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EP 06 – Content Marketing For The Top Of Your Sales Funnel

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Your sales funnel is made up of a number of stages.

In each stage you have a totally different relationship with the customer or prospect.

However, one of the biggest mistakes I regularly see is people creating content for each stage that speaks to the customer in exactly the same way.

In today’s podcast I go through the type of content and the goals needed for the top of your funnel.

Key Highlights

[0:43] Why You Need Content

[1:16] The Tale Of Two Businesses

[2:04] Become The Authority

[2:32] Googles Quality Score

[3:15] The 3 Types Of Content

[3:36] The 3 Stages Of A Funnel

[4:45] The Biggest Problem

[5:15] Top Of Funnel Goals

[5:51] Types Of Content

[6:18] Topical Depth

[6:53] Content Syndication

[8:12] Make Your Website Your Homebase

Podcast Transcription

Welcome to episode 06 of The Marketing Mayhem Show, proudly brought to you by Rapid SEO Expert.

I’m your host, Shane Walker, and in today’s episode we’re going to talk about top of funnel content.

But before we do.

Why do we need content, and more specifically why do we need content marketing.

Well the answer is really simple.

To start of with every business needs sales.

Great content equals visitors to your site. Website visitors equal sales.

If you have poor or no content at all, you have no visitors. And without them you have no sales.

Great content is what sets your business apart from everybody else. It allows you to position yourself as a subject matter expert and an industry authority.

Think of it this way:

The Tale Of Two Businesses

Let’s say we have two competing businesses that offer the same services.

For the point of explanation we’ll say that everything about these two businesses is identical except for one thing.  

Business A creates and publishes regular content on their blog.  The content they publish is totally centred on the customer and their needs.  

Each piece of content is aimed at solving a problem or a pain point that their customer is experiencing.

It could be topics like how to solve a particular problem. The top tips for xxxx.  Things to avoid when doing xx.

Business B has a nice website that consists of a homepage and four or five sales pages.

Now when it comes to decision time for the customer,  which business do you think they are more likely to buy from.

Good Content Creates Expert Authority
Creating Quality Content Positions You As An Expert

Publishing helpful and informative content positions you as a subject matter expert and industry leader.

In the eyes of the customer it will move you from just another business trying to sell something to a trusted friend and adviser.

When this happens the whole dynamic between your business and a customer changes. They are more likely spend money with you.

Not only that, they often become brand advocates and promoters of your business.

Googles Quality Score

Secondly, as part of the Google system for ranking websites they have what is known as a quality score.

Part of the score is what is known as E.A.T.

This stands for:

  • Experience
  • Authority
  • Trust

I’m not going to go very much in to E.A.T today, because that topic is a whole podcast on its own.

But the key take away that you need to understand is that Google is looking for websites that have experience, authority and trust.

Experience is a whole section on its own but authority and trust is gained by producing helpful, relevant content on a regular basis.

Types Of Content For Top Of Funnel

So now that we know we need to produce regular content, what sort of content should we be producing?

When it comes to creating great content for your website there are three types of content that you must create.

It has nothing to do with how it is presented, as in text, video, audio or any other format.

The type of content you must create is dependant on where the customer is in your sales funnel.

Phases Of The Sales Funnel

When a customer is in your sales funnel they will be in one of three phases.

  • The top of funnel
  • The middle of funnel, or
  • The bottom of funnel.

Each stage of the funnel has a different objective to the others.

Sales Funnel Objectives

The objective of the top of the funnel is to take a total stranger and make them aware of you.

Once they are aware of you want them to consume some form of content to get to know you.

The middle of funnel objective is to take someone who knows you and get them to make a minor commitment.  

This could be opting in for a report. Signing up for a webinar. Downloading a trial software, or making a minor purchase of a very small amount.

These small purchases are often known as tripwire offers or self liquidating offers.

The bottom of funnel objectives is to convert the prospect to purchase our major product or service.

In each of these three phases you have a totally different relationship with the customer or prospect.

So it’s important that in each stage of the funnel you need to create content that speaks to the person appropriately for that phase of the relationship.

Now the biggest problem I regularly see as a certified content marketer is people creating the same type of content for each stage in the sales funnel.

If we were to use a dating analogy with this.

How far would you get on a first date if you started discussing marriage and the names of your future children?

So it’s important to understand that we need to create content that is appropriate for that particular part of the sales funnel.

In today’s podcast we are going to be concentrating on the top of the funnel.

Top Of Funnel Content Goals

So let’s start off with goals of the top of funnel.

The first goal of top of funnel content is to make the person aware of you. After all, if they’ve never heard of you then the chances of them buying from you are going to be fairly slim.

EP 06 - Content Marketing For The Top Of Your Sales Funnel 2
The first goal of top of funnel content is to make the person aware of you.

So what type of content should we create for the top of funnel?

This is where we show the customer that is not about us. It’s about them.  

The type of content we are going to create is either helpful or informative.

We need to take what is a novel approach in this day and age by showing the customer that we can help them by actually helping them. Surprise surprise!

The content we create can be in many forms. It doesn’t have to be one particular type.

Some of the most common content forms are:

  • Blog post
  • Audio podcast such as this one
  • Video post or podcast
  • Infographics
  • Photographs
  • Social media updates

With the exception of the social media updates, every content form can be used as the basis of a blog post.

Topical Depth

Expert authorities do not publish articles on a subject that are only 200 or 300 words long.

To be considered an authority you want to aim to write at least 2000 words per post.  Anything shorter than that will tend to be a bit light on, and you will not be able to showcase your expertise properly.

Now there are exceptions to all rules and I apologise in advance to any plumbers listening out there because I’m not an expert in your field.  

But I would assume that if I was going to write an article on how to change a washer, it might be hard to string that out to more than 2000 words.

Content Syndication

Once we have our content created we want to syndicate it to get the message out far and wide.

Remember the main object of the top of funnel content is to make people aware and to get them to know, like and trust you.

So we need to get the maximum amount of mileage possible out of each particular piece of content.

That’s some of where some of our advanced automation comes into play!

A good example is this podcast you’re listening to now. This podcast is recorded in audio form and it is automatically distributed to the top 8 podcast hosting platforms.

It is then transcribed and placed on our blog as an article with an audio player to listen as well.

The blog post is turned into a PDF and offered as a content upgrade.

The post is then automatically distributed throughout our social media network.

The podcast is then automatically turned into a video and placed on our YouTube channel.

That video is automatically distributed throughout or social media network as well.

The reason for this is that a great majority of people consume their media on one platform only.

So if I was only to do a podcast I would get exposure to people that listen to podcasts, but I would miss out on all the people that only watch YouTube videos.

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Make Your Website Homebase

When it comes to not only creating content, but anything else to do with marketing,  your website needs to be your home base.

Your website is the only property that you own outright. Any other property such as Facebook, YouTube etc are all owned by a third party.

What this means is that if you base your whole business on for instance Facebook, and they change their terms of service.  

Your whole business could be wiped out in the blink of an eye.

So all of your content should be primarily placed on your blog and every other channel should be secondary.

Summary

So in summary:

  • Great content positions you as an expert and brings visitors
  • Those visitors bring sales
  • Your content needs to be tailored for the stage of the funnel they are in
  • Google gives preference to authority websites
  • Top of funnel content is about creating awareness and getting them to know, like and trust you
  • Authoritative content should be around 2000 words

So that’s all I have time for today.

Action Points

Your action points from today’s podcast are to:

  • Have a look at the content you are producing.
  • If you’re not producing any, you need to start straight away.
  • If you are producing content, are you tailoring it to the particular stage of the funnel they are in? And
  • Make sure that all future content is around 2000 words

Get Your Questions Answered

If you would like to have your questions personally answered on a future podcast.

What you need to do is you need to download the free anchor podcast app that’s available either in the apple app store or on the Google network.

Look up The Marketing Mayhem Show and click leave a voice message.

What will happen is we will receive the message and we will actually add that voice message into one of our podcasts, so your voice will be featured online and we will answer your question in a future show.

Until next time, I’m Shane Walker and we’ll talk soon.

Further Listening

Shane Walker Bust
Shane Walker

Shane is a former intelligence operative turned SEO and marketing expert. 

After spending years working long stressful hours in war zones Shane realised that the systems and processes used in the intelligence world can be used to grow a business online. 

For the last 11 years Shane has been a Director at Rapid SEO Expert and is a leading figure in the Australian online business community.

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