Content marketing may be an essential inbound marketing technique – but it can also be a helpful sales tool. By mapping content to specific points along the sale process, you can lay a foundation of trust that can lead to more sales.
When it comes down to it – people buy out of emotion and not logic (even with B2B purchase). According to research from the Custom Content Council, 61 percent of people feel better about a company that delivers custom content – and they are more likely to buy from that company in the future. With targeted custom content, you can make them feel better – which plants the seeds for future sales success.
Here’s how to create content for three distinctive points along the sales process.
Attraction (Top of the Funnel)
Early in the sale process you’re looking to attract as many (qualified) people as possible. You need to provide lots of educational content at this point. They want information – not sales pitches – so the content needs to be “unselfish.”
It’s got to be helpful without being pushy – and this is what trips up a lot of companies when they try to embrace a content-based approach. They want to sprinkle the content with sales-oriented language and strong calls to action – but top of the funnel content can’t mimic a sales letter. Its aim is to earn trust and loyalty.
Three ideas for top of the funnel content:
- A research-based white paper.
- An informative series of blog posts.
- A helpful presentation.
Nurturing (Middle of the Funnel)
Custom content can play an important role in moving prospects further into your sales funnel. After the initial attraction, you can start to build trust with nurturing content and move them into buying mode.
You laid the foundation with your top of the funnel content – and now it’s time to start making the case for your solutions. Content marketing at this stage is a little more sales oriented. You can continue to solve problems and be helpful, but also can show the value of what you do.
Three ideas for middle of the funnel content:
- An ongoing email series to provide information (and important product or service specs).
- Short ebooks targeted at your biggest customer questions.
- FAQ pages and other content hubs on your website that answer specific product/service questions.
Conversion (End of the Funnel)
Now it’s time to turn those warm leads into new clients. Its decision time and content can offer a big assist at this stage. Building on your informative content at earlier points in the funnel, you can make the case for your specific solution and invite your prospects to take direct action.
Three ideas for end of the funnel content:
- A buying guide to help them make a purchasing decision.
- Product spec sheets.
- Service fact sheets.
- Direct response email messages.
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content that supports the sales process. Working with a digital marketing partner, you can develop a stream of sales-focused content marketing pieces that increase trust, boost engagement and lead to more sales.