Creating Action Oriented Conversation
Inbound marketing is the beginning of a conversation between a customer and your organization with the customer being the one to kick things off. They’ve got a need, interest or desire in mind and they are looking for ways to learn more about the topic and ultimately find answers, solutions, or satisfaction. It becomes our job as marketers to keep the conversation engaging with the right leads at the right time. Inbound marketing can bring in more than 3x the amount of leads than outbound marketing, and can help us better understand how we can be more efficient as sales organizations.
Moving the Conversation from Top of the Funnel to Close
As customers move from searching for a solution to identifying a solution to purchasing a solution we move them through the Inbound Marketing Funnel by keeping things interesting from Top of the Funnel (ToFu) to Middle of the Funnel (MoFu) to Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu). Different types of content are best suited for each part of the funnel, and potential customers’ requirements may shift as they move from the top to the bottom of the funnel.
This content draws guests in, triggering them to take action because your content relates to their need, interest or desire. Hitting customers with the right headline in web search, an insightful digital banner ad, or relevant landing page copy has a huge impact on if the customer decides to continue the conversation. Blog posts are another great Tofu piece of content, and your sales team may or may not be aware of the name of the person viewing your Tofu content, but you can track their activity as a website user. Infographics are a high traffic Tofu content piece, especially when they are original to your company.
At this point you have the customer’s attention or have identified that they are very much considering your offering, therefore MoFu content should have compelling and personalized information about why your the perfect match. Serving more in-depth blogs, infographics, ebooks and other descriptive content can be impactful. At this point, the contact has most likely filled out a form to request information, such as demo request or has signed up for additional product information, such as an enewsletter.
Time to really sweeten the deal here. What questions can you answer for the potential customer? Are they needing more technical information or pricing information? Depending on your product or service, this may be more powerful sales emails or e-books for the interested person to read. By this time, you most likely have information on the contact, such as their email address and company name, as well as what they are most interested in from your company. ROI calculators, analysis opportunities or content customized to their specific needs. For example, if your company offers nutritional consulting, and a potential client is pregnant, perhaps you send them an e-book on eating healthy in their third trimester.
Turning “Yes, but…” to “Yes, and…”
While each level of the funnel seems rather cut and dry, it doesn’t have to be, nor should it be when it comes to conversation optimization. As the conversation begins at ToFu and moves to BoFu we want customers to be able to say “yes, this is what I was looking for AND I’m ready to learn more” or “yes, this is the solution I was hoping for AND the incentive is very attractive.” If we don’t provide the customer the “and” in this conversation they are likely to think “yes, but…” finding some reason to start a conversation with someone else because they are in search of more information. This is where content is critical in helping draw the contact down the funnel: by answering questions and educating them with relevant and timely content.
ToFu and MoFu
Identifying with the customer’s need, interest or desire and helping them understanding that you have products and services to keep the conversation going. Teeing up a relevant tension that the customer may experience and then offering a solution demonstrates that you not only understand the problem, but are also ready to provide an answer. A clear call to action (CTA) will help the customer stay engaged, increase click through rate (CTR) and keep them moving through the funnel.
MoFu and BoFu
At this point it’s not only about communicating that you have the products and services to get the job done, but that you also you also have the best pricing, ease of process or customer service – whatever your “and” is that helps you stand out from the competition. By demonstrating your point of differentiation, you help the customer realize that they shouldn’t be talking to anyone else. A well-articulated value proposition is important here to capture the guest and prepare them for purchase.
By blurring the lines of the sales funnel and optimizing your content, you will be able to move customers to the point of conversion more quickly. While creating this type of content may require more rigor up front, you are likely to see positive metrics such as higher CTR, longer session times, an increase in lead generation and ultimately a higher close rate.