When some marketers think of content strategy, the first objectives that come to mind are boosting placement in search rankings. While this is a core objective of your site’s content, it also plays the major role communicating information to visitors for conversion.

If you are just joining us, feel free to check out the first article in this series that focused on the three main stages of that sales cycle and the second article that focused on  methods for identifying your audience personas.

In the last part of our three-part series on Content Strategy for Your Sales Funnel, we will discuss how to use content to effectively alleviate your customer’s pain points.After reviewing the three stages of the sales funnel and audience personas, we are putting it all together for an optimized funnel.

Researching Your Customer’s Pain Points

Visitors who come to your site do so because they’re searching for solutions to an issue that they haven’t solved themselves. This issue is otherwise known as a pain point and understanding how content leads to the solution is crucial to the effectiveness of your sales funnel.

Identifying Pain Points

Last blog, we discussed identifying pain points by using hypotheticals on personas. This method is effective when there’s limited customer data available or if your organization is targeting an untapped market.

Another method of identifying pain points is by researching what customers are talking about. Some great places for customer research are:

  • Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Quora
  • Professional Forums: Server Fault and Stack Exchange
  • Relevant Publications: ZDNet, IEEE Computer Society and CIO
  • Search Engine Tools: Google Trends

Keep in mind that most of these sites host conversations that are focused around the top of the funnel and should be thought of as the starting point to your research.

Creating Content to The Pain Points

So far, we’ve explored the three main stages of the sales funnel and how they influence a customer’s journey to conversion. An effective content strategy will have a mixture of content types that strengthen and complete the sales funnel. While it’s possible for visitors to convert at any stage, certain types of content are more effective at different stages of the sales funnel.

Stage 1: Awareness

The top of the funnel or Stage 1 fills the gap between a visitor finding your site and understanding your offer. A visitor pain points will be focused around understanding their issue, looking for information and direction on what to do next. The types of content that allow for detailed information are articles, blogs, webinars, guides, videos, and newsletters.

Stage 2: Consideration

In this stage of the sales funnel, visitors are more informed about their issue and have a direction for their desired outcome. Content should present why your organization’s solutions will best lead them to that desired outcome. Content types that are particularly persuasive are case studies, instructional content, demos and data sheets.

Stage 3: Commitment

The bottom of the funnel is where visitors have picked your product or service to alleviate their issue. Visitors who’ve reached this stage have compared products, weighed benefits, and intend to convert. Content types that reinforce product values for conversion are customer testimonials and product reviews.

Auditing Your Sales Funnel

The key to gaining conversions through your sales funnel is by optimizing each stage to work together. Managing the effectiveness of your funnel requires a combination of benchmarks set according to business goals and content audits through analytical tools like Google Analytics.

The benchmarks used for accessing your content strategy is dependent on the audiences and personas that you’re writing to. Content that is directed at C-level directors in a niche industry will have a smaller pool of traffic than a consumer goods like shoes.

More complicated content strategies may have multiple audience focuses and personas, making audits more complicated. A solid content will take into consideration the following metrics by page:

  • Entrances – The number of entries by visitors to the site.
  • Average Time on Page – The average amount of time visitors spent viewing a set of pages.
  • Bounce Rate – The percentage of single-page visits to the site.
  • Conversions – The number of valued actions.

The topics, target audiences and type of content should be weighed for an understanding of how well your content alleviates pain points. Content with weaker numbers in preceding stages of the sales funnel can have impact its overall effectiveness. When all three stages of the sales funnel work together, your site will have a consistent flow of information that will lead visitors to conversion.

With nearly a decade of experience in developing successful content strategies, Strongpages has generated significant results for clients in a variety of competitive industries. For information on how our content development services can help you reach your digital marketing goals, fill out our form and a digital marketing expert will reach you soon!

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