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How to create helpful content that will engage customers and drive sales

alphagamma How to create helpful content that will engage customers and drive sales entrepreneurship

82% of customers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content, and 70% of customers feel closer to a business after engaging with their content (demandmetric).

Content marketing isn’t just a tool to create the potential for deals. Rather it can actually help you close deals (CMI).

That’s because content can help you to build more meaningful and lucrative relationships, overcome objections, and showcase your company’s expertise to close deals faster.

So, how can you create bottom of the funnel content your prospects want to read? And move them closer to purchase?

In this article, you’ll discover three ways you can use content to engage customers and drive sales. We’ll look at real-life examples from brands and how you can put it into practice in your own company.

Empathize with the needs of your target audience

“People don’t care about your business. They care about their problems. Be the solution that they’re looking for.”
– Melonie Dodaro

To engage your ideal customer, you first need to show that you understand the challenges they are facing. To do that, you need to emphasize.

Empathy involves putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective (Sales Pro blog).

Understanding the fears, hopes, desires of your prospects will help you get to grips with the root cause of their problem and why they are seeking a solution.

Once you know what your prospect is looking for, you can create content that addresses those specific needs. For example, if you sell a fitness program, you could start by empathizing with the difficulty of losing weight then go on to explain how you can help.

How to do it: Producing buyer personas will help you to incorporate empathy into your content. Creating an empathy map will enable you to get an even deeper understanding of your prospect’s feelings, thoughts and actions. This article offers step-by-step guidance to create your own. When creating the content, draw upon your own experiences to show the challenges you faced and how you reached a solution. This helps to boost credibility.

Example: Lush knows their customers want fresh, organic, and ethically sourced ingredients in their beauty products. They empathize with their target audience by producing content that addresses these concerns. In the How It’s Made video series, employees go behind the scenes to show how the products are manufactured. They passionately speak about the fresh ingredients and processes they use to make their products (Hubspot).

Answer questions, address objections

“There’s no better way to understand customer needs than to ask them, ‘What do you need?”
– Scott McCorkle

What is stopping your prospect from moving forward with the purchase?

They may have questions about how the product works, concerns that it may not offer the level of support they need, worries over reliability. And many more unanswered questions.

Answering these queries head on in your bottom of the funnel content will help people overcome their reluctance to purchase.

But where and how should you answer these questions? Consider live video.

Live video enables you to answer specific questions about the product in real time. Whilst these can be formal product-focused webinars, Facebook Live provides an opportunity to talk about your product in a more entertaining and laid-back manner.

How to do it: Identify common questions that your prospects have related to your product, then set up a live video session to address those questions. Focus on addressing one topic in your presentation, then open it up to Q&A at the end. You could also offer a live demo of your product and answer questions at relevant points throughout the demonstration.

Example: Benefit uses Facebook Live to demo their products. Their 30-minute Tipsy Tricks offers makeup tips and invites viewers to ask questions. The show also provides product recommendations and tells viewers where they can buy them. Whilst the show is light-hearted and offers plenty of value, it provides useful information to make better informed purchases (Digital Commerce).

Provide honest reviews to inform purchase decisions

“Honest & transparent content is the best sales tool in the world. Period.” – Marcus Sheridan

Before making a purchase, customers often look at reviews to help inform their decision. By evaluating the pros and cons of the different alternatives, product reviews help customers to make better informed decisions.

Taking the time to create reviews can be very good for your business. Reviews help prospects understand what sets your products apart from others.

Furthermore, creating reviews will help you build customer trust and loyalty (WooCommerce). By producing an honest review of different solutions, your target audience will see you are interested in helping them find the right solution and are not just interested in making a sale. Offering high value content also demonstrates your expertise in the area and makes you the ‘go-to’ person for questions on the topic.

To be effective, your reviews must offer an honest evaluation of different alternatives. Whilst you should be sure to openly present the benefits of your product, you should also highlight areas where competing products fare better. The aim of the review is to get the right customer, not every customer.

How to do it: Use reviews to address common questions prospects have before making a purchase (The Sales Lion). You could do an objective review of different service providers, or the most important deciding factors when choosing between different products. Present your review in an informative long-form article, supported by data and comparison tables of features to highlight the benefits of different solutions.

Example: Thrive Themes use content to answer essential questions customers need to know before purchasing a theme for their website. They have produced numerous comparison articles to help prospects decide which theme provider would best meet their needs. For example, they produced a detailed review to help prospects understand the key differences between Thrive Architect and Divi Builder. Their honest reviews compare the pros and cons of each provider supported by helpful comparison tables so customers could make better informed decisions (even if that decision was not to go with Thrive Themes).

To create content that converts, you cannot simply just create more content. You need to find a way to cut through the noise and deliver a message that grabs their attention from the start. You need to deliver that useful content that offers the right level of insight for their stage in the buying cycle.

At the bottom end of the funnel, prospects are seriously considering your company as a possible solution. Move beyond simple comparisons and dull descriptions. Instead, create sophisticated content that enables deeper engagement and a true demonstration of how your company can help them.

Having the correct mix of content is crucial to build trust, position your company as a helpful advisor, and accelerate conversations through the nurture process.

What type of bottom of the funnel content do you find most effective to drive sales? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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