November 9, 2018 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything you can with your content, but it still doesn’t convert into sales? You are using all the latest tips and tricks, having one call to action at the bottom of the page, and keeping the length of the content optimized at 1800-2100 words. But all of this is just marketing tactics hell, and even though it helps to know these things, if the underlying principles and strategies are not in place, nothing will work.
You might think, what are those underlying principles that need to be in place for the tactical stuff to work? It is the way content works and the three different ways you need to use and create content. You need a simple sales funnel that not only divides your customers into different segments but divides your content into them as well. Here is a simple but effective way your content can convert people into customers.
There are three different types of content. The first one is the content designed for attracting eyeballs, also know as lead-generating content. After that, comes the lead that explains who you are, what you do, and why you do it to the potential customers. This type of content takes care of the potential customers and is called lead-nurturing content. The last type of content is the one that sells your products and services to the leads and is called lead-converting content.
Image via Flickr by Listshack
This is the type of content that gets eyeballs on your page, emails coming in, and phones ringing. This content is focused on getting random strangers onto your email list or your website. The content here should be short, snappy, and sprinkled with emotions, and it should leave the visitors wanting more from you. The way they can get more out of you is by giving you their email or any other contact information so you can continue communication with them.
Lead-generating content doesn’t have to be about your product in general. It can be about multiple things regarding your business. Nike is a shoe company, but rarely do you see a commercial of theirs talking about shoes. They talk about their values — supporting athletes and people with athletic tendencies. Apple does almost the same — they make commercials about breaking the status quo, disrupting reality, and being creative. But they sell phones and computers.
You can be creative when writing your lead-generating content, and you don’t even have to talk about your product. Actually, you shouldn’t talk about your product because you don’t yet have the trust of the people you are trying to sell.
When you get people to notice you (your content) and they give you their email (ways of furthering communication with them), it’s time to send them a different type of content. This content is what helps you build trust with them.
So you’ve got a potential customer’s email address, and now it’s time to send them something. But what do you send them? The wrong answer is a sales pitch. The right answer is lead-nurturing content.
When a person gives you their email address — or any other contact information — they want to hear more from you. They are giving you a way for you to communicate more with them. They are saying, “Here is my contact info. Send me things. I look forward to reading it.”
The things that you should send them now are long(er), more in-depth posts that explain the story behind your company. People want to create an emotional connection with the thing they want to buy. That is impossible to do if it’s just a large corporation who couldn’t care less about a single individual. But if there is a story behind the company and the founder’s vision, and the specific benefits of the product or services they have will benefit the individual, they will feel connected.
Buying bottled water is almost a commodity these days. But if there is a small story on the label behind that says, “I created the most optimized mineral water in the country so that my pregnant wife could stay at home and raise our child,” then you suddenly feel a connection with that type of bottled water. It’s no longer, “Let me take any one of these water bottles.” It becomes, “Let me help this guy raise his family.”
Lead nurturing helps us gain trust from the people with whom we communicate often. And then, all that is left is to send them the type of content that actually sells your product or service.
When you’ve gained the trust of your audience and they know that you are in this for more than just money, then it’s time to sell. At this point, selling isn’t some sleazy tactic that a marketer uses to scam you for thousands of dollars.
At this point, selling becomes a duty from your side. You have a product or service that genuinely helps your audience solve a problem in their life, and your customer trusts that you will do what is in their best interest, not yours.
So selling your customer a solution isn’t sleazy; it’s a duty to help out the people who trust you. It’s like having a magic wand that helps your friend solve a burning pain in their life. You shouldn’t even debate whether to use or not’ you simply use it because you are a good friend.
Only when you gain the trust of your audience should you use lead-converting content. Not before because that will lead to your audience distrusting you.
This type of content is mostly found on sales pages and at the ends of the email funnel. If you’ve sent your audience 10 emails already and they’ve responded positively to them, you can now sell them products or services in the next email. They will be grateful for it.
Using a sales funnel to inform your content helps you generate leads and turn those leads into sales.
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