The sales funnel varies for each industry. For B2B industries such as manufacturing, navigating the sales funnel can be a longer process than the B2C sales funnel. Plus, in the traditional B2B sales funnel, contact with a salesperson was necessary at an early stage. Now a simple Google search can get this job done, and sales is not contacted until the final stages of a purchase. So, manufacturing marketing has changed along with its sales funnel stages. Because customers can now find information on their own, manufacturing companies must create a content strategy that fits the needs at each stage.
The 3 sales funnel stages are:
Sales Funnel Stages: Attract
As you can see in the sales funnel diagram, the manufacturing marketing methods in the top of the sales funnel are focused on creating awareness. Social media, video, PPC, and more are all intended to catch attention and they need content to match. So, what content messages fit this stage?
High-level, informational, and non-promotional messages are appropriate. Give helpful overviews of the problems your products solve without overtly promoting what you sell. How-to blogs, easily shared infographics, and compelling videos are some of the content types that will accomplish this. Combined with social media promotion, you’ll have a content strategy that appeals directly to people at this first phase of the sales funnel.
Sales Funnel Stages: Engage
This is an ideal time to flex your muscles and show off your company’s expertise. But, be mindful of doing this in a non-promotional way. Tailor your messaging around industry news/solutions, FAQs and your company’s relevant solutions. Some appropriate content types include: White papers, blog posts, case studies, and informational videos.
It is also important to show why you and your brand stand apart from your competition in an in-depth way. So, fully fleshed-out product and company pages that highlight your stories and your values will accomplish this. The unselfish content should be promoted while the company-focused content is there for the audience to discover once it is engaged.
Sales Funnel Stages: Capture
Although your audience may be engaged, it could still take some time for a final commitment. So, your content needs to maintain interest by showing your company’s value while your audience is making its decisions. Technical information about the details and advantages of the products your company offers is also necessary. Some influential pieces of content at this stage include: Email newsletters, case studies and product pages.
Email newsletters allow you to cater directly to your reader with personalized content that is delivered straight to their inbox. It should include content that both deepens the customer relationship and clarifies your sales message. Case studies are appropriate at this stage because they show the value of your company’s solutions in real life situations. Finally, product pages with in-depth detail can provide the information necessary to drive your readers to contact a sales person.
In sum, the way manufacturing companies are marketing themselves has been revolutionized thanks to digital. To keep up with this change in the manufacturing buyer cycle and associated behaviors, listen to your customers and follow these content best practices.