Hello and welcome to the final chapter of our three-part guide for using content to guide your prospects through the sales funnel.
We have already taken you through generating leads with awareness-building top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) content, and we’ve laid out the best way to nurture those leads with middle-of-the-funnel (MoFu) material during the consideration stage. Now it’s time to bring the whole thing to its natural conclusion and guide you through the final portion of the funnel as we discover how to convert those generated and nurtured leads into actual sales using content.
Bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) content is all about closing the deal. This is the part where all your hard work pays off, and you can finally grasp the hand of your prospect and shake on business well carried out.
When thinking about BoFu content, there is one primary question you should be asking yourself: What content would I want to see to help me go from considering a purchase to making one?
At this stage, your prospect has identified a problem – either with your assistance or by reaching the conclusion by themselves – and knows the type of product they need to solve it. Thanks to all the lead nurturing you’ve been doing up to this point, you stand a good chance of the customer completing the sale with you. You’ve built a relationship based on trust and understanding and that should be enough.
However, in business, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed deal. If your prospect is even remotely savvy, they will be shopping around and looking at what your competitors have to offer in the same field. You need a way to keep the prospect with you and demonstrate why your product is the best choice for them.
Contrary to popular belief, price is not always the determining factor in these decisions. Sure, prospects want a great deal, but they are also concerned about other facets of your offering, such as knowing that you truly understand their business and problems, after-sale support, reliability, and more.
So, what difference can BoFu content make when it comes to keeping prospects engaged with your brand at this vital stage, and can it prevent them from undoing all your hard work by going with a competitor?
(Image source: animalz.co)
To measure the effectiveness of BoFu content, one must turn focus away from traffic and instead use a retention model. If you focus purely on traffic, it will appear that BoFu content has no effect at this stage. After all, the prospect has probably already been through your website with a fine-toothed comb by this point, and shouldn’t need to do so again. However, with the focus on retention, we can see that BoFu content has a significant effect on drop-off throughout the sales cycle.
BoFu content builds on the middle-of-the-funnel material we talked about in the previous article. It’s about showcasing your product even further, but without overtly trying to deliver a sales pitch (that’s the job of the sales team). This may seem very similar to MoFu content, and it is, but instead of coming from the perspective of demonstrating why your product solves the problem they’re experiencing, it comes from one of explaining why it’s superior from the similar products being offered by your competitors.
As with ToFu and MoFu, there are several different types of content which can be used to help convert prospects into paying customers. There are advantages to each, and the way to get the best effect from BoFu is to use as many different types as possible. That way you can get a good spread of material and prevent prospects from becoming bored.
We saw case studies pop up in the MoFu article, but feedback from actual clients – especially high-profile ones – can be even more effective in the BoFu stage of proceedings. Testimonials build trust and add social evidence to your offering and help build confidence in the mind of your prospect.
The ideal kinds of testimonials for BoFu content are those which specifically focus on your product. If any of your customers have tried the offerings of your competitors before and then switched to your product, any testimonials they can provide will be worth their weight in gold.
(Image source: orbitmedia.com)
Look at the above example from Orbit Media for a near perfect testimonial.
You can, and should, solicit testimonials from your customers. Send them an email and ask politely for a few words on their experiences with your company. The best way to facilitate this is to supply a template with the email. This will help speed up the process of creating the testimonial and make it less of a chore for the client to complete.
This is business, so don’t be coy. Go straight ahead and list the ways your products beat the competition.
These comparisons can take the form of quick and easily-digestible statistics, or they can be more comprehensive blogs or reports full of chats and tables, comparing the various elements of your product and how it’s the superior choice. Remember to be honest – it’s unlikely your product outperforms all the others in every way, so make sure to address this. Maybe yours is more expensive, in which case you want to show how much more bang the client will be getting for their buck than if they went with a cheaper competitor.
(Image source: royallondon.com)
Take the above table for example. The over-50s life cover industry is big business these days, and it’s rare to turn on the television without seeing an advertisement from one provider or another. Royal London is one such provider, and its website features a handy table which uses a simple and eye-catching visual style to quickly establish why its product offers more than its competitors.
In Royal London’s television ad campaign, it also states that it pays out more money than its nearest competitor a high percentage of the time.
This kind of content is highly shareable and easy to attach to an email to help your clients make their purchase decision. Tables such as the above are highly effective, and you’ll see similar examples on many product websites – particularly for financial products and computer software.
Webinars serve as short instructional videos which help demonstrate your product in action.
It used to be the case that webinars averaged around 20-30 minutes, but it’s been observed they had a high instance of viewers abandoning them after a few minutes. It’s therefore far more common these days for webinar content to come in around the five- to ten-minute mark. This serves to make them something a busy businessperson can squeeze into a quick coffee break, rather than having to devote a more significant amount of time to.
(Image source: instapage.com)
A big part of bringing people to your webinars is a good landing page. The signup form should be quick and easy to complete – drop down options should always be used where possible – and extraneous information gathering avoided. The text portion of the landing page should be kept to the minimum amount of text needed to explain what the webinar contains and what value it will provide to the viewer.
The webinar itself follows many of the same rules as other video content. Again, your focus should be on value and constructive advice. The host is important as well. If there are any celebrities or well-known faces in your industry/organisation put them front and centre and have them host the webinar/s. If you don’t have a celebrity to hand, the highest-ranking person in your organisation who is able to host should fill the role.
There you have the final part of our series on how to create engaging and effective content for all three levels of your sales funnel. Look out for a future article where we’ll be looking at how you can maintain your sales funnel content strategy and keep it fresh and relevant as time goes on.
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18-03-2019 - Gary Smith