A few weeks ago I talked about using the marketing funnel to convert leads into customers. The concept itself rather simple. Marketing communication brings people into the funnel and through its different steps:
If you follow this link you can read about the marketing funnel in more detail (you’ll notice that I have two steps that occur after the conversion. I’ll be discussing those steps in a future article).
Today I’m going to talk about how to optimize your website for the marketing funnel. I’m going to talk primarily about the middle steps, interest
What about Awareness?
You’re probably wondering why I am skipping the Awareness step. It’s simple. People aren’t going to visit your website if they aren’t aware of you.
Your ads, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and media relations efforts should be designed to help create awareness while also creating enough interest that a potential lead will choose to visit your site. The point is that a potential lead visits your site.
If they aren’t at least a little bit interested, they won’t visit your site. Once they are there, you will still need content to encourage enough interest to where they consider your product or services.
The question is what does this kind of content look like? It depends on your product or service. There are many things that you might need to address to pull leads into the next step. A great place to start is by asking your current customers: What about our site made you consider us as an option?
Your customers will always be a great resource. Other resources will include anybody who customer facing such as sales and customer service. They will both have a wealth of information from their conversations with leads and customers.
Let’s look at an example. This example is to give you ideas and it doesn’t replace the research you need to do prior to creating content.
Let’s say that your company sells a device that allows people to stream content to a TV such as a Roku or AppleTV. You would want to address such questions as:
- How big is the device?
- How does it work?
- What sources can you stream content from?
- Are the content sources static or can they be customized?
- Can you stream to it from another device such as a smartphone, tablet or computer?
- What other key features does it have?
The content can be presented to your leads in multiple ways. The most obvious way is to have it as written under a product features section. Depending on your product or service, video(s) could be extremely effective. If it is something that is asked a lot, it could be addressed as part of a frequently asked questions section.
This content has one main goal and that is to pull a lead down the funnel to the next step.
If your content has done its job in the interest step, it’s pulled your lead into the consideration phase of the funnel. While the interest stage, the content can be more general. Leads in the consideration phase will want more detailed information. At this point, they are most likely comparing your product or service to a competitor’s.
You will want to focus on what differentiates your product or service, provide testimonials, and the next steps they need to make to purchase. The content can be presented in a written or video form or even both.
Using our example from above, maybe our streaming product offers more sources to stream and the tv remote can be paired with the device eliminating yet another remote they would have to keep track of.
For some leads, the content created for interest and consideration can blend together. This is to say, some leads may be sold based on the information that you would identify as “interest” content. All customers aren’t the same. This is an even better reason to talk to them and your customer-facing groups. The more information you have the better the content will be.
Not All Leads will Convert
It’s important to remember two things. One, leads are going to fall out at every stage. This is normal. The funnel gets smaller as we go through it for a reason. Turning a lead into a customer isn’t easy and there are a number of reasons why somebody might exit the process.
Maybe they are just browsing or they don’t have the budget to purchase at the present time. You want leads that are serious about purchasing your product or service. The content is going to narrow your leads down to these people. You would rather have a customer who is serious than one who is just kicking the tires with no intent on purchasing. This is no different than if they walked into your physical location.
Second, the content you are creating shouldn’t be salesy. A major issue I see is that websites and the content on them is based on what the company wants a lead to know, not the other way around. When this happens the content stops being informative for leads and starts turning into a sales pitch. Most people don’t like to be sold. Tell your leads what they need to know. They have a problem and your job is to provide a solution. The better you are at this, the more likely they are to convert.
Earlier, I gave you several resources of where to go to help you find out what content to develop but don’t ignore what your competitors are doing. Visit their website to see what kind of content they are producing and how they are presenting it. This will give you ideas about what and what not to do. It will also help you see how you can differentiate from them.
Marketing communication tactics are designed to drive leads to your website but if the website isn’t built to pull the leads through the marketing funnel, those campaigns will provide a poor return on investment. You are spending time and money driving leads to your website