How Important Is Content Strategy to Your Sales
“Content is king”. We’ve all heard this quote in internet marketing. Content strategy this, content strategy that. It’s been repeated ad nauseum at this point. “What do you mean ‘content is king’? Cash is king!” Yeah, I’m with you there. If you’re a hard-nosed businessman, it’s natural to treat this quote with skepticism. We’ve all been told about how something works better than the other — but you really can’t invest in everything, right? After all, resources are limited. Money is limited. You have to dump it where it really counts.
But really, nothing works exclusively out of another. Everything works in synergy. (Yeah, another buzzword.) What if we tell you that a winning content strategy is a winning sales strategy? It isn’t just MBA make-believe, and we’re here to tell you why:
The Sales Funnel
The sales funnel describes the shape of the sales process.
At the first level, there’s awareness. This involves advertising your idea, need, product, or brand to a lot of people. To save resources, you target specific types of prospects. After all, you’re not trying to sell to everybody. You’re selling to those who need your offering. You try and engage these prospects in the hope of turning them into contacts. You make yourself available to them.
Next, these big pile of prospects will slither through the consideration stage. The number is smaller now. Not every prospect would decide that your product is useful to them in the meantime. At this point, you’re receiving inquiries from interested people. It’s good that they’re skeptical. It means that they haven’t completely ignored you. We call them leads. These are people contemplating to try your product or service. They already know they need the offering, but they’re not sure that it’s your offering they need.
After they decide that you’re Mr. Right, it trickles down to purchase stage. From ten fingers, we’re now down to the last one or two. In some days, none. This is where your leads convert into paying customers. The challenge after that is turning them into regular paying customers, but we’ll cross the bridge when we get there!
Anyone who had sales experience can tell you how accurate this is. And of course, you know this, too. A winning sales strategy is optimizing this funnel to its fullest potential — that is, making sure it flows as smoothly as possible. You cannot generate customers without a right amount of leads, and you cannot generate leads without a right amount of prospects. More importantly, you cannot expect prospects and leads to help themselves turn into customers. You need to push it along.
How Does Content Strategy Factor Into Sales?
When we think about content marketing, we only think about it like it’s supposed to generate attention. We only think about it like its only purpose sits on top of the funnel. That’s not the winning content strategy. You want to align your content production to your sales funnel.
Keyword: Generate traffic. At this part of the funnel, the messages of your content should focus on their personal need for your product and service. They don’t need to know about the mission-vision of your company. They need to know that their problems are made unnecessary because something existing already solves it. That’s it.
The audience for this stage has little time for games. Get to your point immediately. Fewer words, more action sentences. They are also less tolerant to in-your-face sales techniques. So if you’re planning on spamming your article with “sales leads” hoping you would get better results, you may want to consider which stage of the funnel your readers are in.
You should also consider that your audience might not be aware of the need for your product or service. They might not even be aware of your product or service! This means they might not have been searching for it at all. If you want to touch your audience, you might need to create tangential content that highlights the need for your product. Your product solves ant infestation? Create content about “how to solve ant infestation”, then add your product into a sweet spot on your list.
One last thing: You must add a way for the customers to directly contact your company. That’s the only way to generate leads from prospects.
At this part of the funnel, the message of your content should focus on persuading your leads to purchase your product. You want them to know that you’re the best choice among the other alternatives. Alternatives don’t mean direct competitors. For example, meal plan delivery services are competing with fast food burgers, pizza, and Chinese takeout.
Here, the audience already knows the product. They only want to decide. Here, you create content like “5 reasons why”, “Alternative A vs Alternative B” — create content with credible sources, compelling arguments, and anything else that persuades. You want them to think that it’s their winning idea to buy the product.
Congratulations! Your leads want to purchase. Direct them to a sales page to solidify intent. You already had them convinced to buy at this point, so don’t distract them. Make your sales page easy, smooth, and visually striking.
After that, the challenge is retaining customers — but that’s a separate blog post!
Of course, there’s more to a content strategy that this basic demonstration. We only want you to grasp how the role of a winning content strategy intertwines with a winning sales strategy. If you want to implement this on your website, you can follow our blog to get more tips on how to do it. Of course, if you really want to start growing your business, we can do it for you.
See what I did there? I’m trying to generate leads. Now go click!