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Content and Conversion When the Stakes are High

Content and Conversion When the Stakes are High

Andy Crestodina

Content and Conversion When the Stakes are High

​​Middle-of-funnel content is important in high-consideration, high-stakes decision

B2B vs. B2C: There is a big difference, right? We often think of B2B decisions as big (million-dollar enterprise software) and B2C decisions as small (tube socks). But that’s not always the case, as illustrated by these two decisions:

  • B2B: Office supplies such as paper clips.
  • B2C: Senior housing.

One is B2B but trivial, the other is B2C but critical. Yes, you can differentiate between B2B and B2C marketing, but a better distinction may be in the weight of the decision. Is it a high-consideration, high-stakes decision? Or is it a low-consideration, low-stakes decision?

When the stakes are high, people need more time to decide and there may be several people involved in the decision. They do a lot of research, have more decision criteria and require more expert advice. It’s likely a consultative sale.

When stakes are low, people decide quickly. There are few decision criteria, with the process often simply a click. It’s likely a transactional sale.

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The type of decision determines the content you should create. When the decision process is long, you just can’t expect the visitor to become a lead on their first visit. And you can’t expect them to remember you and come back soon for more information.

This is why middle-of-funnel content is so important. If you can nudge your visitor and get them to take a small action—download the ebook, register for the webinar—you’ve captured the email address and the nurturing can begin. Now you’re in the game. 



The Content Cycle Begins

The content cycle starts with a welcome email series, which is that series of automatic messages they receive after the ebook download or the webinar registration. The emails in this series often have high open and click-through rates because the subscriber is engaged and expecting something

  • Immediately: The first email is a thank you and a follow through on the promise of content.
  • Later that week: A quick follow-up with a link to more content that would logically follow the first piece.
  • A few weeks later: Hello! Here is the most valuable thing we have ever published.

Often, this welcome series can include five or more messages. They’re automated, valuable to the recipient and a powerful mechanism for the brand to keep in touch. The final message may even be a direct sales pitch.

Alongside that welcome series is the newsletter. This is where the difficult, ongoing work of the content marketer comes in. Once per month at least, you put a message in their inbox. The sender name is a person (not just a brand) and the subject line specifies the topic (not just something clever). The body text of the email is an invitation to click and read an article.

That article is a lovingly crafted, easily scanned and detailed explanation of something helpful, insightful or entertaining. Anything less and they’ll slip away. It’s hard work, but it gives you a shot at being top of mind when the key moment comes.

Structure of a High-Converting Page

The engaging emails will likely lead consumers back to your website once they’re ready for help. The structure and flow of your sales page will be critical at this point. They must include each of these elements:

  • Content that answers top questions and addresses objections.
  • Evidence that supports that content.
  • Clear, specific calls to action.

Ideally, these elements appear in the general order of importance to the typical visitor. The content guides the eye down the web page, answering questions, addressing objections and adding evidence to support each message. 

Address the ‘Why Not?’

Bad websites toot their horn and ramble on about how great their offer is. Better websites answer visitor questions and provide the answers they’re looking for. The best websites address the underlying motivations of visitors, addressing the hidden objections in the mind of the visitor.

Conversion copywriters know a secret: The key to visitor psychology isn’t to just address the why, it’s to address the why not. They know that even a small amount of uncertainty can kill the lead. 

The best copywriters address objections such as: Will it be hard? Expensive? Time consuming? Will it connect? Will it break? When will it be ready? Will this choice make me look foolish? 

Only after the main objections are defeated will the visitor become a lead.

How Do You Know The Audience’s Triggers?

The sales team can help marketers get into the mind of the prospect and locate their hidden objections. Tap the sales team to answer the questions of why leads buy and why they don’t.

For complex offerings and high consideration decisions, the sales person acts as a guide. They’ve had hundreds of conversations with prospects, learning their hopes, fears, goals and objections.

Ride along on some meetings, listen in on some calls and dig into the sent mail folder of the sales associate. Ask your top salesperson to search their sent mail folder for question words such as why, how, when and who. You’ll find it’s a goldmine of questions answered and objections addressed.

These insights will help write better copy for sales pages. It will also give you ideas for the next newsletter, webinar and ebook. Once those pieces are produced, they can be shared with the sales team who can share it with the next prospect. 

You’ve given the sales team a reason to follow up with current prospects during that long sales cycle, prompting them to offer solutions such as: “We just published an ebook that addresses some of the questions you asked in our last meeting. Would you like me to send it along?”

Remember, they’re hanging out in your sales funnel for weeks. Content keeps them warm and you’ve got time to make something just for them. This isn’t tube socks, after all. 

Andy Crestodina is the co-founder and CMO of Orbit Media. He’s an international keynote speaker and the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing.

Andy Crestodina is the co-founder and CMO of Orbit Media. He’s an international keynote speaker and the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing.