Advertiser Focus: Planning Your Marketing Funnel

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The following article is part of a new series presented by Jewish Content Network which will discuss business ideas, marketing advice, and feature new business technologies, in an effort to help small business and organizations thrive and succeed. 

We’ve been talking a lot about content lately here on the JCN. But it’s worth diving more deeply into what kind of content we’re talking about here.

The truth is, there is a variety of content that should be created, to reach each stage of your sales funnel. Every business has a sales funnel, a series of different mental states that potential clients need to go through before they are ready to buy.

But not every business takes the time to get into their client’s head and figure out what they are thinking. Those who do are at an advantage, because they can take the time to create the right content that best fits each of their client’s mental stages, streamlining their efforts and maximizing their results.

Below is an overview of the main stages a client will go through before making a purchase. This is called a marketing funnel. It’s worth noting that at times, clients might skip certain steps – if they’re highly motivated, they might knock on your shop door with cash in hand. But more often than not, you need to nurture people before they’re ready to buy.

Step #1: Recognizing The Need

The first step of any business transaction is for clients to recognize a need. All businesses in existence are there to solve problems for their buyers, whether that’s “I’m feeling hungry” or “I hope I look beautiful”.

People part with their money to solve problems. And so, the first step of any business transaction is for clients to recognize they have a need that you can solve.

Sometimes needs are obvious. Your toilet is backed up, you need a mortgage. But sometimes a client doesn’t even realize they have a problem you can help them with. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s even worth your while to introduce people to problems they didn’t know they have – this can take a lot of effort and resources.

But if you have a product that’s very specialized or brand new, this might be a necessary need. Think about Apple introducing iPads when no one knew they needed one – because it had never existed before.

To introduce people to a need, you might create content – posts, articles, videos – educating them about the risks or challenges that they currently have that they don’t even realize they did. Statistics and hard numbers are very helpful at this stage to “shock” people into a reality they weren’t aware of.

For example: “Did you know that 93% online buyers will search for you online before making a purchase? If you don’t have a strong online presence, you are probably losing business to competitors who do.”

Step #2: Information Gathering

So now that the client is aware of the issue, it’s time to educate them, broadly, about the solution. They need to know more about what the solution looks like.

Again, if this is an industry they are familiar with, your work here is already done. But the more specialized your service, they more you’ll need to make sure that they understand what it is you provide.

Additionally, this is also the stage where you can tell them about your company. You inform them about who you are, and what types of solutions you offer.

Content at this stage would focus on educating clients more about what the specific solutions entail and what your services look like. You’ll be explaining both in what way your solution solves their preestablished need, and what the process of solving it looks like on a practical level.

“Web design is a process of combing images and photos online in a way that presents your business to visitors form a variety of devices. We’re a web design company with 10 years of experience and have helped our clients grow their businesses over 300% by expanding a strong online presence.”

 Step #3: Comparison

Now that the client recognizes the need, and understands the solution and how you can provide it, there is still the comparison stage. Unless you’re the only person in the industry doing what you do, chances are there are competitors out there, and clients will usually try to shop around for the best quality and price to fit their needs.

This is the stage in which you work hard to demonstrate your own value, via demos, trials, and case studies proving your great track record. You’re working to establish yourself as the obvious choice among many competitors, based on the value you deliver. We’ve even seen articles that create a side by side comparison between themselves and their competitors, all in the name of helping clients make the best choice during this decision-making phase.

For example: “Here’s how we’re different: we researched our industry and found that our prices are 20% cheaper, and we offer 3 different avenues of support throughout the entire process. We also guarantee to deliver within 30 days, and offering an iron clad money back guarantee if we miss the deadline or you’re not completely satisfied.”

Step #4: Purchase

You’ve made it! The client recognizes their need, is informed about the solution and has decided to choose you! Now the goal is to not mess up and help their transition be a smooth one. Some written or video testimonials can be helpful at this stage to preempt any last minute cold feet, but most importantly you want to make sure the client feel like you’re with them every step of the way.

Articles about how the process works, alleviate any concerns they may have about pulling the trigger, information and what to expect after the purchase is made, are key here to make their purchase phase a delightful one.

For example: “Our project manager will be in touch with you within an hour to collect the information we need to get started. Don’t worry, all we need is a few images and some text and we’ll do the rest. You can expect to get a first draft of your website within two weeks of your order.”

Step #5: Follow Up

Many businesses forget this step. They take the money, deliver the product, and run. But the client doesn’t want to feel that way, and a returning client is much cheaper to maintain than it is to acquire a new client.

So keep in touch. Make sure the client continues to get great advice, updates, and information that they’ll appreciate, knowing that you’re there with them for the long haul and are committed to their long term satisfaction and success.

So there you have it. A guideline for what kind of content to create at every stage of your funnel.

Especially in the early steps, when you’re trying to educate others about the need and how you can solve it, the Jewish Content Network’s robust advertising options can be a great way to bring your content to potential clients, using the method that’s right for them. Whether it’s social media, articles, or graphics, whether you’re educating clients about needs, benefits, or helping them figure out why to choose youtalk to us todayabout maximizing your reach to the Jewish world.

Chaim Chernoff is the Chief Marketing Officer at the Jewish Content Network. Always on the lookout for latest digital marketing trends, Chaim aims to help businesses expand their presence and grow their business in the digital world.  Do you have marketing questions? Send an email to: chaim@jcn.io