Content that connects: Evaluation stage [part 2]

In part 1 of this Insights series, we hit on a tried-and-true template to help you build out a more strategic content calendar, including much easier topic ideation. 

Let’s learn even more ways to get that content to convert, shall we?

Meet me in the middle

The stages of the content funnel can help you interpret and develop content the way your website visitors will engage at a particular stage.

A content funnel example from WordStreamWhen someone first arrives at your site, they may be at the top of the funnel, in the Awareness stage. This prospect is searching for a certain kind of content. 

Once that stage is satisfied, some readers will fall away, stop visiting, or even unsubscribe for various reasons. Maybe they didn’t resonate with your offer or brand, or maybe they were just looking for something else entirely. 

Other readers, however, will become even more interested and engaged in your company or offer. They like what they see and want to stick around on your site to dig a little deeper.

This is where Evaluation content shines; the second stage of our content funnel.

From prospect to customer

According to HubSpot, when visitors move into the middle of your funnel, you’ve definitely captured their attention.

Your readers have a problem that requires solving, and now they’re looking for the best solution.

in fact, they’re already considering a purchase or commitment for this solution, and they’re now simply evaluating the options.

While top-of-funnel Awareness content is designed to educate prospects, Evaluation is the stage where you want to show not just that your solution is the best fit, but for whom.

Not everyone is going to make a good customer. So at this stage, you also want to help people determine if they’re a match. If you convince customers who aren’t a good fit to buy, in the long run, you may experience a high customer churn rate. And this will become important down the road when you’re working on the Retention phase of the funnel. 

The middle of the funnel is typically a point of extended engagement where you’re nurturing leads, building relationships, and establishing trust between the audience and your brand.

Evaluation content includes:

  • Demo videos
  • Live interactions (webinars, podcasts, live video)
  • Product descriptions and data sheets
  • Blog posts
  • Product comparison charts
  • Product or service FAQs
  • Industry reports
  • Cost calculators

Evaluation topics include:

  • “How it works” or the process they will experience once they buy — tell them what to expect, especially when you have a clearly defined process
  • Features and benefits of your services and products
  • Customer success stories aka “How they did it and so can you!”
  • Case studies
  • Testimonials 
  • How-to content that showcases your product as the obvious choice 

Evaluation content needs to help prospects make a decision. So consider this stage your opportunity to show your expertise, consistency, and knowledge in the industry. But also how others have been made more successful with your product or service. 

Without context, asking people to “sign up” or “buy now” too soon will almost always fail. Helping prospects get to know you better before making their decision helps build trust that leads to lots of sales and buyers that aren’t wishy-washy.

Next up, a discussion of the Conversion stage of the content funnel.

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