When creating marketing content for a professional blog or social media accounts, you and your business should have one primary goal: Convert blog and social media visitors into customers. For a small number of professionals and businesses, content is the product and revenue generated through advertising and/or website subscriptions, but most small businesses are interested in creating web content as a marketing tool, and it’s imperative that your content is organized, written and presented in the right way in order to maximize its marketing effectiveness.
What Is The Funnel, And Why Is It Important?
A marketing funnel is a marketing model that illustrates how consumers make the decision to purchase a product or service. Since the ultimate goal of your content marketing is to convert visitors and readers into customers, understanding how a marketing funnel works can help you maximize the effectiveness of your content.
Spiraling Down The Funnel
The “outer rim” of the funnel includes the first steps of the process. Here, your readers are aware of you and your product or service and they are looking to purchase a product or service, but they have not yet made a purchasing decision and need more information. In the middle of the funnel, you have narrowed your audience down to those who definitely know they need a product or service you offer, may have developed a positive opinion of you and your product or service but have not yet decided to make a purchase. Those who make the decision to purchase your product or service are those left at the end of the funnel.
It is easy to imagine the three basic stages of a marketing funnel in relation to your web marketing as follows: At the first stage, potential customers and visitors are exposed to your advertising and other marketing efforts, including social media content that may appear in searches or be shared by others. If they decide to read your blog and social media content, they should be directed to your website or to your Calls To Action (CTA). Those that click through to your website advance from the first stage to the second, and those that decide to purchase your product or service after visiting your website or blog, or after contacting your sales team, advance to the third. As you can see, it is absolutely crucial that your web content effectively drives visitors through the funnel to your website or your sales team – otherwise your content is ineffective and will yield poor results.
Content Marketing Calls To Action
In an archived blog post, we explained the importance of CTAs on your website. Many CTAs that small businesses neglect to add to their websites can be surprisingly obvious, such as prominently displaying a phone number or email address. With marketing content, many missed CTAs are also very obvious and straightforward. To begin, it is important to establish a secondary goal before the actual content is written. Your primary goal should always be to drive content to your website or blog, but it is equally important to establish what you currently want your marketing to accomplish – are you interested in attracting new customers, or retaining existing ones? Are you interested in selling a specific product or service, or just generally marketing your business? Are you making a straightforward appeal to readers, or are you promoting a sale or contest to attract customers?
Once you have established exactly what you want to accomplish with your marketing, it is now important to ensure that CTAs are used effectively throughout your content. Make sure you are clear about what you’re offering to readers, and that it directly fits into your secondary marketing goal – attempting to be mysterious or cryptic is often a recipe for disaster. Next, make sure that your most powerful CTAs appear early in your content, or “above the fold”, so that more readers are exposed to these CTAs before they lost interest and stop reading. If you can, include a prominent image that also directly relates to your goal, and try to include it with your blog and each social media update. Finally, and most importantly, make sure you have included links back to your blog and/or website, and that the text or image accompanying the link is a prominent CTA. Just as it may seem obvious to include a phone number or email address as CTAs on your website, it is equally important and obvious to include prominent links as CTA’s in your content marketing, but many professional marketers note that these links are often mishandled or even omitted.
In our next post, we will discuss website landing pages and whether or not you should create them for your content marketing campaigns.