Warning: this post gets a little complex.
But, once you understand the information within, you’re going to be much smarter than most companies who use internet marketing.
You’re probably at least a little familiar with the concept of a sales cycle, right?
Your customers, whether businesses or consumers, have a certain set of steps they take before they finally purchase. For businesses, this can be up to 2 years. For consumers, this can be as short as 2 seconds.
Most websites focus on “bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU)” content. In other words, this is the content a customer consumes right before they call, email, or click and order.
Nothing wrong with doing that. But you leave a ton of sales on the table if that’s all you do. Typically, you can think of your product or service pages as “BOFU” content. Your customers will read through that right before acting.
How Focusing on More Steps in the Sales Cycle Wins You More Sales
But long before your customers actually act, they already are unwittingly engaging in the sales cycle.
It all starts with a problem, right?
Your customer has something wrong in their personal life. Or a business has a big problem, like not getting enough leads.
For example, a consumer’s home seems too cold in winter and too hot in summer, despite the fact that they have a new HVAC system.
So if you run an HVAC company, you can engage them right at that point with content. They might search something like,”Why is my house so cold?”
Then, you create a blog post that answers that question. For example, it could be because they have the wrong size of HVAC system installed in their home. Or maybe their crawl space isn’t insulated properly.
Then, at the end of the post, you conclude it’s impossible to tell without a firsthand inspection.
When they read the post, the customer is at the beginning of the sales cycle. If you like acronyms, it’s called “TOFU” or “top-of-the-funnel.” They’re aware of the problem and beginning to understand it.
During the post, you’ve moved them to the “middle-of-the-funnel” or “MOFU.” They have a solid understanding of their problem, and now they need to research other HVAC companies who do the same thing.
But since you’ve educated them on the problem, while most HVAC companies don’t in their blogs, they’re much more likely to bookmark your website, or remember you. And they’re much more likely to actually call you.
It’s because they know you understand the problem and solution. Other HVAC companies might too, but they don’t necessarily demonstrate this in their blog. So the consumer is left with some doubt.
That’s How Content Marketing Works
That’s a simple example of content marketing in action. You can push customers along the sales cycle fast, and they’re happy to walk along with you because they’re solving your problems.
This is why you need to care about the sales cycle. And since many other small and local businesses don’t, you’ll uncover a gold mine of customers they wish they had.