As a business, you want to bring in customers and provide them with the information they need along their path to purchase. That means creating content that will move them through the sales funnel.
The sales funnel represents the process consumers will go through as they move from prospects to customers. Ideally, you want to keep these potential customers in your marketing funnel as they consider solutions for their problems. The goal is to move them from the top of the funnel—at which point they are still just considering solutions—to the bottom, where they have decided on a solution and are ready to purchase.
Throughout this journey, you have the opportunity to guide your potential customer toward choosing your product or service by providing helpful information and engaging experiences.
You don't want them to visit your competitors for more information or have to turn to a new source. Instead, you want them to use your business for their needs. Through your sales funnel, you can turn prospects into leads and generate more interest in your business.
The Three Stages of the Sales Funnel
The sales funnel can be described in several different ways, and businesses may use different stages to represent the journey buyers take as they move through their funnel. However, the sales funnel typically falls into three key stages.
The Awareness Stage
In the awareness stage, consumers become aware they have a problem or need and start looking for a solution. If a buyer does not know about your product or service, they will not buy it. During this stage, consumers start doing basic research to better understand their options.
The Consideration Stage
Moving consumers from the awareness stage to the consideration stage, or taking a prospect to a lead, is critical if you ultimately want to convert that prospect to a customer. During the consideration stage, consumers are starting to consider the options available to them. They have narrowed down a few solutions they intend to use, and they're looking for more information about those potential solutions and how they may impact their needs.
The Decision Stage
In this stage, the consumer has determined that they have a problem and are now ready to choose from among a range of possible solutions. This is usually where consumers begin to formulate their purchase intentions. They're no longer looking at multiple options, though they may still be considering one or two different solutions. They are ready to make a purchase and simply need a little more info to help them move forward.
The Challenges of Moving from "Awareness" Content to "Consideration" Content
Moving from awareness content to consideration content is a challenge for most companies.
It's important to understand the difference between these two types of content. Awareness content is designed to simply make people aware of your company, product or service, while consideration content is designed to help people understand how they might benefit from using your product or service.
Things to consider when Creating Content to move leads down the funnel:
1. Create interesting, engaging content.
To convince consumers to move to the funnel’s consideration stage, you should provide awareness-stage content that is interesting and engaging enough that prospects are willing to give up their contact information and connect with you.
2. Address consumers' pain points.
Many businesses want to start by listing the features and capabilities of their products. Instead, focus on delivering effective messaging that deals with customers' pain points and how your business can solve those challenges.
3. Show that your business is a viable solution.
At this stage, you want to stand out from your competition and show that you can offer something they can’t. Indicate what differentiates you from similar businesses.
Content for the Awareness Stage
When you're creating awareness content, you want readers to know who you are and why they should care about what you have to say. You can use bold statements and use flashy design elements to grab their attention right away. But once they've clicked through to your website, it's important not just to keep them there—you also want them to take action and put themselves into contact with someone from your company who can answer more questions about what you do and how it might be helpful for them. Then utilizing retargeting through social media or programmatic ads can help to send consumers back to your landing page. The call to action at the bottom of awareness articles is also an excellent way to help move consumers through the funnel.
Some types of content to consider:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Social media ads and content
Use this content to provide the buyer with more information about your product and how it can solve their pain points. In the awareness stage, you want to provide consumers with more information about your products and services, which will entice and convince them to learn more about what you have to offer.
Content for the Consideration Phase
In the consideration stage, you want to provide content that will help users make a more serious decision about your products and services. Consideration content requires more effort because the reader has already made the decision that they want more information about something related to what you offer—they just need some convincing before taking action on this decision by buying something from your company or signing up for a trial. The goal here is not just getting people's attention; it's also about making sure that if they do decide they're interested in learning more, they'll have all of the information.
The goal at this stage is to share information about exactly what you can accomplish through your solutions. You may want to offer:
- Testimonials and reviews
- Case studies
- Blog posts
- Product comparisons
- Consultation offers
Moving prospects smoothly from awareness to consideration makes a big difference in turning a prospect into a lead. If you can’t move prospects to the consideration phase, you can’t help them move forward with the information they need to make a purchase. By moving prospects to the consideration stage, you keep them in your sales funnel and increase the odds they will ultimately become a satisfied customer of your business.