Sales funnel. If there was ever a word or phrase that deserved to be in buzzword prison, it’s “sales funnel.” You know that you need a sales funnel, but you’re not even sure what that means specifically for your brand because the term is so generic and over-used.
We’re going to put a stop to that. Today, we’re going to personalize and then socialize your content marketing sales funnel. By the end of this post (and hopefully before), you’ll understand exactly how to create a killer sales funnel through content marketing. But that’s not all. This sales funnel will go on to harness the power of social media, a la Frankenstein. *cue the thunder*
Are you ready to get your mad scientist on? Let’s do this!
Do You Already Have a Sales Funnel in Place?
In other words, how do you get customers? Maybe you pay for advertising or rely on word-of-mouth. Both of those options are respectable, but hopefully, you’ve come to see the genius in content marketing, and you’ve created a blog, a slew of landing pages, and an email course or two.
If you’ve already invested into content marketing, you may be wondering if there something else you can do to generate more leads. Your hunch is right: of course there is!
It’s called social media. Yet another buzzword phrase, I know, but let’s ignore that and get into how social media can influence your sales funnel.
Your sales funnel probably looks a little something like this:
Discovery > Traffic > Lead Nurturing > Sales > Happy Dance > Retention
Social media can play a crucial role in all of these steps. That’s because social media humanizes your brand and makes it approachable and accessible. If you want customers, you must create a brand that people can relate to. The more “social” your brand, the more relatable.
On every step of your sales funnel of greatness, you can create a human moment with your audience that draws them into a more engaged relationship with your brand. Let’s take a look at how social media can improve your sales funnel.
Discovery + Build Traffic
Social media is a great way to get more eyeballs on your brand. If you’re a new brand without fanfare, go social. You can start with paid strategies: purchase targeted ads on Facebook, create promoted pins on Pinterest, or advertise on LinkedIn. But that’s just the beginning.
There are free ways to get discovered and build brand awareness via social.
One of my favorites is through YouTube. YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the Internet, bowing only to Google. Besides being a search engine, it also happens to be a social platform. People love to leave comments on videos, follow their favorite brands, and then share their favorite videos with their friends.
No matter what type of widgets you’re selling, you can use YouTube to do it. Whether you’re selling coffee makers or websites, I can guarantee you that there’s already someone on YouTube with a grainy video about it. So, why not add your voice, and your face?
YouTube may seem scary at first. You’re exposed. What if they don’t like you? It’s like the first day of kindergarten all over again. But here’s the thing to realize: Most people simply want to help themselves, and if you can provide that help in an easy and actionable format, they’re going to love you.
You can use YouTube video to introduce your brand with a compelling story. You can also use it to advertise a specific product that you’re selling. Finally, you can use it to educate your audience.
And you can do it with a script. And without showing your face via explainer videos.
Make sure you bring that video over to your landing page, too, especially if it showcases your product.
Here’s a handy tip: drive your YouTube viewing audience back to your website with an optimized description under your video.
Lead Nurturing + Conversion
You’ve finally got your visitor on your website: don’t let them go! You may never see them again. So, my advice here is not to drive them back to social media, but to bring social media to them… on your site.
Ever heard of SlideShare? Well, if you’re one of its 60 million unique monthly visitors, you know that this web-based slide hosting service is a valuable marketing tool. If you’re not, it’s my honor to formally introduce you.
SlideShare allows you to create attractive slideshows that you can embed on your website. The slideshows can be on any topic of your choosing, but I recommend that you create one that reiterates the message of your content marketing.
Remember that at this stage of the game, you’re trying to convince your lead that your offering is the long-awaited answer to their prayers.
Let’s say that you have a blog. Locate the most popular posts and create SlideShares from them. Yep, you can use the exact same content that you have in your posts and paste it onto your SlideShare. However, it’s a good idea to make it visually interesting with graphics and fonts.
But don’t stop there. After you make your SlideShare, embed that sucker onto your post of the same topic. It might say the same thing, but some people respond better to visual content than others.
Another two reasons to go with SlideShare?
+Exposure. SlideShare works similar to YouTube where people can search for terms and stumble upon you.
+Shareability. Your audience can easily share your presentation with their circle of influence. Referrals for the win!
Retention + Evangelism
Ever heard the blues classic, it’s cheaper to keep her? Ignoring the obvious misogyny in the rest of the song, the title and refrain are on-point when it comes to customer retention.
It can cost five to ten times more to acquire a new customer than to keep a proven one. A lot of well-intentioned brands focus on bringing in more and more leads, to the point that they neglect their current and former customers.
Don’t let the same be said of you. Those customers have the power to grow your business through word-of-mouth referrals.
Use social media contests to generate more leads for your always-hungry sales funnel while delighting your old faithful customers at the same time.
Winning. (Do people still say that?)
So, how do social media contests do that? Here is an example:
Run a contest on your Instagram where your followers share a photo of them using your product, paired with a brand-specific hashtag. The entry with the most re-grams wins. This type of contest has viral appeal because those who enter are telling their friends why they love your product. It’s genius. You’re welcome.
Social media is an inescapable part of the Internet, but that’s a good thing. As with all aspects of the Web, social media can be used for good, and not evil. Use it as part of your marketing strategy to pull in your audience and then keep them happy. You can do it, and we can help.