If you paid attention in science class, you know that DNA is the biological molecule that’s responsible for coding the functioning and development of every living creature. Metaphorically speaking, in the world of online advertising, the content is necessary to the functioning and development of an effective marketing strategy. The inbound marketing explosion over the past couple of years shows no sign of fading, so the importance of delivering engaging content at every stage of the sales funnel will continue for the foreseeable future.
Content is the Key to Grabbing Attention
The majority of your potential customers aren’t ready to buy, so it’s up to you to be discovered by them in advance. They may not be looking at products, but they are engaging in searches on certain areas of interest. It is up to you to be where they’re hanging out and grab their attention via marketing and content that coincides with these interests. Blog posts on hot topics in their field are effective, as is sharing content through your social media profile.
Turn Strangers into Friends
Once you’ve gotten their attention, you can use content to transition a lead into a friend. They’re already on your blog or are following you on social media because of your interesting material, so now it’s time to draw them in. You not only want to drive traffic to your site, but you also want their contact information for follow-up. Leaving their name and email address is a small price for them to pay when you’re delivering educational, interesting material.
You Need Content to Nurture Leads
While your lead may not be ready to purchase, you still need to be consistent with your marketing and content message. You want to be helpful, but not sales-y. You want to be their ally, not their vendor. Content at this point in the sales funnel should be properly targeted to educate them, keep them engaged and earn their trust. You want them to see your company as an authority, so deliver content that proves it.
Convert Customers Through Engaging Content
The end is in sight and your lead is now this close to buying. You’ve established yourself as a trusted source, so you’ve made the short list along with a few competitors. How can you use marketing and content to ink the deal? Keep in mind that content isn’t always text; it can be a customer testimonial, free onsite demonstration of your product, or product quote. Now might be the time to issue a coupon or offer a “short time only” discount.
Sharable Content Makes Satisfied Customers Your Biggest Promoters
A satisfied customer is your best asset, so there are still marketing and content sharing opportunities even after you’ve closed the deal. Encourage your customers to communicate their experience with social media followers or post comments on consumer review sites. Incentives can be effective here, too. A bonus or freebie will encourage repeat business from customers, and it's a small price to pay for the publicity.