Content is key for success. It doesn’t matter if you have your own business or you are a Social Seller sharing content is important. But sharing content is not enough. Content needs to be relevant and interesting for your customers. There are a couple of content strategies you can use to be relevant for your customers and prospects. One of these is sharing different type of content in every stage of the sales funnel.
Different people have different opinions on what the sales funnel looks like. For this blog post I will use these 4 stages: Awareness, Education, Selection and Solution. But when your sales funnel looks different you can apply the same strategy, as long as you understand every stage of the funnel.
This is the first stage of the funnel. In this stage your prospects aren’t aware of your products or services. It often means your prospects don’t need a product or service you provide because they are not aware that it exist or they are not aware that they need it in their lives. The type of content you can share is called top of funnel content. This is content where you don’t talk about your products or services and you don’t talk about your brand in a sales way. This type of content is very light, can be funny, inspiring or interesting as long as it doesn’t talks about your products or services. Your prospects need to become aware of you and what it is that you do. This also works when you launch a new product with an exciting company.
Content goal: Create awareness around your company without talking about products or services
Type of content: Blog posts, fun campaigns, top of funnel ebook and white papers
This is the second stage of the sales funnel. In this stage your prospects have heard about you but they don’t see the value or the need to invest in a product or service. The type of content you need to share is middle of funnel content. You need to educate your prospect about the problems your product or service is going to solve. Prospects need to understand they have a challenge or a need. Your content needs to educate them about industry trends, ways to grow their business or how to be successful without talking about your own products and services. Prospects need to create a need for your product or service and you need to “create” this need.
Content goal: Your content needs to educate prospects about their needs and how they can improve the way they do business.
Type of content: Ebooks and white papers focused on education, blog posts from industry experts and influencers, industry trend focused, etc.
The third stage of the sales funnel is all about your product. Based on the content you’ve shared so far your prospects created a need for a product. In this stage you introduce your product and you explain how your product can help solving their problems. It is important that you prospect and see your product in this stage. This means you need to share a lot of images, demos, videos or free samples of your product. This is the stage where you can start using lead generation cards to try your product or service.
Content goal: Make sure that prospects get enough relevant information about your product, that they have a really good understanding of what your product or service does, how it works and how it helps their business.
Type of content: Customer stories, success stories, company stories, demo and trial content and all other content that explains your product or service.
This is the last stage of the sales funnel. In this stage prospects know they need a product or service, they have an understanding of the different vendors (including your product) and they start to compare the different options with each other. In this stage it is important to that you explain what you can offer compared to your competitors. Share content that explains the unique selling point of your product and service. Focus on the extra services your offer and what makes your product or service unique.
Content goal: Explain the difference between your products or services and your competitors. Keep in mind that your prospects looks in to competitor content as well.
Type content: Ebooks or white papers explain you and competitors, content about extra services you offer, customer stories, company success stories.
Social Selling goes across all channels, the content suggestions above help to share different types of content but building relationships goes across all stages.
With love, from Dublin..