Why Create an Automated Sales Funnel with Content?
The idea of creating an automated sales funnel is very attractive.
After all, most companies want more clients. And if it’s automated then you can just sit back and watch the business roll in, right? Well, not quite, but there is an efficient way to go about it.
If you want to find out exactly how to do it, read on…
Now, one way of creating an automated sales funnel is with content. There are other ways of course, such as using Google Ads to direct potential customers to a landing page.
So, what is so good about an automated sales funnel that works through content creation?
Well, first of all, it is a strategy that is likely to lead to better and better results over time, at no additional cost. While Google Ads can provide immediate results, the cost is almost certainly going to increase over time. Also, the moment you stop paying for Google Ads, the leads stop coming in.
With content creation, it’s more of a sunk cost. Sure, there is going to be a cost associated with generating a new article each week, whether you outsource content creation or manage it in-house. But once you have made that investment, it can continue to help you generate leads for years to come, at no additional cost.
How to Create an Automated Sales Funnel with Content
Setting up and maintaining an automated sales funnel based on content creation is not difficult.
Below, I outline a 6-step process that I have used successfully with different businesses to get outstanding results.
Step 1: Create Quality Content on a Regular Basis
It really should go without saying that for this to work you need to create quality content.
There’s no point in publishing low-quality content. Even if you do get some hits as a result of low-quality content, it’s not going to work in the long term, and this is a long term strategy. One of the reasons that low-quality content is never going to work in the long term is that the Google algorithm is very smart, and it gets better and better at ranking the content that people want to see—quality content, of course!
The other important component is to produce content on a regular basis. It’s no good pumping out 5 blogposts in a day, and then nothing for the rest of the year. Again, Google is going to pick up on this and Google likes to rank sites that are producing fresh content.
You can produce written content, audio content or video content, or any combination of the 3. The important thing is that it is well-produced and that you are releasing something new regularly—preferably every week.
Remember, you don’t necessarily need to produce all of this content yourself, you can outsource it to a content creation service such as Big Box Content.
Step 2: Share Content via Social Media
This next part of the process will help you to get results more quickly.
You’ve created quality content. You’ve posted it to your blog. Now, the traffic and sales should start rolling in, right?
Well, not exactly.
It will take time for Google to index your content and even longer for it to start to rank. Not an eternity, but a little while, perhaps several months.
And this won’t happen effectively unless you have eyes on your content and interactions on your page.
What’s the best way to achieve this? By getting your content out to the world via social media.
So, once your content has been posted, you can start sharing it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. Automation tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer can make your posting easier, and you can start to get some clicks and shares for that great content you produced.
Step 3: Check Calls-to-Action
The main idea behind this content strategy is the that the quality content is going to attract visitors to your site. Which it will, of course, especially if it is shared effectively via social media as mentioned in the previous step.
For this automated sales funnel to work, your content needs to be effective at attracting visitors to your site 24/7.
But, the next question is, what happens when a visitor arrives at your site?
It’s really important to direct your potential clients appropriately. What action would you like them to take?
As we are talking about automated sales funnels, we want to encourage an action that is going to lead to a sale. If you have products for sale on your website, you might have some “Buy Now” buttons. If you offer a service that requires issuing a quote, you might have a button that says “Get a Free Quote”.
Either way, you really need a clear Call-to-Action.
If you have a clear Call-to-Action, then you are going to be able to generate leads in an automated manner. You will receive leads without actively prospecting. You won’t have to make sales calls. The leads will come to you.
Step 4: Close the Sale
I have called this an “automated sales funnel” but really it is an “automated prospect funnel”. It helps to generate prospects, it doesnt necessarily turn them into clients.
It does, nevertheless, depend on the product or service you are selling.
If you are selling a product, it is possible to create a purely automated sales funnel, where the content attracts the visitor, who consumes the content and then takes the action of buying something.
For this to happen, the process for closing the sale needs to be smooth. The buy button / shopping basket / checkout all need to be clear and easy to follow, guiding the customer through the buying process rather than putting obstacles in their way.
When it comes to selling more complicated services, it may be more of an “automated prospect funnel” rather than an “automated sales funnel”. For example, if you are selling legal services, you will probably need to talk to each client individually before closing a sale.
I really wanted to mention this because, although the idea of automation is great, and the idea of everything happening online is very attractive, sometimes a bit of old-school selling is needed at the end of the process to actually bring the client on board. I like the way that online and offline can work together for many businesses; it’s not just about online working in it’s own universe. The leads can be attracted online, and closed offline.
The most important point here is finding out and implementing a strategy that is going to work for your business.
Step 5: Measure Results
I love metrics. And stats. Maybe it’s because I’m an engineer.
But when it comes to online marketing and online sales funnels, measuring results is a key part of the process that is going to ensure that you are on track. Otherwise, you might be wasting your time.
So, what should you be measuring?
One of the stats to measure is the number of visitors to your pages over time; this can easily be done with Google Analytics. Another is the number of shares, likes and follows in your social media accounts. And then of course there are the number of people who take a desired action on your website, and purchase a product or fill in a contact form.
Measuring these statistics on a month-by-month basis can really help you to see what it going on.
Here are a couple of examples:
Are you getting lots of visitors to your site but no conversions: There is something wrong with your offer.
Are you not getting enough visitors: You need more traffic and maybe you are not sharing enough via social media.
Analyzing the numbers is really going to help you to see what it going on, and what the trends are. That is why it is so important to look at the numbers on a month-by-month basis to see if you are going in the right direction.
Step 6: Adjust and Repeat
This is an iterative process.
Based on the results in Step 6, you might need to make some adjustments.
Maybe you need to create more content, or share more frequently on social media. Perhaps the results will lead you to create a different type of content, such as video or audio. Basically, there are times when some kind of adjustment might be required.
Once you’ve made the adjustment, it’s time to run the process again, and measure the results again.
Are you moving in the right direction?
This process can be extremely effective if implemented correctly. And it really is quite simple once you break it down.
If you need any help with the content creation part of the above process, please get in touch here and we’ll be happy to help.
All the best!