Content to Increase Sales – The facts:
Websites that use content marketing get conversions and sales 6x higher than those not (OneSpot, 2015).
The content could sell …
.. not just as entertainment, guides, or information.
If properly utilized as a marketing medium, then – like the numbers above – sales will increase dramatically.
Is that true?
In practice, some do not feel the benefits. Many.
Already making the content, visitors arrive, but it turns out the sales remain so-so only. This is what often happens.
Not wrong system,
But incorrect content …
Because your content is not able to sell.
In this article, you will learn why people do not buy from you, and how to create content that is capable of selling.
Why do not they buy from you?
There are various reasons, of course.
Let’s discuss some of them regardless of whether the products/services sold are feasible or not. And only in terms of content only.
This is important:
To create content that is able to increase sales, you have to really understand what makes website visitors decide not to buy.
3 this is the main reason …
… all three are obstacles that you have to destroy one by one before the visitors want to turn into a customer.
1. Because not believe
Online and offline, people will not buy from unbelievable sellers.
But there is a difference.
If offline, we can see directly. The seller has a physical store and he can instantly show what’s being sold in front of your eyes.
Not so online.
Everyone can create websites, even fraudsters though.
But it’s still trivial …
Convincing others that we are not frauds is easy.
The problem is that even if you are not a cheater they do not necessarily want to buy. You should be able to earn the trust as the best.
So, 2 stages.
That’s why to gain trust from others you need extra effort than doing offline sales.
Fortunately, content marketing (the right one) could be the solution. Will be explained further below.
2. Not right on target
This is the most common mistake made by a digital marketing practitioner.
Just like what Groove used to be.
A groove is a help desk software. So their target market should be entrepreneurs who have problems with customer service.
Well, the problem is that their blogs were just talking about business development:
Although both are about business, people looking for business development information do not need their software.
So the content is not able to increase conversions.
Therefore, they then create a special category to discuss customer service.
3. Visitors are still in passive condition
The object in silence will remain silent unless there is a force that changes it.
That’s part of Newton’s regal sound.
Interestingly, humans are like that.
When in passive conditions, we will continue to be passive … until something is making us active.
The people who are browsing the internet in the brain are passive. Read articles, see pictures, watch videos, open new tabs – and then close.
So, the content we create should be able to make them move.
If not then they will remain passive.
Create content that is capable of selling
There are 2 main functions of content in online marketing:
1) Bring in visitors, and 2) increase sales.
The first is still easy …
… as long as the content is interesting, visitors will come after the content is promoted.
But the second needs extra attention.
In online sales, we have to go through the 3 obstacles mentioned. Because that content is just “interesting” alone may not necessarily increase sales.
Here are some things to watch out for:
1. Provide content for each stage of the sales funnel
Sales funnel or sometimes called a marketing funnel is every stage that is passed by each person before deciding to make a purchase.
Let’s look again at the sales/marketing funnel image:
If you search the internet, each website will display a different picture of the funnel sales from each other. Nevertheless, the point is the same.
In general, there are 3 parts:
- TOFU (Top of the funnel): Awareness
- MOFU (Middle of the funnel): Consideration / Evaluation
- BOFU (Bottom of the funnel): Purchase
The top, middle, and bottom.
Before someone decides to buy, everyone will pass through these parts.
First, they will be aware of the problem. Then weigh up the options. Lastly, decide to buy.
Content for each section is not the same.
2 things that often happen is just to focus on the top funnel (TOFU) and just create content for the bottom funnel (BOFU).
As a result…
1. Focus on TOFU – traffic gets so much but cannot sell
2. Focus on BOFU – it’s hard to get traffic and loyal readers
Therefore there must be a balance.
To understand what content should be provided for each section, here’s a quick explanation:
TOFU – the top of the funnel
Content in this section is content that can be enjoyed by the public … because the goal is to bring traffic.
Suppose you sell weight loss supplements.
The content in this section does NOT describe the advantages of the product you are selling. Not discussing and promoting products.
Instead, give exercise guides or diet to lose weight.
Another example, if you sell a house.
TOFU content contains appropriate home buying guides, choosing the right location, home design photos, and more. Content that approximately will be sought by those who want to buy a home.
So, once again … TOFU content should be enjoyed even by those who currently do not immediately want to buy.
MOFU – the center of the funnel
In this stage, the prospective buyer is in the process of comparing between one solution and other solutions to their problem.
So the topic for MOFU content is more profound.
Our main goal at this stage is to introduce that there is an easier solution to solve their problems.
And you are the solution they want.
To lose weight, they do not need to exercise a half-dead or super strict diet. With the help of the products we sell, the process becomes easier.
So, we introduce an added value.
Compared to traditional solutions or other solutions, the products/services you offer have an added value that appeals to them.
For more details, here are some examples of content types:
- A case study of those who already use your product/service
- Statistics / data/facts
- Comparison, advantages, and disadvantages
- FAQ, frequently asked questions
- Product demo video
- Buyer’s guide – guide in choosing the right product
These are just a few, and not all of them can be applied to any kind of business.
Content for MOFU is educative but also persuasive.
BOFU – the bottom of the funnel
The last stage, when someone is ready to make a purchase.
They are already educated about the problems and the right solutions. They are interested in you.
But there is still one more obstacle that prevents them from making a purchase.
Fear, or uncertainty.
That’s why 100% BOFU content is persuasive, for example:
- Free consultation
- Trial/demo / sample
- How to make a purchase
- Discount or bonus
The ultimate goal is a feeling of confidence.
2. Identify the real issues to be resolved
Any good content will be useless if the content does not solve the problem from the reader completely.
Let’s remember again …
What makes a person want to make a purchase?
Because they have a problem.
But, here’s what matters, making that purchase is the last option. If they can not solve their own problems.
You will not be able to influence others to buy if you have not already told them to spend money to buy.
This is especially if the general public has not been educated about your business.
For example, we sell ice water.
He said this water can be antioxidants, to detox, to stay young, etc..
But most people do not know about this product yet.
Well, if you sell this product online …
… Will you create content about:
- Understanding & benefits of the product, its types, process of manufacture, etc., or
- How to prevent cancer, cleanse body toxins, how to stay young, etc.
Okay, by creating the first content we will get visitors in the form of people who are ready to buy the product.
The amount is small.
Because not many people know and understand about the product. So most will be “not interested” when reading such content.
Compare with the second.
Who need such information is MUCH more.
Although currently, they do not know about the product, through the content you can introduce it as a solution.
Because they have a problem that we can solve with the product.
That is why TOFU content must solve real problems.
3. Note the relevance between content and products/services sold
This is like the problems faced by Groove.
At first, their content is not able to give a positive result because what is discussed in the content is not relevant to what is being sold.
For example, if selling office equipment, but the content published about traveling. Will the result be the same?
We want to bring in visitors, but not just any visitors. But those who do have issues that are relevant to what we sell.
If you provide travel content, then people who come are people who want to travel. Not the one who needs office supplies.
As a result, sales have not increased at all.
It makes sense right?
Content in content marketing is not just to “just exist,” but to be directed to our ultimate goal. Whether it’s sales or something else.
The solution: make a buyer persona
It’s the solution for the above 2 and 3 numbers.
So that the content we create really solve the problem. And so that the content is right on target to people who potentially buy from us.
What is a persona buyer?
An ideal picture of our ideal buyers. What kind of people will potentially buy from you?
So, for example, you sell office supplies, then one of its persona buyers is a new entrepreneur who just opened the office.
Do not stop there…
… we still need to analyze more about their profile, their problems, and so on.
Everything is explained further in this content marketing strategy guide.
In the end, the content we create should focus on what issues the buyer persona faces. Thus, marketing and sales are well targeted.
4. Create practical content, easy-to-use content
You’re shopping at Hypermart or other supermarkets…
… then there is a salesman who offers a brand of frozen food. The salesman practiced how easy the process of cooking, after that you are welcome to try.
Must have arisen a desire to buy.
This is because we have been shown “benefit” that we will receive.
Approx like that if offline.
The problem is, when they are buying online you can not practice right away. Unless you can give trial/demo to prospective buyers.
That’s why we need this practical content.
Meaning: content is a guide that can be directly practiced by the reader and directly provide positive benefits for them.
(Be careful, practically does not mean simple or simple)
The best kind for this purpose is a guide, not information or news … not just reading.
Such content can solve 2 problems at once.
First, they will “move” from passive to active.
Still, remember 3 reasons why someone does not buy? Especially the third.
In general people on the internet are still in a state of passivity. Hence when offered to buy they do not immediately buy.
When finished reading the content, they are still passive.
Practical content may be a driver.
They do not consider content just content anymore because they can do something afterward.
It’s even more important,
If the content you provide can directly benefit the reader, then in an instant you become a figure that is trusted.
For example, because I provide a marketing guide, then readers who feel this content is useful will assume that I am a marketing expert. So if I open marketing services, others will be more confident to buy (compared with no content at all).
So when creating content, do not explain “What” but “How”.
5. Give something in exchange for something
Confusing the language
I’ll explain the background first.
These principles are often applied by sales and marketing people.
2 of which we will use.
The first is Commitment & Consistency.
In essence, people will be more likely to commit bigger if they have agreed with smaller commitments before.
Spending money, making a purchase, that’s a big commitment.
And we want to sell with content. Reading the content of a website does not require commitment, right? They do not need any effort.
Examples of small commitments can be either:
- Registering email
- Provide a phone number
- Creating a free account
Or else … depends on your business type.
But how would they be willing to give one of them?
For that we use one more persuasion principle:
Others will tend to give something to us if we give them something first. For example, if we help someone then the person will feel obligated to repay the favor.
Therefore we should give them first.
- Demo / trial / sample
Instead, they will be more willing to give a small commitment to you.
6. Do email marketing
This is continued from number 5 above.
We’ve got “something” from them. Email, phone number, BBM PIN, LINE username, or whatever … should be a contact to contact.
So it does not have to be an email.
(Although those who have tried would agree that email is by far the most practical)
The important thing we should be able to reach them.
And it certainly does not stop there. It’s useless to get the contact but not follow up.
But it’s not that easy, after getting the email we do not directly spam sales just to their inbox.
Like this the most common error:
- Provide free exchange of emails or other contacts
- Then have 1000an email list
- Submitted “email blast” offering the product
- Report as spam … finish
It’s a big mistake.
Well, if you want to successfully sell online – then you have to reduce the process of selling it. No one likes people who always tell them to open their wallets.
… except when they are ready to buy.
That’s why your main task is to condition them to be ready to buy.
We’ve already talked about the sales funnel. There are TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU.
Content published on most websites is TOFU, its main purpose for bringing in traffic. While in email marketing, what we give to the audience is the content of MOFU and BOFU.
The process through which a prospective buyer
Back to this example, for a website that sells weight loss supplements …
… like this roughly the process goes:
Go to website> read “how to lose weight”> register email to get bonus> go to product page> go to case study content, testimonial, or FAQ> get discount coupon> make a purchase.
Ideally like that.
But often the process stops in the middle.
That’s why we need their email, so we can remind them again to continue the process.
7. Perform content analysis
If you already have the content,
Does the content generate sales?
Is this content useless?
Or is it bad?
We will not know if we do not do the analysis.
Not assuming …
… but real data.
That’s why we need to do content analysis.
Make sure which content gives you the best results, which ones are useless, and which ones are bad. Then from the results, you will know what kind of content should be made in the future.