Leveraging Candy Corn to Grow Your Sales
The three levels of content sharing to nurture prospects through the sales journey.
Every autumn, the debate regarding whether candy corn is a tasty treat or an uninspired charade of confectionary tears at the very fabric of our society. The argument over candy corn is indeed the great equalizer as there isn’t much waffling or fence-straddling: you either love it or hate it.
For the record, I think candy corn is horrible. Those tricolored triangles of sorrow have disappointed more people than oatmeal raisin cookies that look WAY too close to their far superior chocolate chip cousins. To be clear, candy corn is nothing more than a sugar/honey amalgamation that provides very little joy during autumn or any other season. There is, however, one good use for candy corn: an analogy to leveraging a content marketing strategy to grow your sales.
Yes, I know it’s a bit of a reach, but work with me here.
That tricolored “candy” is a great way to examine how content marketing can positively impact your sales funnel. While the phrase “content marketing” is thrown around much in the same way I throw away candy corn whenever it infiltrates my humble abode, it can genuinely work to fuel your sales funnel and drive conversions. In other words, content should be created and shared with the idea of helping your prospects move through the sales process as efficiently as possible. To truly meld content with your sales funnel, there are three types of content to be created and shared at specific times during the sales journey:
1. Awareness Content (The yellow part of the candy corn): When a prospect isn’t aware of your company or brand, the single job of content is to get content seen using one of these four vehicles in small, fun-sized bites:
If people aren’t aware of your brand, you certainly can’t create the brand preference necessary to build engagement and, ultimately, loyalty. Before your audience can even have the opportunity to decide whether to buy from you or not, they must be aware of you.
2. Consideration Content (The orange part of the candy corn): Once your target audience is aware of your brand and fully understands your brand message, they are in the consideration phase of the sales process. Now is the time to nurture your prospects by educating them on WHY they should work with you, especially in a competitive marketplace. This is where you move your content strategy from snackable bites to more of a complete meal by leveraging one (or more) of the following three instruments:
Social media posts of your work
The main goal during this stage is to showcase your knowledge, your work, and why your organization is considered to be at the forefront of the industry. By establishing your brand as an authority, you create the central part of the “why” when it comes to your audience making a purchasing decision.
3. Decision Content (The white part of the candy corn): Once a prospect has given you buying signals indicating they are considering buying from you, it’s time to help them decide using two types of decision content: pre-close content and post-close. Pre-close content is critical to making the sale and includes:
Post-close content happens AFTER the sale and targets your already existing clients. Far too many miss this step because they feel that once the deal is closed, the work is done when, in reality, that’s when the work truly begins. Post-close content includes:
Welcoming clients/expressing gratitude
Upselling opportunities such as packaging and delivery
Requesting honest feedback to display care
Used intentionally, content marketing can be a guiding strategy to move prospects through your sales funnel efficiently and a blueprint to ensure your clients remain delighted with your services. Creating content without tying it directly to a process that drives conversion rates is not a content marketing strategy. If you don’t employ a solid system for the content to enhance your sales pipeline, the content you generate will be just as flavorless as a handful of candy corn on Halloween night.
*note: an earlier version of this blog was originally posted at promojournal.com.