Without question, there is a degree of similarity between the optimization of sales funnels and content funnels. Both types of funnels use content (text, video, podcast, infographics, and so on) to filter your website visitors. To be clear, we’re filtering pre-qualified (interested leads) from those who are not (or simply passing through). Similarly they also use a several page strategy to ensure your CTA (Call to Action) broadcast is successfully delivered. Often, these two types of filters leverage mailing lists to deliver additional compelling value. Without doubt, both use content to help show the value and benefits of your products (or services), while at the same time demonstrating the benefits so as to nourish your visitors confidence as well as earn their trust in your ability to deliver.
While both types of funnels appear remarkably the same, because of the affinity in strategies, it’s critical to understand why they are in practice, not the same. It’s important to use each type (in their own way), to help build your success.
Those of use who don’t capitalize on the best uses of each of these two funnel types (content vs sales) at worst end up losing potential revenue. At best, building a much smaller revenue stream that’s a fraction of each dollar you could have been earning!
Having said this… It’s vitally important to ensure the correct type of funnel is used to achieve the goal you’re working towards. Each of content and sales funnels have integral differences that are best geared for different objectives. It’s important to understand “which” and “where”, if not, you’ll be in a constant state of less than stellar success. Content funnels have a different success path than sales tunnels!
The sales funnel? It’s quite simple to pin down and measure success results. After all, you’re looking at sales figures. Did you achieve the sales goals you were anticipating? If you didn’t, then explore why not. It’s not difficult to examine the measurables, they’re in your financial records, which lends to the easier exploration of examining the performance of your sales funnel. Sales funnels are about conversions. When optimizing a sales funnel, conversions then, are the primary focus.
Optimizing content funnels however requires a bit more adroitness. Why? Because a content funnel is the actions that happen before visitors pass to your sales funnel. As I mentioned, the sales funnel is about conversion, so the content funnel, in part, is about filtering. This is the way your “machine” is supposed to function, the content funnel passing visitors to the conversion funnel. But… To optimize an effective content funnel, it’s important to consider the individual aspects of it (the how’s, why’s, etc.) so that you can better optimize (for greater effectiveness). The following simple process, should be helpful…
Track your analytics! Make sure you keep your finger on the pulse of your website statistics. Doing so will help you realize which pages are your most valuable (effective, visited) entry pages. This is uber important because you’ll plainly see which pages the majority of your website visitors are entering your website. Newsflash: It’s not often the home page! Instead, you’ll see visitors most enter your website using pages that are topic specific. This makes common sense, your niche visitors are accessing content that’s of interest to them (so they are “clicking through” to those pages on your website (that best address their interests).
To optimize… Pinpoint which pages (topic/content) works best, then create more content (pages/posts) that expand on the same topics! prior to diving in and doing this however, it’s important to ensure you know where those pages are actually (ultimately) directing (leading) website visitors to. Those pages are commonly called “Lead pages”.
When addressing your lead pages, the successful ones. You’ll see that the “flow” (or path) visitors are following towards an eventual, successful conversion. You’ll also observe the type and scope of the content (of interest); common sense: Replicate the paths that are most effective (the ones that work).
In reproducing effective pages, you’ll also strengthen the authority you’re generating in visitor perceptions. If you observe some degree of visitors who only travel part way, then bounce out (before final conversion), explore what is happening on those pages (what the visitors are doing) then swap out with other paths.
As you can guess… This type of optimization uses a fair bit of analytical (and critical) reasoning. Never base your optimization actions on assumptions. Ensure you stand back and look at the big picture, see where one element connects to the next, and so on. One thing that works particularly well… Observe visitor traffic over a longer time period, so that you can see the patterns which are consistent (trust me, when you do this, patterns just “jump out” at you). If you’d like to further develop a winning strategy on how to optimize your sales funnels for improved growth, feel free to check out my online course: Sales Funnel Optimization Strategies.