Tag Archives: Sales Funnel

Importance of content writing throughout the sales funnel

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.

Read Content matters at every layer of your marketing funnel.

Typically, a sales funnel looks like this:

importance-of-content-writing-throughout-the-sales-funnel

As you can see in the image, normally there are four stages in your sales funnel:

  1. Awareness and education
  2. Interest
  3. Decision
  4. Sale

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

awareness-and-education-with-content-writing

In this phase of the sales funnel, you may be targeting, typically, two types of customers (or clients):

  1. Those who are totally unaware that they need your product.
  2. 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

the-customer-is-interested

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

the-customer-is-ready-to-buy

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

content writing for existing customers

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?

  1. Provide answers to all their after-sale questions so that they don’t have to depend on your support team.
  2. Create a comprehensive FAQs section and regularly update it.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

4 stages of buyer’s journey and the role of effective content writing

4 stages of a buyers journeyDifferent marketers may have different views on how many stages a buyer goes through before making a purchase, what comes to my mind is that the 4 stages of a buyer’s journey are:

  1. Awareness that one needs a particular product or service
  2. Research, and information gathering and idea exchange about the needed product or service
  3. When the buyer decides to go with a particular product or service
  4. The buyer purchases that particular product or service

At every stage of a buyer’s journey your content writing can play a vital role. Whether it is stage 1 or stage 4, your content is indispensable, and even a small oversight can send your prospective customer or client scurrying away. Now let’s explore these individual stages and see how your content writing can lead your prospect up till the conclusion of the fourth state.

Awareness that one needs a particular product or service

This awareness can be voluntary, induced by a friend, a family member, or a colleague, or by your content. Your content writing becomes crucial in this first stage of the buyer’s journey if you need to make the buyer aware of the need for him to go for your product or service.

Take for example my content writing and content marketing services. You hire me because

  • You know that effective content writing and content marketing can improve your conversion rate, your search engine rankings, and consequently, get you more business;
  • You have read material that has made you aware of the fact that you can use effective content writing to grow your business without spending a ton of money on online advertising.

Sometimes the buyer knows that there is a particular product or service that is being used by many people, but somehow, she is not convinced that she herself needs that product or service. At this stage, your convincing content writing can make her aware of the fact that even she requires that product or service.

Sometimes the buyer isn’t even aware that she needs your service. There are many business owners with very badly written content on their websites and consequently the conversion rate is either zero or very low. They are totally disappointed with the website. They either end up thinking that what they offer is not needed or at least not needed from them, or they try out various things without really knowing what they want.

In such circumstances, educational content can help. If your business is not doing well due to your content, through my content writing, I can make you aware. But how are you going to find me without knowing that you need my content writing service?

For that, you must be able to find my website for search terms like “how can I sell more from my website?”, “how can I improve my conversion rate?”, “how can I improve my search engine rankings?”, and so on. Through strategic content writing, I must make you aware that there is a solution available for your problem.

Research, and information gathering, and idea exchange about the needed product or service

Once a person realizes that she may actually have a use for a particular product or service, she starts doing research. She wouldn’t like to settle for the first product (or service) she comes across. She would like to know all her options. Normally she will do research on Google. She may also look through various forums. She may ask on Facebook and Twitter. She may read blog posts.

This is the stage when helpful content that you may have published elsewhere (other websites, blogs and social networks) may prompt her to visit your website. Even content published on your own blog may help her know more about how her need can be satisfied with your product or service.

Many people decide to hire my content writing service after reading my blog posts. I share so much information on content writing and content marketing that my clients are convinced that I know my stuff.

When the buyer decides to go with a particular product or service

Just because a buyer has decided to go with your product it doesn’t mean you can rest assured. She can leave in the middle of making a payment. Once your customer has decided that she is going to do business with you, you need to convince her that

  • You are reliable and trustworthy
  • You are going to provide value for money
  • You are going to be there in case there is a problem
  • She is getting a good deal by not getting the same product from somewhere else

The buyer purchases that particular product or service

Most of the businesses claim that 40% of their business comes from repeat customers – customers who have already done business with them and have had good experience.

Your existing customers are your best leads; don’t let them go and don’t let them forget about your business. Maybe you are selling multiple products or service. Having experienced satisfaction after doing business with you, they would rather do business with you again than try someone untested, even when they’re purchasing something totally different.

Having gotten a few blog posts or webpages written by me, many of my clients return for random content writing assignments or even for ongoing content writing jobs. This is because even after years, they remember my services because I’m constantly publishing content on my blog and also send them email updates.

Your content writing can help your buyer throughout her buyer’s journey.

Content matters at every layer of your marketing funnel

Most of the people think that content matters only till people have reached your website. Once they are there, they are simply going to stay or go away if they don’t want to buy from you. This is like telling people to visit your brick and mortar store and then not attending to them once they have entered your store. How much care and attention you give to people who have come to your shop or office? You show them everything you have got. You employ best people (according to your capacity) who guide your prospective customers and clients through your various offerings and make sure people don’t miss out on anything important.

The same sort of attention is needed once people are on your website. Whether they are on your homepage, your landing page or one of the in-between pages in your sales and marketing funnel (by the way, do you have a logically arranged funnel on your website?) It’s very crucial that they stay focused and don’t lose track, because it is very easy to lose track on the Internet. People may suddenly move away without even realising. There are so many distractions on an average computer or mobile device that even in the midst of making a purchase people can get distracted and end up going through an endless stream of Facebook updates, realising after a couple of hours that they were trying to purchase something from a website they can no longer recall.

What exactly is marketing funnel and how your content keeps it closely focused

Or even sales funnel?

This is how a marketing funnel looks:

Quality content at every layer of your marketing funnel

In terms of content marketing, it means making people aware of your presence, or the presence of your product or service, through continuously writing, publishing and broadcasting highly relevant and quality content. The more content people get from you the more aware they become of you, your product, or your service. In the context of my own business, the more you read my content, the easier it will be for you to decide whether you want to do business with me or not in case your business needs quality content.

Provided that they are aware of your existence they may consider doing business with you and while they are considering it, they may visit your website multiple times to explore various options and read more about your offer. This is the place where you need to keep them hooked. It’s no use creating great content trying to create awareness and then losing your customers and clients once they start exploring your website.

In the “intent” stage they intend to purchase from you and now it depends on your flow. What is the purchase experience? Is it straightforward or is it replete with distractions? Is your copy engaging or totally indifferent (you have already assumed that they are going to buy). Does your content keep talking to them till the checkout form?

Eventually they purchase. Remember that even before filling up their credit card details they can get distracted or develop a doubt. Hold their hand through your content. Be with them. Keep them hooked.

Is your job done after someone has done business with you? For most of the businesses, around 40% is repeat business, that is, those who have already done business with you and have had a good experience, preferably do business with you rather than with someone else. This also holds true for my own content writing business: unless I truly screw things up, people for whom I have already written content keep on hiring me even if they contact me once or twice a year.

After they have purchased your product or service you need to keep the channels of communication running. Customer loyalty depends on 2 factors: the sort of experience they have with your product or service, and the way you keep on communicating with them and providing them all the information they need, promptly. Actually, after they have already bought from you it’s more important to pay close attention to the sort of content you’re providing them through blogging, helpful tutorials, social networking updates and more importantly, email newsletter.

Provided they are totally happy with your product and they are thrilled with your content, they become your advocates. The more advocates you have, the easier it becomes for your marketing funnel to attract new customers and leads. That’s why it’s very important to take your content seriously at every layer of your marketing funnel.