Is there a content strategy — or even a process — that you could adopt today and considerably increase the number of sales your website generates?
Well, the world of marketing is always changing. New tools keep on emerging. Fresh thinkers put a new spin on old tactics. Not to mention the bar for quality, which keeps on rising. And most important is online users being exposed to more content than they can process.
There’s however a constant in all this — and that is, content. It goes to show that content marketing will never run out of fashion. It’s here to stay.
But what’s the point of investing in content marketing if it’s not bringing in sales? You’d argue that content marketing is a necessity for business survival. But then again, what’s a business without sales?
Well, here’s the thing: to generate a slew of sustainable, long-term traffic without investing a war chest of cash mountain, content marketing is the strategy to adopt.
At the surface level, nothing is complicated. The problem comes when it’s time to create content that generates sales. After all, that’s the very reason that you got into business in the first place. You wanted to make money.
So why not use the content you create as means to that end by adopting the following content marketing strategies?
Understand Conversion Funnels and How they work
This is the first step to creating a sales-driven piece of content. You have to begin by developing a firm grasp of how conversion works.
How you perceive the funnel will always vary depending on whether you’re just a website owner or a sales expert. The funnel may also take a different shape depending on the industry you operate in or your business model.
But at its core, conversion occurs in three broad stages — and that is, top, middle, and bottom.
At the top level, this is where you create awareness. This is where you let everybody know that your company exists, and that these are the products or services in your pipeline. In which case, users check you out after stumbling across your site in their random research.
They’ll be going around looking for an opinion on something — and that’s because they have some pressing issues that they’d like you to address.
They’re merely digging around the internet trenches trying to find answers. They want your insight, and that’s the only thing you can serve them at this point.
Once the customer knows about your brand, they’ll automatically find a way to enter into the second stage of the conversion stage, the middle phase.
Here, they’ll be evaluating the various options they’ve got. So they’ll be conducting a more specific research.
This is where they check out your products and services and determine whether or not it’s good for them.
After they’re done with this stage, they’ll proceed to the next stage where they decide on whether or not they can make a purchase. This is where you pour all your expertise. It’s where you educate your customers on the finer details of your products and services.
You’re also allowed to entice customers at this stage with a free consultation, demonstration, free trials, discounts, coupon, quotes, and pricing. Basically, anything that entices a customer to consider shelling out their hard-earned cash for your products and services is worth a shot at this stage.
Be Keen with How you Structure your Homepage
People bounce off your homepage for two reasons; i) for not understanding your value proposition and ii) for not trusting your business enough.
But mostly it’s because people treat the homepage as an after-thought. No one pays it enough attention to understand there’s a proper way of structuring it.
In other words, every piece of content that you throw in your homepage must be clear enough and in position to inspire trust.
First, ensure the headline in the hero section is clear enough and straight to the point.
You only have five seconds to capture your customers’ attention with this. What can you say to them that will win them over in an instant?
That’s the direction you want to take with the headline. This is where you spell out your selling point. And it has to be done most accurately and concisely such that anyone can understand.
Don’t get fancy with words here. If anything, the plainer your language, the better chance you have at winning them over. So steer clear of all the jargon and peppered language.
Remember to include customer Testimonials
Customers want proof. After you’ve spent time talking about yourself, they want to hear it from someone that benefited from your products or services. It’s not a matter of a positive review; they want the details of how a particular product or services worked for them.
Meaning there’s a way to structure customer testimonials:
Let the customer talk about the challenges they were facing before they discovered your product or services. After this, they can go ahead and talk about the tangible benefits associated with using your product. How did it address their problem? Were they satisfied?
Here’s a real-time example:
“We have been having trouble with developers for quite sometime. Most of whom promise you heaven but end up delivering something that’s the stack opposite. That was until someone suggested MediaOne Marketing. For once, we had a company that didn’t rush to set up an online portal for our business.
They took their time to talk to us and understand our goals and objectives. They even deployed their team on the ground to study the market and understand it fully before jumping on our project. MediaOne Marketing created a fantastic website for our business, and for that, we’re grateful.”
Pay Attention to your product page content
It doesn’t matter what you’re offering. Your product description must be compelling enough to make a reader take action. A time-proven and tested way to achieve this is by focusing on the benefits and not features like most people love to assume.
Another common mistake that people make all the time is by stating what their products or services do. They don’t sink any deeper to talk about anything that motivates their prospects to take action.
One thing to note is that people make decisions out of emotions. Logic always follow later. They want to know how a particular product or service will change their life.
So go slow on the feature and instead lead with benefits. It’s after your customers have decided to buy that you can take them through the other details.
Develop a Customer Persona
At this point, we’d like to assume that you know what type of content speaks to your customers the most. Now go ahead and create a customer persona that will be helping you with converting the bulk of them.
In other words, you’re investing in learning about the people you plan to sell to. What language do they speak? What products appeal to them the most? And what’s the nature of the problem whose solution they’re seeking?
Based on the findings, you will know what to adjust in your content marketing strategy. Here’s a series of questions to address while working on your buyers’ persona:
- Are you targeting a specific industry or a string of them? What’s the nature of this industry? Is it comprised of youth, older adults, or children?
- Is your product or service a complete solution, or is it a point product that only addresses part of the problem?
iii. Is the selling process complicated? Does it require you to involve influencers, approvers, or decision-makers? Can you speak to the customer directly and still convince them to take action or must you use a third party to win them over?
- What’s the best way to sell to these customers? What’s the best way to get them to make a purchase? Is it through direct sales, online sales, inside sales, or indirect sales?
- Is this a new market?
- What’s the average selling price of the product you’re offering and what’s the average sales cycles?
Keep in mind that your customers are not the same. This dictates that you develop more than one personas.
Have Different Content Format
You’re not just addressing the same kind of people. So expect your visitors to react differently to different content formats.
So you might want to mix it up instead of sticking to one particular content format.
Here are the different content formats to consider:
- Case studies
- Video marketing
Depending on your audience, you can always play around with these content formats until you find one that resonates with your customers best. The research you’ve conducted on the buyer’s persona and everything else should also help you come up with plenty of information for each type of content.
Another approach would be to personalize the content. You might also want to consider taking advantage of story-telling. Speaking of which, this is a sure-fire way to enhance your content and drive in more sales.
Be creative and figure out how to win your customers over with a good story. While at it, try to make sure the stories you tell evoke emotions. It’s also crucial that your customers relate to the story.
By diversifying the format of your audience, what you’ll be doing is appealing to a much wider audience. If a customer is opposed to huge blocks of content, then you have videos and infographics to target them.
Be Keen on Following News and Trends
You have to be updated to stay relevant. You have to be well aware of what’s happening locally, nationally, and regionally.
But even more important is the latest news in the industry you operate in. This is where you follow up on what’s going on with your competitors. What latest trick do they have up their sleeves?
If your competitor is having a field day with a new strategy they discovered, you should be among the first people to know about it.
Scour the internet for news sources and subscribe to some of the newsletters in your industry. Be sure to attend events.
Also, remember to seize every opportunity to promote yourself. Use what’s trending to improve your content. If you’re creative enough, this shouldn’t be something to struggle with.
Just find a way to weave the whole idea into your content, and you’ll be good to go.
People don’t like being sold to. Salesy and overly promotional posts are a huge turnoff in the world of business.
So here’s the thing: try using the 80/20 rule, where you focus on educating and engaging your audience 80 percent of the time and only using 20 percent of the time to promote yourself.
This should help you create a more organic relationship with the customers you attract. You want them to keep coming even when they’re not taking any action. And if they ever decide to take action, let it be in their own terms, after they’ve learned to trust you.
Remember to include a Call-to-action
This is one thing that marketers get wrong all the time. You can’t just be feeding your customers loads of cool stuff without showing them where to proceed after that.
It’s cool that you’ve been informing them. You’ve been educating them about different products and services. But what do you plan to get from all that effort? What do you want your site visitors to do at the end of it all?
It doesn’t have to be hard. After all, your visitors know you’re doing all that to promote yourself. They know you have a product you’re selling and if it happens they need it, then they won’t hesitate to take action.
You don’t have to be shy about it. At the end of every single blog content that you post, be sure to inform your readers that they can click on the link you’ve provided to make a purchase.
Social listening is an invaluable tool for increasing your overall conversion. It’s what you use to find out where the bulk of your audience can be found, what they’re talking about, and how receptive they’re when presented with a piece of content.
Social listening also allows you to act on the information you get and gain an advantage over those that are not taking advantage of the same. Go through forums and groups and study how the online community interacts with one another. That should be the style you emulate.
It’s also crucial that you be active on these platforms. Respond to some of the questions customers ask in groups and forums and direct them to your site for more info.
Partner with Influencers
Influencers are the right people to partner with if you consider yourself a content marketer. Look around for an influencer that you think can be an invaluable asset to your business. Reach out to them and offer to partner with them.
Ask them to not only share your product and services around but to feature it in the content they produce. If they’re vloggers, they can creatively come up with a video that promotes your products.
The influencers are also supposed to share your special offers to their following. If your resources allow it, established a full-fledged collaboration with that particular influencer.
Don’t Drag the Capturing Process
The earlier you try to get your customers to take action, the more you stand a chance to win them over. The point is to make the process easy and really quick.
If you’re targeting them on social media, don’t even drag them out of the app to convert them. With tools such as ‘shoppable posts’ on Instagram, you can quickly get your customers to purchase without even leaving the app.
For users that see your product through your page, at least have an option where they can click on ‘view product’ to go through the list of products you’re offering and make a transaction right away. The less you complicate the capturing process, the more likely they’ll be compelled to go through with a purchase.
The Final thought
You’re not just writing for SEO. You’re also writing to win some of the users you attract over, so they can proceed and take action. That’s how you succeed as a content marketer — when your content starts driving more sales, not just traffic.
A good content strategy is sales-driven, not traffic-driven. You want to increase the number of sales you’re generating, so why not focus on conversion on top of driving traffic.
Want to learn more about a sales-driven content strategy, talk to us today, and we’ll be glad to walk you even deeper into the rabbit hole.