Let’s talk about sales content. For too long, it’s been the last thing we think about when we say “content marketing.” And it’s time for that to change.
Content originally referred to the blog. That’s it. Then we realized content could also be books, presentations, podcasts, videos and social media posts.
We’re not supposed to sell in our content, so we keep it all at the top of the funnel. And we try to create so much content, we’re not willing to take on more projects.
There’s just one problem. Content doesn’t just drive the top of the funnel. It also helps prospects choose us when they’re ready to buy.
Sales content — sometimes called BOFU content (bottom of funnel content) — is just as important as TOFU content (top-of-funnel content). In fact, if you want to keep your business profitable, it could be more important.
What Is Sales Content?
Sales content is content that’s aimed at people who are nearing their purchase decision. It provides useful information that answers their questions, helps them compare their options, and feel confident about buying (hopefully) your product.
Sales content includes:
- Case studies
- Customer stories
- Product comparisons
- Product reviews
- Usage guides
- Problem/solution resources
- Spec sheets
Why You Need to Be Creating Sales Content
If you don’t have sales content, you’re leaving your prospects to fend for themselves.
They’re thinking about spending hard-earned dollars, but they still have questions. They’re not sure whether Brand A or Brand B is going to be a better solution.
They’re actively looking for answers to their questions. They want to know the differences between your product’s use cases, features, and outcomes and your competitors’.
They want to see stories, case studies, and demonstrations — so they can decide whether your product will deliver the outcome they’re looking for.
And here’s the thing…
The company that provides that kind of information typically wins.
It’s a matter of trust. If you’re the only company that can prove your product works, you’re the most likely to earn the sale.
So Why Do We Ignore Sales Content?
We often resist the idea of selling in content. But there’s no reason to ignore the bottom of the funnel.
Sales content answers questions. It persuades. It helps people make smart decisions. And it does it without being pushy or salesy.
That’s key. No one wants to be sold. But they do want to feel confident they’re making the right decision.
Sales content doesn’t have to read like a sales page. Its purpose isn’t to sell. It’s to support prospects as they approach the purchase.
I’m as guilty as the next marketer. Top-of-funnel (TOFU) content can consume my schedule to the point that I forget to carve out time for creating sales content.
That’s a mistake.
If you aren’t making sales, there won’t be any business to support with your blog posts and podcasts.
So what should you be focused on?
Content at Each Stage of the Funnel
At the top of the funnel, content builds awareness. It engages people and draws them into your brand’s universe. It’s fantastic for building traffic and generating leads.
Mid-funnel, content helps people evaluate your product. They may not be ready to buy yet, but they’re researching options and narrowing their selection pool. This helps you qualify your leads, so you can focus on people who will actually convert.
At the bottom of the funnel, your audience is ready to buy. They want to be sure they make the right decision. Yet this is the content we typically ignore.
Which means we’re building a list, pulling in prospects…
As content marketers, we need to focus on selling as well as marketing.
It’s a Simple Mindset Shift
Let me ask you a question: How many different channels are you creating content for? Are they all equally valuable?
Rather than adding channels, we need to streamline.
Figure out where your prospects are, and where they actually engage with you. This is where you need to focus your energies.
We should also streamline the type of content we create. Does your community respond better to text, audio, or video? Run the analytics to find out. Then pick your best format.
Rather than trying to do everything for everyone, narrow your focus.
With the extra time you free up, you can create high-quality sales content that actually converts.
Most brands create almost exclusively TOFU content. For every eight pieces of content at the top of the funnel, they create (maybe) two at the middle or bottom of the funnel.
Let’s fix the ratio.
Fill out the bottom of your funnel first, so you can start selling. Then work your way up the funnel.
Then, for every one or two pieces of TOFU content you create, check your lower-funnel content. Does it need an update? Is there a piece of sales content that needs creating?
As content marketers, we love creating. Let’s create content that actually builds the business.