If you’re planning on doing any online marketing to sell your services, you need to get intimately familiar with the sequence of events that lead to a sale.
In the digital marketing world, we usually refer to it as a funnel.
Every funnel consists of stages and your objective is to move your customer from each stage to the next.
Their journey through the funnel will be different depending on what you are you’re selling.
You can design a funnel with as many stages as you want but in most cases, it will look something like this:
Marketing Funnel Stages
This is when your prospect learns about your services for the first time.
This also might be the first time the prospect became aware of a problem that needs to be solved.
They probably started looking for solutions and came across your website.
At this point in the funnel, the prospect has a problem and is actively looking for solutions.
If you have great content that addresses this specific problem in a better way than your competitors then you have the opportunity to start some kind of relationship with the prospect.
Indications of interest from prospects include following you on social media or signing up for a newsletter.
At this stage, the prospect has decided to go ahead and use your solution.
This involves reviewing all of the different services, packages, and options that you’re offering in order to decide what to buy.
At this stage, your prospect is completing a transaction and becoming a customer.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that this is the end of the funnel. They might be signing up for a free consultation.
Even if it is a final sale you may want to “up-sell” your customer into a more expensive product or service.
For the purposes of this discussion, I will assume that this is in fact the final stage of the funnel.
How do you use content in each stage of the marketing funnel?
A common mistake is creating general content as opposed to content that is specifically designed for each stage of the funnel.
Remember that your objective at each stage is only to move your customer from one stage to the next.
Let’s talk about how to use blogging to generate awareness.
A lot of websites create content and optimize it for search engines in order to generate traffic.
This results in awareness because your prospects will search for solutions then come across your website.
The content of the blog post is an opportunity for you to impress the prospect with your knowledge and expertise about this particular topic.
Of course, blog posts can be discovered in other ways beyond just search.
You can promote them on social media and if the content is interesting enough you might be able to convince social media influencers to promote the content for you.
Lead magnets usually consist of content that is a little more advanced than the content in a typical blog post – such as case studies, white papers, and research.
They’re usually provided for free return for an email address.
If the content of the lead magnet has genuine value then this will be an effective way to build an email list of prospective customers.
The content in the lead magnet shouldn’t just contain random industry information. The content in the lead magnet should meet all of this criteria:
It is of interest to your prospect AND naturally leads to the services you actually sell.
You can include ‘calls to action’ in the content that will direct them to your services and, if the quality of the content was high, the likelihood of making sales will be higher.