I just finished a series of free 1-hour consultations for local businesses who joined me at a Chamber of Commerce social media seminar back in February.
[If you joined me for the seminar but you missed the link—or if you stumbled on this post and would really appreciate the free 1-hour consultation—fill out the form HERE.]
It was a true pleasure to connect with so many small businesses that exist in my backyard. One of the most common threads I found through most of my conversations was a need for content that generates sales. My organization is currently going through a pretty dynamic re-imagination of the content we create and curate, so the topic was timely for me too. If you’re hitting a wall with your content, or if you’re looking to reevaluate the content you share across all of your digital properties (social media, websites, blogs, etc.), the best place to start is with these 3 questions:
Will this content attract people?
Will this content engage people?
Will this content convert people?
If you have a sales background, you’ll recognize “attract”, “engage”, and “convert” as the 3 main parts of a traditional sales funnel. In truth, every aspect of your business should be paying attention to this sales funnel and doing it’s best to guide potential customers through it. So for those of us creating content for our businesses, we also have to be intentional to create content that can answer “yes” to at least one of the questions above.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about the questions they might be asking when they are in need of your products or services. I’m such a visual person that I list out those questions in an excel spreadsheet. Once I can see them, I look for trends and common felt needs that potential customers might have. If you can create content that addresses those felt needs, then you’ll be in position to attract them.
Once you have a person’s attention, create an opportunity for them to engage with you. It might be an invitation to a special event. Maybe it’s a coupon that gets them into your store or a free estimate on your services. Or you could even create opportunities to engage by giving out your direct contact information and responding right away to their phone calls and emails.
This is where the sale happens. Your attractive content has brought them into your door. The engaging content has prompted them to ask questions and created opportunities for you to respond. Now, they need you to create content that gives them the chance to commit to a purchase. Create a strong and obvious call-to-action that people can respond to. Make sure the process is easy and work to remove anything that might slow the process down.
When you step back from content, evaluate other aspects of your business to make sure they are helping guide people through the sales funnel. It will look a little different from every angle, but the end goal is always to generate sales, even if your focus is on marketing, customer service, digital properties, physical displays in your store, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. So think about the bigger picture and start asking these types of questions:
Does your store display attract people?
Does your social media engage people?
Do your employees convert people?
Are you using a system or a tool that slows any of the process down?