How A Content Marketing Strategy Will Help Fill Your Marketing Funnel (Part 3)
Over the past couple articles in this series I’ve talked about the drastic shift in buyer behaviour we’re experiencing as more and more buyers turn to the Internet to do their research before making a purchase decision. (See part one or part two.) As you’ve likely experienced, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to market and sell to the modern buyer as they continue to tune out the mass marketing methods we’ve used forever.
Attempting to spray the masses with your marketing message is falling on deaf ears and blind eyes. If you want to really connect with and attract your ideal buyer, you need to focus on interacting with them on the mediums that they use and prefer. The shotgun approach to marketing is dead. You need a laser focused approach with specific messaging that will really speak to your ideal buyer.
Just A Quick Recap...
In part one I gave you a high-level overview of the buyer’s journey and what the buyer’s motivations are in each of the three stages they go through: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. You can read part one here.
In part two we got into the details of the Awareness stage. We talked about what the buyer’s objectives are and how to use specific tactics to meet the buyer’s objectives and nudge the prospect into your marketing funnel. You can read part two here.
In this article we’re going to dive into the details of the Consideration and Decision stages of the Buyer’s Journey. I’ll tell you what the buyer is looking for and what marketing tactics to use to keep them engaged and moving further into your marketing funnel. If you have all of the components in place properly then you end up with an automated sales process both that follows up with and nurtures your leads for you, which is really powerful.
In the last article we left off talking about how once your prospect has filled out your form to download your piece of premium content, you send out a 3-part email series, spread out over a few days. The purpose of those emails is to drive the prospect back to your blog, this time to answer some of the common sales questions you receive.
So Now What Do You Do?
Our next objective is to have the prospect further qualify themselves. We do this using the same method as last time - with another piece of premium content. We use the same method, placing a call-to-action or a CTA at the bottom of the blog posts. When clicked, the CTA will send the visitor to a landing page with a web form to complete to download this new premium content offer.
This new piece of premium content serves a different purpose than the first one though. This premium content piece acts more as a brand filter. The piece is “all about you” and when a prospect requests it, you know they are seriously considering your brand as a solution to their problem.
Once the prospect submits the form, they enter the Consideration stage. They’re now identified as a Marketing Qualified Lead and are ready to start receiving information from you that is product or service specific. This is a major step in your automated marketing process that most businesses miss.
Next we employ another 3-part email marketing follow-up campaign, just like we did when the prospect downloaded the Awareness stage premium content offer. This time we’re using the email campaign to address the common push backs or sales objections you normally encounter. These can be things like “your product or service costs too much” or “we’re too busy to change the way we’re doing things now”.
Here again, each of the emails in this series will link back to a blog post you’ve written specifically to overcome these types of objections. This step is an important part of the process because it saves your sales team time by not having to overcome the same sales push backs you encounter regularly.
Time For the Decision Stage
Our next objective in this process is to have the prospect perform another qualifying action. At the bottom of these blog posts we’re going to have another call-to-action, only this time instead of pointing at another piece of premium content, you’re going to make a sales offer. This could be any number of different things. Some offers that work well include free consultations, free trials, product comparison sheets, sales-oriented webinars and many more.
When the prospect takes action on your sales offer they have essentially raised their hand and can now be identified as a Sales Qualified Lead. The prospect has entered the Decision stage and at this point should be handed over to the sales team for further qualifying and to close the prospect.
Now you understand the buyer’s journey and how you can use content marketing at each stage throughout the marketing funnel. In my next article in this series I’ll begin to go into detail on how to create these different content marketing pieces so you can start to piece it all together. Soon you’ll have an awesome automated sales process that attracts your ideal customer, nurtures them along your marketing funnel and gets them ready for sales for a quick close.