Advertising using inbound tactics is a pivotal part of any IT marketing strategy. Television ads, print media, and outbound marketing no longer work the way they once did. A business that forces a message on a potential customer loses that customer. Branded content appeals to future customers in an organic way— this style of advertising leads to sales through a process known as the content marketing sales funnel.
Content Attraction and Awareness
Attraction and awareness build the largest pool of potential. Anyone coming into contact with a brand is a lead. Creating brand awareness begins the process of converting a lead into a sale. Attracting leads is the most important part of any business. Without a constant stream of leads, sales stagnate and businesses fail.
Managing content services for clients keeps businesses healthy and profitable. Offering content in an organic way is the key to attracting leads. Inbound and content marketing use video, infographics, and landing pages to foster brand awareness.
Landing pages get straight to the point. Instead of giving customers blocks of text, these pages focus on a call to action. They are a good example of what works well with attraction: less is more.
Old media bombards leads and prospects with constant sales pitches. IT marketing relies on subtlety to make its point.
Evaluation and Conversion
Once a prospect discovers the brand, marketing tools become more dynamic, natural, and discoverable. At this stage, content is not about selling a specific product. Rather, content is about including the brand as part of some larger goal.
During the evaluation stage, clients need to offer as much content as possible. This stage relies on marketing tools such as blog posts, social media, case studies, and webinars. Case studies are particularly effective. Backing up the use of products with other studies and data builds rapport with prospective customers.
Social media has proven vital to any inbound marketing strategy— they create a sense of community. Clients use content created by existing customers to build the brand. Photos, invites, posts, and comments all offer a sure way for prospects to engage with clients.
Closing the Sale
The content marketing sales funnel ends when a lead converts to a customer. After all the hard work and content creation, clients close the sale. Clients make their final sales pitch and get customers to pull the trigger. This is the stage that every business wants to achieve.
Content in this stage is more straightforward than in other parts of the marketing process. It consists of traditional methods and makes a more overt sales pitch. Product descriptions give customers choice when deciding on what works best for them. After any customer buys the product or service, their ratings and reviews provide free inbound content. Personal testimony gives future prospects peace of mind. Brand endorsement from established outlets further incentivizes a purchase. Magazines, celebrities, and television features build brand recognition. Studies have shown that customers trust online reviews and personal recommendations equally.
Potential customers may still have reservations in this stage. Questionnaires and self-assessments can give those on the fence that final nudge to invest in a brand. For those that don’t, distributing an email newsletter keeps the option on the table. When prospects search for a business in the future, the client’s is still fresh in mind.
Engaging branding throughout the cycle of the content marketing sales funnel is key to client success. Knowing what content works well for a brand ensures the broadest reach to potential customers. Dynamic IT marketing builds a multi-phase approach to promote customer conversion and retention. Following the content marketing sales funnel from awareness to conversion builds sustained client success.