The Basics of a Content Marketing Sales Funnel

Inbound marketing is marketing that attracts people to your business versus pushing messages about your business in their face. Inbound marketing tactics: giving free information away in the form of blog posts, content offers, social media updates, etc.

Outbound marketing tactics: interruptive advertisements about your product or service in the form of print ads, billboards, television ads, radio ads, etc.

content marketing sales funnel
content marketing sales funnel

Conceptually most people can easily understand why this new form of marketing works better in today's world. Furthermore, according to HubSpot, inbound marketing leads cost 61% less than outbound marketing leads.

We understand the importance of inbound marketing, but how do we make it work for us? How do we create that content marketing sales funnel that turns a lead into a customer without getting too pushy?

Most people on the Internet are doing research. They don't know they need a product or service, they're not necessarily searching for your product or service, they are searching for a solution to a problem they have.

This is why creating a content marketing sales funnel is so essential.  You are offering up free answers to the questions and problems people have.

Today I'm going to outline just one basic example of a content marketing sales funnel that utilizes inbound marketing tactics to convert a lead into a sale.

BUYER PERSONAS. First, start with your buyer personas.  In order to know what types of content will help a potential customer, you  must know the common problems and questions that person has.

BLOGGING. Once you understand the problems and questions your ideal customer has, you can write a blog post that starts discussing it. It's important to start discussing potential solutions to their problems and questions, but not create a sales pitch for your product or service. Try taking one tiny part of their problem and discussing it in detail.  This will hopefully hook them and encourage them to want to learn more.

CALL-TO-ACTION. This brings us to the next step, give them the option to learn more.  End that blog post with a call-to-action in the form of a link that leads them to sign up for your newsletter. "If you enjoyed this blog post, sign up for our newsletter to learn more information about x."

LANDING PAGE. When they click on the link to sign up for your newsletter, they should be taken to a landing page to fill out their basic contact information: name and email address. Boom. You now have another way to communicate with this person.

BONUS ROUND- THANK YOU PAGE. After they fill out their information, prospects should be taken to a page that thanks them for signing up for your newsletter. Take this opportunity to tell them to stay in touch on social media as well and offer up links to your social pages.  This creates further ways for you to communicate with prospects. 

EMAIL. After you have collected their email address, you can now offer them more information in your email newsletter. Perhaps you have a more detailed ebook or video that further explains your product or service and touches upon why your product or service is a solution to the problems and questions they have. They click on the call-to-action link in the email and are taken to another landing page where they are asked to fill out a bit more of their information, perhaps their telephone number or other questions that are basic qualifiers for you to determine whether or not this person is a good candidate for your product or service. Then they are offered up that additional piece of content.

MAKE CONTACT. Now that you have this person's email address and potentially, their phone number, you can follow up with them to learn more about their problems and discuss potential ways in which your product or service is a solution for them.

This is a very basic content marketing sales funnel using core tactics of inbound marketing. What makes inbound marketing so successful is that you can have multiple, cost effective tactics happening simultaneously to even further capitalize on your chances of turning a lead into a sale.

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(See what I did there?) ;-)