We’ve all heard that “content is king,” and virtually every modern marketing strategy includes content marketing to increase sales. This is partly due to consumers being savvier, knowing when they’re being sold to, and content offers a more passive and less pushy approach. Buyers can gain value and learn about a brand and product before making a purchase – sometimes before they’ve even considered making a purchase.
Content can be used to address pain points, answer questions, and even give consumers an understanding of a problem they didn’t know they had (and the product that solves it). Here’s how: brands that offer insightful, helpful content can generate sales from content.
Content Marketing Benefits for Increasing Sales
Content marketing supports sales goals by:
- Nurturing leads with important information
- Improving brand awareness and recognition
- Establishing thought leadership and brand authority
- Bringing relevant buyers to your website
- Improving buyer engagement with the brand
- Creating a more personalized buyer experience
Focus on Transactional Keywords
Content marketing should reflect the questions, concerns, and needs of your target audience. You’ll need to research keywords to learn which ones are relevant to you and suggest a need you can meet. By doing keyword research, you’ll identify which terms are the most popular – and therefore worthwhile to target. You don’t want to make content about a question that gets minimal searches.
It all starts with keyword research. Once you find relevant keywords, look for:
- Search volume, or how many people search for the keyword
- Difficulty, or how hard it is to rank on the first page for the keyword
- Clicks, which indicate that people searching are actually clicking on the search results
Keyword research can be tricky, but it’s necessary to guide your content marketing. High volume and low difficulty is the sweet spot of keyword research, though it’s not always easy to find.
There is another factor, however – intention. Keywords with high volume and low difficulty have little sales value if the user isn’t planning to buy something. Some keywords are connected to a user’s search for information and not a transactional keywords. Writing content for it is unlikely to yield results.
Leverage Organic Traffic
Content marketing should bring additional organic traffic, ultimately resulting in sales – if all goes well. Perhaps you’ve been doing content marketing for a while and seen increased traffic but not more sales. In that case, you need to adjust your approach and evaluate your call to action.
Let’s say a prospective customer comes to your website and reads your content, which is the goal of content marketing. However, you have to lead them toward making a purchase, which can be done using call-to-action phrases and links to product pages.
Don’t spam your content with salesy stuff and constant links, but you can subtly include your products in mentions and links where it’s natural.
Pop-ups can also support your calls to action. These include exit-intent pop-ups, welcome bots, and other pop-up tools which encourage visitors to check out a product page or take other actions. Experiment to see what works and what doesn’t. We’re not huge proponents of pop-ups, but in the right situation, they can be helpful. And we have alternatives to pop-ups that help to push a user further along the sales funnel.
Optimize Content for Different Stages of the Sales Funnel
Remember, intent matters with content marketing. Each piece you create should have its place in the sales funnel. You have a defined target audience, but not every one of them is in the same stage of the sales funnel. Some need an introduction to your brand, while others know about you but need their interest stoked. A few may be ready to buy ASAP. Each needs specific content.
You can highlight the problem and suggest your product as the solution for customers in the awareness stage. Some people know they have a problem but don’t know how to solve it, which is where you can position your product and its benefits. Others may realize they need your product specifically, and the focus should be on helping them use it to its fullest potential.
Four Stages of a Content Marketing Funnel
The four stages of the content marketing funnel are:
Awareness is when prospective customers first enter the funnel and may not be aware of the brand or product. Top-of-the-funnel content should be focused on education, such as shareable blog posts, infographics, social media posts, ebooks, video content, and podcasts.
Evaluation is the middle of the funnel and helps prospective customers determine whether they need your product or service. This is also a period to build trust and encourage the sale. The content should be focused on in-depth benefits of the product or service, such as case studies, emails, white papers, downloadable resources, and webinars.
Conversion is the bottom of the content funnel and the point when the customers may buy. Content focused around the product, and its unique benefits, such as side-by-side comparisons and free trials or demos, are valuable at this phase.
Post-purchase is focused on after the sale and retaining customers. Content at this stage is about building a loyal audience and keeping them engaged after purchase, such as content that asks for feedback and encourages referrals.
Your keywords, content, and messaging should all be directed to different stages of the funnel – it all has a specific purpose beyond generating sales and traffic.
Content Marketing to Increase Sales with an SEM Agency
Content is more relevant than ever. If you’re trying to boost sales through content, each piece needs to have the intention, value, and purpose of converting readers into buyers. We know it can be overwhelming, and you’d rather just focus on running your business. That’s where an SEM agency comes in. Our team at Full Circle SEM helps businesses like yours succeed through exceptional content and other marketing services. Contact us if you’re ready to take your brand to the next level and boost your content marketing efforts!