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The Case for Content Marketing for Startups (Part 2)
Last week I introduced the idea of content marketing for startups, and I am here again to show you more reasons why it’s a valuable marketing tactic to consider. To see how it’ll work for your business and provide a return on the time you’ll invest doing it, it’s helpful to conceptualize how it helps the customer journey.
Understanding The Sales Funnel First
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive more suspects and prospects to your website, and at that point hopefully your website and other marketing tactics are set up to gather lead information to keep these people moving through the sales funnel (typically a B2B concept) or AIDA (the traditional marketing model).
MaRS uses a helpful analogy to explain this concept: “The sales funnel visually describes the sales process from initial contact to final sale. It uses the metaphor of a leaky funnel, into which a seller can “drop” sales opportunities.” The main point is to guide and help potential customers move down and through the funnel through a combination of sales and marketing tactics.
How Content Marketing Helps the Funnel
Different types of content help with varying stages of the funnel. I will provide some examples but they are by no means the only way to achieve these goals:
Get more people in the funnel – At the suspect stage, it’s mostly about getting in front of your target market. You haven’t engaged with the customer yet, but they know that you exist. Blog content is a great way to achieve this goal. By answering questions that your target marketing might have or writing something they would find entertaining increases the chances that they will find or be shown your website. Combine great blog content with SEO tactics and those chances are even higher.
Understand when someone is nibbling – At the prospect stage, a potential customer is expressing interest in whatever product or service you have to offer. You can pick up on the signal of their interest in a variety of ways; one very common way is to use gated content (content that requires a person to perform an action before they receive access to it). Depending on your business, this could be a case study that requires a name & email before downloading or it could be a tab on your brand’s Facebook page that “unlocks” when someone Likes the page. The idea is that by the end of this stage, you’ve made some form of connection with the customer.
Help people choose you – After passing through the first two stages of the funnel, the onus is often passed to a sales person to determine if the product/service is right for the customer. That being said, you can still create content to help with this stage. In a service business, talk about how your business operates. With a product, provide a feature comparison with competitors.
And voila! After those three steps you’ve got yourself a customer, and content marketing helped make that process easier, smoother, and of course more effective.
Marketing Coordinator at Stryve Group