Content writing is not just about improving SEO – although without content writing there can be no SEO, but that’s another matter.
Throughout your sales funnel, high-quality content plays an important role. Even small oversights can send your prospects away to your competitor.
Typically, a sales funnel looks like this:
As you can see in the image, normally there are four stages in your sales funnel:
- Awareness and education
Actually, there should also be an after-sale section in the sales funnel but normally it is not included (it should be).
The need to make your customers and clients aware and educate them about the benefits of your product or service underpins the essence of content marketing.
These days I’m working with a client who is planning to launch his service. He believes that most of his clients are unaware of the benefits of the services he is planning to offer. Hence, in the beginning, he wants to focus on the “awareness and education” part of the sales funnel through his content. For that he is hiring my content writing services.
Content writing for awareness and education
In this phase of the sales funnel, you may be targeting, typically, two types of customers (or clients):
- Those who are totally unaware that they need your product.
- Those who know what they need but don’t know how to find a solution and where to find it.
The first type of customers under this stage of your sales funnel, those who are unaware that they need your product, need to be educated. They have no idea what they are missing.
Suppose, there is a company that is going through work-management chaos, but it has never crossed their minds that a tool like Slack or Asana can help them streamline their operations. They might not even be aware of the concept of some “project management” tool.
Since they don’t know that such a tool exists, they may not even look for it. Although, day by day it’s becoming very difficult to manage their projects.
You need to make these people aware. You need to educate them through targeted content writing.
Again using the project-management-problem scenario, one of the managers may search for “how to solve project management problems”, or “cannot manage projects properly”, or “project management tips”, and such.
If you are selling a project management software, wouldn’t it be nice if people searching for such solutions come to your website?
A good example is Open Forum by American Express. The blog provides hard-core business advice. People don’t even have to be American Express customers. They may not even know what sort of services American Express provides. But they have business-related problems and solutions to these problems exist on Open Forum. When they visit Open Forum, when they visit it regularly, they begin to realize that many of the business problems that they face can be solved by using some of the American Express financial solutions.
You can apply the same content writing technique to make people aware of your product or service and educate them about its benefits.
During this phase, it is also important that you capture email addresses of your prospective customers so that you can send them regular updates. It is only due to the strength of your content writing that people subscribe to your mailing list.
Content writing during the “interest”phase of the sales funnel
In the interest phase of the sales funnel people are interested in a solution. They need to be convinced. They have different options in front of them. Through consistent and quality content writing you must convey to them there is a great solution to your problem that exists and it exists with you.
This is the phase when they know that (referring to the above project management problem) there are various project management software solutions available for their particular problem.
You need to keep in touch but not in the conventional sense.
Provide them valuable content on an ongoing basis. Keep their interest alive by providing them quality content on a consistent basis. Without being pushy, constantly, subtly, keep communicating to them how your solution can solve their problem.
He or she may explore other options available in the market. All the more reason you stand out by continuously publishing quality content on your own website as well as using other platforms. You should be visible and your content writing should be relatable to your business.
The decision-making stage of your sales funnel
At this stage, your customer is ready to buy from you. This is a crucial stage. Often the customer develops cold feet (because he or she finally must shell out money). At this stage, you should reassure him or her that he or she is making the right choice.
Your existing content plays a very important role. Your content writing needs to hook your customer who is about to buy from you so that he or she is not distracted or, there is no confusing information on your website to change his or her decision.
You must have noticed that above I have continuously used the expression “phase”, but suddenly I started using “stage”.
I did that purposely.
A phase can last for a long time, in many instances, even years. A stage, on the other hand, is short and hence, more crucial.
The importance of content writing when the sale has happened
Your job is not done as soon as the sale has taken place. Through high-value content writing you can always keep in touch with your existing customers. The chance of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while the chance of selling to a new customer is 5-20% (source).
Many companies claim that 40% of their business comes from existing clients so, feeding high quality content to existing customers – customers who have already purchased from you – is as important as, and in many cases, even more important than, writing content for completely new customers.
How can your content writing help you keep in touch with your existing customers?
- Provide answers to all their after-sale questions so that they don’t have to depend on your support team.
- Create a comprehensive FAQs section and regularly update it.
- Send email updates solely to your existing customers with new offers or complimentary offers or related offers (based on their past purchase decisions). Cross selling, for example, and up-selling.
- Create an online community through your blog and bulletin board where your existing customers can interact with their fellow customers and interact with you and fellow customers.
The importance of content writing throughout your sales funnel needs to be well defined and recognized. Optimizing and publishing high-quality content throughout your sales funnel can help you create a tightly packed, high-performance sales-funnel that turns casual visitors into hot leads and hot leads into paying customers and paying customers into repeat customers, on an ongoing basis.