As we emerge from lockdown, many businesses are re-evaluating how they can rebuild their sales processes. Have you thought about developing a sales funnel? If you have one already, have you thought about how it might need to change? We’ve seen many traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses take the opportunity to create an online presence, so reviewing your customer’s purchase experience is essential.

What is a “sales funnel”?

A sales funnel is a documented process that maps out each step that someone needs to take to become a customer. Its purpose is to make the purchase decision effortless; to provide enough information at each stage of the purchase buying to reassure your customers that they’re making the right choice.

Successful businesses plan how to convert prospects into paying customers. They don’t leave it to chance, and they make consistent sales because they’ve made sure they manage their customers’ purchase decision-making process.

How do you design a sales funnel?

There are lots of ways to describe the steps in a sales funnel process, the most well-known being the acronym AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. These four stages represent your prospective customer’s mindset as they encounter your products or services and reach the ultimate purchase decision.

Let’s take each stage in turn and examine how you need to optimise your content marketing to make more sales:

Stage 1: Create Awareness “What is it?”

People are hungry for information so research your ideal target audience then create the content they are looking for on your website. Make sure your website is optimised or run Google Ads to appear in Google search results. Make full use of the social media channels your customers use to share your content and marketing stories.

Stage 2: Stimulate Interest “I like it”

Once you have your target audience’s attention tell them what they want to know about your product or service. Give them more information and highlight your product’s benefits. Answer their questions and show them how you solve their problems.

Stage 3: Create Desire “I want it”

Now you have an engaged audience keep uploading fresh content. By doing so you will gain a reputation as the expert in your industry. Give them opportunities to interact with you, e.g. free downloads or a helpline. Create trust in your business by publishing your feedback and testimonials.

Stage 4: Action “I’m getting it”

The customer has made their mind up and wants to buy! Now they will get in touch with your company and ask you about a demo or a free trial, pricing, availability, etc. Be available when they get in touch, even outside of business hours using voice mail, contact forms, email auto-responses, etc. Provide enough details in a timely manner and they will buy!

The AIDA model is a sturdy framework for guiding your customers through the purchase journey and spurring them to act. And if you apply it to your content marketing, you’ll be leveraging a proven formula that can consistently engage, persuade and convert an audience into customers.

By Helen Say, a freelance writer and blogger www.cblservices.co.uk