• Rachelle Smerhy

Day 22: How to Build a Content Marketing Funnel

Today's Mission: Think About Your Marketing Funnel

When your audience is looking for information online, they use a certain process. This process tends to be unconscious, for the most part, and it's called the buying cycle. You need to create content for your patients in all stages of the buying cycle.

To understand this concept, it's best to imagine the buyer cycle as though it's shaped like a funnel. The top is the widest part of the funnel, while the bottom is the smallest.

As the funnel progresses from the top to the bottom, there are several phases, including:

The Awareness Phase

The awareness phase lies at the very top; the widest part of your content marketing funnel. During this phase, your prospect is searching for information. Let's say it's a potential patient looking for information on how to solve a specific health issue.

By putting up content on your blog and maybe sharing it on social media, you make it possible for that person to see that you can help solve that issue. You may have an article on their condition that makes them realize they should come in and talk to you.

Or you may have a product in your front shop that you've recommended in a post, one they can come in and buy. Either way, that potential patient or customer is now aware that you're a go-to for solving their issue.

You need to create content to attract this audience; and you need to post it where they can see it. We've talked about posting content where your audience hangs out and you can review that in our Day 7 article, Where to Publish Your Content.

But no matter where your prospective patients find you, you can also add discount codes or other offerings to entice them to either come in or shop online with you, or call in to your delivery service, depending on the situation.


The Consideration Phase


Once your potential patient or customer is aware of you, they move down your funnel a bit. They're aware that your pharmacy exists, and they may have come in to see about your products or services.


But in the consideration phase, they're still very open to the idea of buying from the competition. So how can you you start to turn them into loyal customers?


Your in-store or delivery service interactions are simple in this phase. Your goal is to be offering the most amazing service; from meds to the front shop, to your delivery time. You're working hard to make your buyer experience unforgettable.


And how can you back this up with content? In conjunction with offering informative content, you could offer new-customer discounts through your website or over social media.


Another way to entice new patients is to offer free delivery service on certain products. There are lots of ways to attract new patients through your online strategy, and by mixing this in with incomparable service offline, you'll breeze through the consideration phase.


Keeping your website up-to-date, offering fast and convenient service, and you'll inspire loyalty. In the consideration phase, your goal is to help your audience become loyal to you.

The Preference Phase

During the preference phase, your audience begins to develop that sense of loyalty you've been working so hard for. It's this phase where, with a bit of effort, you can create loyal customers for life.

How?

By understanding their motivation, listening to their needs and providing value. You know, offering the same amazing service you offer all your loyal patients. Outstanding service will always win the day, so be sure to have those conversations that help you understand your patients.


What about your website attracted them? If not your website, what specific channel did they see your content in? What motivated them to decide to give your pharmacy a try? Do they have a specific condition or problem that you can help them with?


Chances are, these new patients are looking for a pharmacist they feel they can connect with. Find out what these patients are looking for, and be sure to provide it for them.

How can you create great content for this phase?

Be authentic in you presentation, as you would if they were to come into the store. Ask what type of content they feel would be valuable; either in person or on social media. Once you've got some answers, create that type of content. Answer questions, solve problems.

The consideration phase is about connection.


The Buying Phase

Your patient may have already bought something from you in an earlier phase. A medication, a front-shop item. But the buying phase is about ensuring that this patient is happy enough to continue to buy from your pharmacy.


This is the phase where the patient decides that they're satisfied with your service. And, that they need not look elsewhere.


So what kind of content should you be creating for the buying phase? Of course you should continue with informative pieces; articles, FAQs, etc.

But you should also consider including loyalty programs, bonuses and special invitations. You could run specials and contests for returning customers. Perhaps include a special gift with certain purchases and advertise it on your blog or in an email campaign.


There are lots of ways to use your content to keep patients happy in this phase. And don't forget to keep an ear open and track your offers, so you know what's working and what isn't.


Building a content marketing funnel for your pharmacy is a good way to find and attract new patients. And, there are countless fun ways to mix great content offerings with in-store service.

It's all about providing value and building lasting relationships.

Remember, once you've got someone in the door and they're happy, they're more likely to keep buying from you. You can support this by providing genuine, informative content that adds value.

Your content marketing funnel can be as advanced or as simple as you like over time. But I'd recommend starting simple.

Your mission for today is to think about the stages of the funnel as far as your content marketing plan. Do you have content included that can address each stage of the funnel?

If not, what can you tweak or change a little to be sure that you've included all stages? Once you've thought about that, how can you back up your content with great service in-store?

As always, don't forget to ask your staff. I'd recommend making some tweaks to your content marketing plan first. Then, take your ideas to your staff for feedback. Give them a couple of days to see what they come up with for each phase.


I hope you have fun with it! See you back here tomorrow for Day 23!