Content marketing for sales: 6 ideas to address the bottom of the funnel
Learn how to create content that turns leads into customers.
Published January 10, 2019
Last updated September 22, 2020
When you make content for the bottom of your sales funnel, you need to focus on quality rather than quantity.
Your potential customer knows who you are, they know you can help solve their problem, and all you need to do is get them over the finish line.
With the right content in hand, your sales team can do just that.
To help you produce personalized content for prospects, let's take a look at the purpose of the bottom of the funnel, ways to accurately measure this type of content, and content ideas to support the sales department.
Defining the bottom of the sales funnel
At the bottom of the funnel stage (also known as the conversion/purchase phase), prospects are now extensively researching specific features and reviews to determine if they should actually buy your product/service. That's where content marketing comes in. Content should be designed to convince prospects to purchase.
Analyzing content marketing sales metrics
It's also important to know exactly what to measure to prove to company management that the content you're producing is effective.
Unfortunately, company management often wants to see quick results—short-term wins over long-term growth. Looking at the amount of traffic is a common measurement but does not give an accurate reading of the bottom of the funnel.
Traffic itself is not a bad metric—it just should not be used as a standalone measure. You are measuring the level of engagement over the number of visits. Returning visitors, CTA click-through rates, and onsite engagement are useful as well as asking the sales team if current content is actually helping with engagement.
Before creating any bottom of the funnel content, talk with your sales department and have a content marketing strategy in place (and also outline how you will measure success). The sales team knows the problems that customers face and concerns that potential customers have. Their input can help with creating effective, engaging content.
To get you started with producing amazing content for the bottom of the funnel, here are six content marketing sales ideas to help close the deal with prospects.
1. Case studies
Case studies prove to prospects that your product/service works for other businesses. These studies also offer another reason to trust you. Our own case studies at Zendesk Sell include statistics, testimonials, and what parts of our product have proved effective for our customers' business. Case studies need to be related to your customer's industry.
A specific case study on our website, our DigiMapps study, includes the percentage boost in monthly sales growth that the company experienced after using Sell. It's a real-world, practical example of our product in action.
The best way to use case studies is to pull interesting statistics and analytics for reps to casually share with prospects during the sales process. Also post on your website.
Ebooks are a type of long-form content and go more in-depth than blog posts. Ebooks act as a free resource for prospects. Create ebooks around topics that are helpful to specific sets of customers and then incorporate your own product as examples. Information should be high-level rather than fluffy reading. This is specialized content that strengthens your company's credibility, so be an expert on the topics you are presenting. The design should also be aesthetically pleasing.
Zendesk offers an ebook that breaks down their call center solution, Zendesk Talk. The free resource offers best practices to successfully implement the product. This is helpful for current customers but also for prospects who want an in-depth user guide before committing.
Turn certain sections of your ebook into blog posts and then link to the actual resource. Also promote through social media, including paid ads. Send to sales reps as well offer to prospects.
3. Blog articles
The importance of this type of content can't be understated. Many prospects head to your blog first to read articles about how you can fix their problem. However, articles need to be written in the right way to convert readers. Articles should not be generic but highly personalized. Choose keywords that may not necessarily have high volume but cover interesting and helpful topics for certain customers. Content should also be actionable and long-form (1,000-2,000 words). Include CTAs within specialized blog posts with a demo link or trial.
How-to articles are a great way to let prospects know exactly how to use different features of your product. Wistia posted an excellent article How to Make a Great Presentation Video with Soapbox that takes the reader step-by-step through the process. They also include a CTA at the beginning of the article to install Soapbox.
Naturally, you'll post articles to your blog but also link within your website and promote on social media. You can also send via email newsletters.
Webinars are not just a tool for lead generation—they can also be used to help prospects gain a better understanding of your product/service. You can either repurpose old educational webinars or schedule product demo webinars. Include links or downloads to other bottom of the funnel content such as ebooks and case studies to increase customer engagement.
AdEspresso offers an onboarding webinar that 1) helps new customers implement their product, and 2) allows prospects to see exactly how the platform works and how to use specific tools.
A specific landing page on your website is helpful for easy navigation of your webinars by category. You can also repurpose on your blog and include the link to the webinar.
5. Product updates
Along with being educational, product updates give you the opportunity to connect with prospects who may have become disengaged. Take the opportunity to highlight new product features. Further seeing what your product is capable of can provide that extra push for the prospect to purchase. Product updates can be distributed in many ways, such as through email, social media, and your blog.
This update by Airtable details the blocks (apps) now available on the cloud collaboration service. It also incorporates testimonials, including one from Netflix.
Email is a great way to send these updates via sales reps, but your blog and social media accounts are also good distribution channels.
Videos are great for breaking down complex topics and helping prospects understand your product/service (especially if it's technical). For videos, you can repackage other bottom of the funnel content such as testimonials, FAQs, blogs, and short guides. You can also create personal videos, for example, for prospects wanting a demo.
Team management company Slack produced a video that is both product demo and testimonials. The company highlights a customer who was at first hesitant to try Slack but then ended up loving the product. The video is fun but also shows prospective customers exactly how Slack works.
Post videos to your website but also send to sales reps to show prospects during conversations.
All of these ideas are focused on long-term growth and leading prospects to the purchase. Understand what each type of content marketing idea is designed to do, determine what ideas are best for your company, and measure accordingly. Also communicate your content marketing sales strategy to company management. Collaborate with the sales department to effectively reach the bottom of the funnel.