We can all agree that content marketing is hard. Sure, it’s a great way to turn strangers into prospects and prospects into patients, but, as you’ve probably discovered, it doesn’t always work as planned.
Sometimes, you write a piece of content, and it gets a huge influx of qualified leads. Other times, you publish what you believe it’s an incredible post, you share it, and nothing happens.
The problem is that many physical therapy clinic owners and marketers fail to understand that they need to adjust their message based on where the patient is in the sales cycle.
While it’s true that content marketing is one of the best ways to increase revenue, you can’t complete a sale if you don’t address every part of the funnel.
Think of Batman and Robin, Bonnie and Clyde or salt and pepper – one can’t go without the other. Likewise, you can’t create content that sells without addressing the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel. Remove one from the mix, and your content marketing strategy won’t work.
But, how can you tell what type of content is appropriate for each stage of the funnel? And, how can you connect your content marketing efforts to your PT clinic’s sales funnel so that you convert visitors into customers?
Let’s have a look, shall we?
But, before we dive into the process, you need to understand how the buying cycle and the sales funnel work.
Understanding the Sales Funnel
To be able to create content that sells, you need to understand the sales funnel.
The sales funnel is a concept that describes the process you want your target audience to experience as they move from being a visitor to becoming a customer.
It uses the metaphor of a leaky funnel that guides oil down to an engine. Likewise, the purpose of the sales funnel is to guide the audience towards a particular goal – signups, shares, checkouts, etc.
The top of the funnel has a wide opening. That’s where countless people come in contact with your physical therapy clinic. That is the first time they’ve become aware of your service or of the fact that they have a problem that needs to be solved. They are not there to buy but to observe.
As the funnel narrows, your audience moves from awareness to consideration and finally to purchase.
Below, I will discuss each stage of the sales funnel briefly.
Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
When new visitors land on your PT clinic’s website, they are at the top of the funnel. They are typically trying to solve a problem or fulfill a need, so they are looking for information that can help them figure out the best solution.
These visitors, also known as unqualified leads, are rarely ready to buy immediately and, the best way to scare them away is to overwhelm them with sales-heavy messages.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
The middle of the funnel is the most important part of the sales funnel as it can turn visitors into qualified leads.
In this stage of the funnel, prospects know that they have a problem, and they are now looking for the best solution. They are evaluation options, trying to decide if your services might be useful or whether they can trust the brand behind it. The purpose of the middle of the funnel content is to tell prospects why your solution is the best choice.
MOFU represents10% of your overall traffic.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
A business can’t exist without customers. However, not all customers will help you build your business. That is one of the ironies of the business world.
With less than 5% of your website visitors falling into the bottom of the funnel, buyers are a rare species. But, they are also the most profitable.
Prospects at the bottom of the funnel are ready to buy. They’ve made their decision, they know what they want, and they are ready to hit the buy/sign up/register button.
As tempting as it might be to ignore the first two stages of the funnel and focus your efforts on the BOFU patients, the reality is that your sales will drop if you neglect your non-converting visitors. By investing in content marketing and creating lasting relationships with visitors at every stage of the buying cycle, you can turn visitors into leads and leads into happy patients.
Here’s how to map content for every stage of the funnel.
How to Create Content for Every Stage of the Funnel
Your audience’s needs are different, depending on which stage of the sales funnel they fall into at a given moment. For example, if you wander into a store with no particular goal in mind – you want to look around – you will find it annoying if a salesperson starts asking you questions. But, if you know what you want to buy, you will want a salesperson to approach you as soon as possible.
The same thing happens with your website visitors. If they’ve just landed on your page for the first time, they have different needs than someone who is familiar with your brand and has used your services before.
Creating the best content for every step of the sales funnel is paramount for the success of your PT clinic. You can’t use the same content to move top of the funnel visitor towards the middle of the funnel using BOFU tactics.
With that in mind, here’s how to divide the three stages of the sales funnel into different categories
Top of the funnel:
Middle of the funnel:
Bottom of the funnel:
Here’s how to create content for every stage of the funnel
- TOFU: Content for Leads
A prospect, let’s call him Andy, has suffered a knee injury and is looking for a physical therapy clinic in his area. He reaches out to his Twitter friends and asks them if they know a trustworthy PT clinic that can help him. One of his friends recommends him your practice, and now Andy becomes aware of your existence.
He decides to visit your website to see what you are all about and if you can help him.
Andy is at the first stage of the top of the funnel – awareness.
Andy is an unqualified prospect who knows absolutely nothing about your brand. He isn’t interested in your brand mission or identity; he wants to look around and get an idea of what you can do for him.
That is the widest part of the funnel, so content needs to be highly engaging to capture Andy’s attention.
Content should be entertaining and educational, and it should answer your audience’s questions.
Once you’ve captured Andy’s attention, he enters the next part of TOFU – interest. The best way to maintain your visitors’ interest is by getting them to start asking themselves whether your services are the best option for them. You can use visual content, such as videos or infographics to make your posts more engaging.
Types of Content for Top of the Funnel
Top of the funnel content should be engaging and educational. It should answer all of your visitors’ questions and determine them to move to the next stage of the funnel.
Here’s what type of content is best suited for top of the funnel:
- How to blog posts
- How to videos
- FAQ pages
- Guest blog post
MOFU: Content for Prospects
Continuing our story, let’s imagine that Andy decided your service might be useful, but he doesn’t know yet if he can’t trust your brand. He entered the first stage of the middle of the funnel – consideration.
After reading a couple of articles on your website, Andy clicks on a call-to-action that takes him to a landing page. He reads more about your services and finds plenty of educational content here.
Once you’ve demonstrated your expertise, Andy will be far more interested in your brand. But, he isn’t quite ready yet to make an appointment.
You need to convince him that choosing your PT clinic is the best option he has. In other words, now it’s time to offer in-depth content like eBooks, webinars or white papers.
Once a prospect lands on your sales page, it means they are at the evaluation stage of the funnel. They are ready to buy, but they want a few more information, specifically in the form of customer reviews, testimonials and so on.
So, after checking your website, Andy believes you could help him solve his problems. He thinks your brand is trustworthy, but he needs validation. He checked different PT clinics as well, and he has some options. He is now investigating and comparing his options, trying to figure out who has the best solution to his problem.
Type of Content for Middle of the Funnel
Middle of the funnel content should continue to educate prospects, but it should do it in a more precise and in-depth way. It should also challenge them to think differently about a solution.
Here’s what type of content is best suited for middle of the funnel:
- Case studies
- Buying guides
- Product demos
- Customer reviews
- Blog posts with in-depth content
BOFU: content for Customers
After carefully examining your services, and after reading customer reviews and, Andy decided that choosing your physical therapy clinic is the smart thing to do. He now enters the last three categories of the last stage: conversion, relationship, and customer loyalty.
Content at this stage of the funnel should help prospects overcame any final objections and highlight the benefits of making the purchase.
Conversion shouldn’t be a single event. Once a prospect converts into a customer, the goal is to make them come back and schedule another appointment. So, you need to keep offering them helpful content to build a relationship with BOFU customers.
Let’s take Andy’s case as an example. He scheduled an appointment with your PT clinic and, in doing so, he also subscribed to your newsletter. You should use this chance to send him valuable content, such as an eBook about lesser-known knee injury prevention tips, for examples.
The final part of the sales funnel is customer loyalty. Let’s compare the bottom of the funnel to a relationship. Conventional wisdom says that to have a happy and long lasting relationship, you need to remind your partner from time to time how much you care about them. Likewise, you need to remind your patients that they are important to you. You can do this by offering coupons, giveaways or by holding a contest.
Let’s turn again to Andy to illustrate this part of the funnel. So, he scheduled an appointment with you. Two days later you send him an email with an eBook you have to share. He decides that the topic is interesting and he would like to know more. So, he downloads the eBook.
Andy has shown interest in your brand and is willing to build a relationship with you. You can now make this relationship stronger by offering him a 10% discount on his next appointment, a voucher and so on.
Type of content for Bottom of the Funnel
Bottom of the funnel content should highlight the benefits of making the purchase.
Here’s what type of content is most suited for this stage of the funnel:
- Follow up consultations
- Free trials
- Customized offers
- In-depth blog posts
Understanding your visitors’ buying cycle and knowing where they are in the sales funnel can make your PT clinic more successful and profitable. If you want to convert prospects into buyers, then you need to deliver content that is relevant to your audience.
If you’re having problems connecting your content marketing efforts to your sales funnel, then PatientsSites.com is here to help you. We can teach you how to acquire new customers and nurture existing ones so that you build a profitable practice.