Goshen News, Goshen, IN

September 16, 2013

Create ‘closure content’ to increase sales via the Web

By MIKE GINGERICH
COLUMNIST

— Offering information on your products and services on the World Wide Web has enabled thousands of companies to expand from only local sales to national and sometimes even global. As we’ve outlined the past two Sundays, the key is in having a content strategy for your website and blog. This strategy involves content that served one of three purposes.

Two weeks ago I introduced these three purposeful areas within the Web content funnel.  We looked first at the top end of the content funnel strategy. This was creating attractive, relevant content on your blog and website that was appealing to large audience segments, and which could help drive more overall traffic to your website.  Then last week we looked at mid-funnel content. This was content geared for those visitors that have stayed to learn more. As well, we are looking at those who were searching for a solution to their business problem and found your site. This is the mid-funnel digital content area, meaning those not yet ready to purchase but those doing research online to find solutions and options that might work for them. These are solution and product seekers who are going to make a purchase from someone in the next one to four months. The goal with them was to move them from visitor to customer lead by getting their email address. This enables ongoing nurturing via email marketing.

Stage 3

Today the focus is on the bottom of the funnel where the goal is to generate sales. After drawing traffic to your site and nurturing interested parties to become known leads via your social and educational content, the goal is now to help those interested persons and companies move to take action and purchase your product. This is the final stage that answers questions, takes away any remaining barriers and empowers the user to confidently proceed forward with their purchase of your product or service.

A key way to do this is with content that shows evidence of value. Case studies are one way to do this. A case study is an example of a specific client and identifies ways that they saved money or increased their revenue. This can be helpful and convincing to remove the final barriers to purchase. Another would be outlining ways or offering tools on your website that allow the user to determine their own return on investment (ROI).  This information is specific to helping them see the benefit and value that this purchase can bring to their company. It could be a calculator with formula or simply a formula example that they can use to quantify benefits.  

Bottom funnel content speaks to the prospect about their business growing sales, gaining efficiencies, and having pain points solved. Any content that specifically helps these would-be customers to see how they can have results, and includes a final call-to-action (CTA) such as “Buy Now” buttons that lead to the purchase page of the website are integral for content at this stage of the online funnel.

Together, these three areas noted in the image funnel and outlined over the past weeks form the foundation for a digital content strategy. Thinking through online content purposes for each area and implementing can help increase traffic to the website and then identify interested visitors who can become leads and ultimately customers. It is important to recognize that this isn’t a once and done situation as new, relevant content in Stage 1 is always needed. Those coming in may not be at a point of readiness to purchase now as well, so being able to retarget and stay connected to those in mid-funnel over time is important so that your company is top of mind when they ultimately are ready to make a purchase.



Mike Gingerich leads the Social Application division of web design company, Digital Hill Multimedia (http://www.DigitalHill.com). He is a co-founder of TabSite.com, a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with contests and promotions.  For more information on TabSite, please visit www.tabsite.com.