The money is in the list. You’ve heard this a lot, I’m sure. The reason you hear it so much is because it’s true. It’s been true since the advent of email, and it’s even truer today.
Email is not dead and using content marketing to get people on your list is the best way to accomplish building your list so you can nurture your audience with more content and convert them to customers and eventually turn them into brand advocates.
Choose the Right Platform for Your Needs
When you choose email marketing software, it’s imperative that you understand the terms of service of the platform. For example, if you plan to engage in affiliate marketing, some platforms don’t allow it, and some encourage it.
Read the fine print but pick software that has room to grow, that you find easy to work with and understand, and that has the features now and in the future that you will use. Pay for the platform instead of using free versions. You need the features, and you need ownership.
Provide Many Opportunities to Enter Your Email List
To move more people to your email list, you need to have as many entry points as possible for your audience. Studies show that websites with 100 landing pages or more do a lot better than those with fewer landing pages. Make specialized landing pages for each product directed toward each member of your audience.
One product may have five or more landing pages, due to the audience you want to attract. For example, if you guest post on a guru’s site, you should create a specialized landing page for anyone who clicks through to your site from the article you posted.
Create Low Price and Free Entry Level Products and Services to Try
Your audience needs to build their trust for you, and one way to do that is to give away freebies or promote low-cost products that grab their attention. These products can be in the form of workbooks, checklists, cheat sheets, video tutorials, discount codes, PDF guides, trials, and more.
Plan Your Autoresponder Content
It’s not enough to just get people on your list, you must be prepared with autoresponder content in advance. You’ll need immediate welcome, thank you, and educational info to go out upon registration.
Beyond that, you’ll need to plan for autoresponder content for pre-purchase information, during purchase information, and post-purchase and beyond information to go out to your list members based on how they signed up, so that it’s complexly personalized and relevant to them.
Promote Your Information
It’s not enough to create the landing pages, the freebies, or the low-cost and entry-level products, you must promote them too. Promote your freebies the same way you promote your highest-priced items so that they get the attention they deserve.
You can promote on social media, in your profiles and bios, on your website, within the content you create for your blog, in certain Facebook groups, in your own communities and groups, where your audience hangs out, within your bio on guest posts, and within emails.
Check the Numbers
Once again, we’re to the point where it’s becoming redundant to mention it, but it’s so important that you always check the numbers and mind your data.
The data you gather on your audience, on their behavior, and through the various platforms you use matters greatly. It’s the only way to be sure you’re using your time wisely and getting results from your actions.
The truth is, even more important than directly focusing on sales, you should focus on moving interested audience members to your email list. Most people just don’t buy these products simply by browsing a website. Instead, they buy based on the fact that they trust and believe in the person promoting the product. This can only happen if you help them get to know you better, and the best way to do that is your email list.
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