This sponsored post is produced in association with Citrix GoToWebinar.
The power of online connectivity has empowered a new generation of marketers to evolve beyond their old fire-and-forget roles and become the MVPs of business growth. Today, marketers are creating invaluable support systems for their sales colleagues by promoting stage-specific content for sales funnels.
No question: Useful and relevant content is one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of your sales team. Therefore, you need to develop a strategic approach to content to help qualify, nurture, and convert leads into loyal customers.
How important has it become? A 2014 Regalix Research survey showed that ‘understanding the customer buying journey’ is a priority for 87 percent of marketers, followed by ‘educating and influencing purchase by mapping the right content to key stages in the customer buying journey’ (76 percent), and ‘attributing and measuring performance of channels used by customers in their buying journey’ is a priority for 57 percent.
Understanding the 3 key stages in a sales funnel
Before you attempt to make your customer’s journey look as effortless as gravity working on a falling apple from a tree, you need to have a clear idea of what the content marketing funnel looks like.
Once you get familiar with the mindset of a prospect at each stage of your sales funnel, it becomes a lot easier to map out your content plan. For the sake of simplicity, here’s a short and sweet breakdown of the three stages in a content marketing driven sales funnel
As you can see, marketers formulate different content for different needs in the customer’s journey to organically automate business growth. IDC defines sales enablement as “delivery of the right information to the right person at the right time and in the right place.”
It’s all about matching content with context and distributing it to the right channel, at the right time in the buyer’s journey. Any content you create or repurpose for your sales funnel should build on previous interactions to ensure everyone in your team adds their own unique form of value proposition to entice customers further.
The payoff is already well-documented. According to the 2014 DemandGen study, 82 percent of B2B buyers viewed five or more pieces of content, and 61 percent of B2B buyers agreed that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content for each stage of the purchase process.
Any content you create or repurpose for your sales funnel should build on previous interactions to ensure everyone in your team adds their own unique spice of value proposition to entice customers further.
According to the 2014 DemandGen study, 82 percent of B2B buyers viewed 5 or more pieces of content, and 61 percent of B2B buyers agreed that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content for each stage of the purchase process.
Creating your sales funnel content template
Before you get started with mapping out your content to superpower your sales funnel, it’s critical to have a good idea of the rational pathway a lead would take when they dive deep into your sales funnel. In order to identify your buyer’s journey route, you need to first ask the right questions to determine their content consumption patterns, such as:
- What pages did your audience visit and in what order did they do so?
- What type of content does your audience prefer and how much time do they spend consuming it?
- Which offers led to the maximum conversions and which ones failed?
- What emails did they click through?
In all probability, you will find quite a few logical conversion routes. But on closer examination, you can easily pick out the most common, shortest, and most profitable routes to optimize your sales funnel content further.
Here is a basic content marketing top-to-bottom sales funnel conversion route commonly used and repurposed by thousands of businesses worldwide:
Visit company blog >> Activate ebook call-to-action >> Click through to page with ebook nurturing your product/service offer >> Navigate to product pages >> Click through to page with webinar registration and free case study download link >> Receive webinar streaming link and free product trial email >> Watch webinar and download free trial >> Receive exclusive offers >> Product purchase.
Webinars in particular, offer a dynamic way to deliver top-of-funnel content. They give new prospects a chance to get an undiluted taste of your corporate personality. Through live informative interactions, you can really solidify your status as a thought leader in their view in a way no whitepaper can hope to offer.
With key details like company size, role in company, professional requirements, and above all else, a direct webinar interaction in your hand, you can instantly tap into a stream of qualified leads and prospects who may offer higher conversions.
Here is a sample sales funnel conversion route that is webinar-driven commonly used by marketers as a more direct approach to attract qualified leads:
Pre-announce optimized landing page >> Capture registration details >> Send reminder mail >> Run webinar >> Send follow-up mail with limited period product trial or some exclusive offers >> Product purchase.
You can also use webinars to double down on customer retention and squeeze some more juice out of your sales funnel by making more upsells once users have purchased your product. For instance, you can follow up with another webinar series shedding more light on how to use your product to its fullest potential and preview some more products that your customers would like.
The webinar content format is good at enabling marketers to organically promote their products as an extension of their services and promote relevant value offers to your customers without taking them on a ride through your entire sales funnel again.
It all boils down to how well you can stir up buyer interest through well-placed content by connecting with customers’ needs. If you get this right, you can effortlessly ramp up the returns generated through your sales funnel.
It all can be summed up in two succinct points:
In the first stage of your sales funnel, ensure you educate your lead based not on your solution, but on their need.
And in the evaluation and purchase stages, use the aura of authority you have created by being a generous problem solver to smoothly shepherd your customers all the way to purchasing your product.
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