Congratulations! You’ve made it to stage two of our content-related journey through the sales funnel.
This week, we’ll be looking at the role content marketing has in guiding prospects who are now aware of your company to discovering more about your brand and its offering. If you need a quick recap on stage one, you can find last week’s blog post here.
So, stage two — discovery. At this point, your audience is aware of your brand, having already seen, read, and used various pieces of your company’s content. It’s now time to help them learn more about your company and its values, as well as your offering.
You must still be careful, though, to make sure your content doesn’t trigger their ad blindness!
Content about your company
No one knows your company better than you do; what it does well, what its values are, and what it cares about. These are the characteristics that make your company unique, and they are the details you should be communicating to people familiarising themselves with your business.
As we mentioned, your company is unique, and these characteristics can vary wildly from business to business. But, no matter what your business is about, there are endless topics you can write about. Here are a few ideas:
- Your company is committed to achieving a gender-balanced workforce — Write about the challenges you’ve faced in achieving the balance, how you overcame them, and the solutions you’ve found helpful in striving for 50/50.
- Your company commits a portion of its profits to charity — Highlight some charities who you think are doing great work and then discuss the charities you actively support and why you support them.
- Your company makes every effort to be environmentally responsible — Talk about the impact businesses worldwide have on the environment, the difference that can be made to minimise that impact, and the measures your company has in place.
- Your company is always looking to innovate — Feature examples of successful innovations that have made people’s lives easier, discuss areas which you believe would benefit from new methods and ideas, then detail the innovations your company is responsible for.
Don’t be perturbed if none of the ideas above are suitable for your business. They all follow a similar pattern:
1) Talk about the benefits of one of your business’ characteristics, but in general terms and without referencing your company.
2) Highlight some examples of how it’s been done well by others and the positive impacts they have had.
3) Discuss what your company has done and the results achieved.
If your company already has testimonials about its previous work, these pieces of content are also fantastic opportunities to promote them and encourage readers to visit your website (which we’ll come to a bit later).
Point out pains and reveal the relievers
Every product or service relieves a pain point. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be necessary. From the humble window cleaner, who makes sure their customers have a clear view of the world outside their home, to Alexa, which allows Amazon to avoid the legal pain of spying on people while being disguised as a helpful household device.
The pains your product or service relieve should be an integral part of your general marketing efforts, and they’re particularly useful in dictating the narrative of your content.
In much the same way as content that promotes the distinctive characteristics of your business, content that helps people discover your products or services can follow a familiar pattern:
1) Emphasise the pain that people will be feeling and the negative effects it has on their day-to-day life.
2) Draw attention to the solutions to their problems and how their lives will change when the problem has been resolved.
3) Introduce your product or service, promote its features, and detail how it delivers the solution people are looking for.
If you’re looking for examples, you’re out of luck … only kidding, we wouldn’t do that to you. Here are a few generic ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Your product makes a process much faster to complete — Talk about the old process, its faults, and the frustration of how long it took to complete; highlight how customers could spend their time better if the process was shorter; then introduce your product and how it has shortened the process.
- Your product helps the customer save money —Emphasise the financial impact that customers have been dealing with and the spending restrictions it has put them under, then hypothesise about how that money could be better used if it wasn’t being spent on the old product. Finally, introduce your product and focus on the cost savings customers will experience after purchasing it.
- Your service includes a free consultation — Write about the importance of understanding exactly what the customer wants, the problems a lack of understanding can have, what can be achieved with a clear understanding, and how you dedicate the time necessary to ensure you know exactly what your customer is looking for.
These examples may not be particularly impactful, but that’s because they don’t hone in on a specific pain. When your content focuses on the circumstances surrounding a particularly painful problem that your offering removes, it is sure to make your product or service an attractive proposition.
Always direct the reader to your website
Call to actions (CTAs) are an important feature of any good content marketing campaign. There’s only so much you can tell a reader in your content before they get bored or realise they’ve been reading for 10 minutes. The CTA is an opportunity for you to guide the reader to an additional resource; somewhere they can find out more or complete a desired action.
When you’re trying to help people discover more about your company and your offering, what better place to direct them to than your website?
At the end of every communication, be sure to include a hyperlink back to a relevant part of your website. If your content tells the reader more about your company, consider directing them to your ‘About’ page, or a ‘Values’ page if you have one. When your content focuses on the benefits of your offering, send readers to you ‘Features’ page to learn more.
Even if you don’t think your website has a page that expands on the information in your content, that doesn’t mean you should abandon the CTA. Instead, use it to drive people to your contact page and encourage them to give you a call or send a message.
We’re moving on to stage 3
Are people now aware of your business? Yes. And they’re discovering more about your brand and its offering? Absolutely.
Okay then, it’s time for us to move on to stage three — evaluation.
If you can’t wait for the next instalment of our ‘Supplementing the Sales Funnel’ series and you’d like to chat to one of our team about how content marketing can drive sales for your company, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!