Content is extremely potent when used to drive people from interested party to sold on your solution. The difficulty for many of us when creating content is how to organize all the great works produced into a manageable format for driving sales. (Which is the holy grail of marketing at the end of the day) The web design book Convert has put together an amazing five-step program for content that I’ve summarized below.
Step 1: Talk to those who have a problem: These are prospects who have the problem your product provides a solution to. They are searching for solutions, but haven’t yet identified the one they’d like to use. At this point the best thing to do is be genuine and helpful. For example, if I wanted to reach people searching for hair loss treatments, I would write articles such as “Steps to Regain Hair” or “Hair Thinning, what’s Causing It”
Step 2: Introduce your brand as a solution At this point, prospects have decided they need a solution and are actively searching for a brand to fill the void. Possible content ideas in this step include “My Product Vs. Theirs, How They Stack Up” or “The Top 5 Solutions for Hair Loss” It’s difficult to write articles like these and stay impartial (after all, your solution IS the best), but honesty and transparency are key. Don’t lie about what your product can offer.
Step 3: Present the Specific Benefits of Your Offering to People Who Are Interested: This is where (subtle) bragging comes into play. A case study of a Fortune 500 company using your product or some user testimonials compiled into a post will do very nicely. This is where a lot of the “selling” of your brand happens.
Step 4: Your Brand is at the top of the list, now what? Drive home the benefits. Sometimes this will mean a savings calculator like this or an emotional appeal like this this is the point where people need to be pushed past the tipping point.
Step 5: Let’s Make the Deal! The sales page, not traditionally considered a content page, but it should be. Signup pages need tools of content to be great, social affirmation, customer logos, and comparisons all do nicely. This is a a great signup page that uses embedded tweets, and FAQ’s to reaffirm customers who are on the brink of signing up.
What to watch for:
1. Bulge: If one ring is a backstop that isn’t effectively leading prospects through to the next step, there is a problem.
2. Proportion: The larger the ring, the more content that’s needed for the step. It would be weird to have 25 sales pages and only 10 articles talking about the problems your product solves.
The ultimate goal: To get interested people from step 1 to step 5.