What Is Site Search? A Quick Guide for Website Owners

What Is Site Search? A Quick Guide for Website Owners

Search engines are used by most people on an almost daily basis. Providing search engine capability to your website can be one of the most effective web marketing strategies. In this post, we’ll give you a guide so you can start leveraging site search right away.

Site Search Overview

Definition

Site search is a functionality that allows your users to search and find content on your website quickly and efficiently. While it’s similar to a regular search engine, it is exclusive to your site and works by indexing it constantly. This makes it more than just a browsing feature as it enhances the user experience by enabling visitors to locate the type of content they are looking for seamlessly.

What does this feature look like? You can find it by looking at the search box and magnifying glass on a webpage.

Why Makes it a Valuable Feature?

Searching to locate relevant content or information amongst the vast amount of data across the web is an integral part of how we use the internet. We all do it almost unconsciously every time we try to locate a specific song, YouTube video, or article at some point throughout the day. Consequently, visitors automatically expect a similar browsing experience when they come to your site.

In a way, search provides a quick conversation between your site and your visitor. The visitor “asks a question” by typing a query, and the website provides an “answer” with a set of results.

And while search bars are essential to ensure a good user experience, a well-designed search feature is considered one of the principal elements of a great UI. As you can see in this example below, search is an integral part of the user experience of biketours.com.

source

It’s also worth noting the importance of visibility; the search bar should be easily located for your website visitors to use. It’s considered best to place the search bar either at the top right corner or the top and center of the web page.

Site Search Statistics

Due to the time-saving and efficient capabilities of search solutions, the search market is growing steadily and is expected to reach $8.9 billion by 2024. Here are some statistics that demonstrate this: 

  1. 30% of visitors use a site search box if there is one on the site.
  2. Visitors who use the site search box are recognized as high-intent users since they actively seek out the object of their query.
  3. Websites with site search produce 1.8 times more conversions than websites without site search. For example, a study showed that websites with search converted at a 4.63% rate, compared to the 2.77% of average website conversion.
  4. The percentage of visitors that use the site search represents 45% of all conversions. Users that use site search are more likely to make a purchase because they are actively seeking to do so.
  5. Most Consumers, 84% of internet users, turn to a search function or engine to solve a problem. So, by including a search feature on your site, you are helping your users by enabling them to solve problems.
  6. Search is so important for customers that 68% won’t return to a site if they had a poor search experience.

Ads in Site Search

Search advertising is a marketing method that involves placing ads on search engine results pages. You can add a search engine box to your site that will display ads alongside search results from your site. Some ad networks offer this possibility, such as Google AdSense.

Companies pay to place ads in your website’s search results in a pay-per-click advertising model. Search advertising operates under a real-time bidding system. Advertisers bid on specific keywords, and the ad network platform selects the best ad for each user query. 

This model works well when ads are relevant to your user’s search. That’s where contextual advertising comes in.

A platform like CodeFuel leverages search ads that are contextually relevant to what your users are looking for and to the context of your website. 

Get in touch to learn more about CodeFuel search monetization options.

4 Ways Site Search can Benefit your Business

Boost Competitive Advantage

Implementing site search can give you a competitive advantage by setting yourself apart from other businesses since this feature is often overlooked, and only a tiny percentage of companies invest in it.

Gain a Better Understanding of Customer Behavior

Every time visitors use your on-site search, they leave data about their intent. So by tracking and analyzing on-site searches, you gain valuable data and insights about your consumers. For example, analyzing the data can reveal what your customers want from your website; you can implement these insights towards improving your website and product/services.

Elevate Customer Experience

Site-search provides your visitors with an efficient way to locate relevant content and information, delivering a great user experience. While you can have excellent content on your site, you won’t reap its benefits if users can’t navigate it easily. Enabling your visitors to find what they are looking for with a few clicks ensures they stick around on your website longer. Additionally, by enhancing the experience with search ads, they are also likely to return!

Increased ROI

When visitors find what they want quickly and have a positive user experience, they are more likely to make a purchase, leading to more revenue for you. Additionally, visitors who use on-site search convert more than visitors who don’t and tend to keep coming back to the website.

What Websites Can Benefit the most from On-Site Search?

Saas Companies

Software-as-a-Service companies that include a search capability improve their user experience. Customers can then search through their data, check the documentation, and find what they need. Because of the highly competitive environment for SaaS companies, offering a better user experience is crucial to gain a competitive advantage.

Media

Content within media sites is dynamic and constantly expanding. As a result, it is common for visitors to browse to find the content they are looking for or interested in. Site search can be an invaluable tool to help your visitors quickly and efficiently locate content. Moreover, the functionality can direct them to more relevant topics of interest, increasing the amount of time they stick around on the site.

Ecommerce

When users know what they are looking for, they want to resolve it quickly. So instead of making them navigate through several menu tabs, give them a quick way to find what they want. When you help them search, find and purchase efficiently and in the least amount of time, you undeniably see an increase in ROI.

What industries do benefit the most from site search? According to a study, healthcare, transportation, hospitality, insurance, technology, and retail saw the highest growth in customer queries and search results in 2019. 

What are the next trends for site search for 2022? 

  • Voice search

With the steep increase in the popularity of voice assistants, it is expected that voice search will continue to grow. A study by OC&C projects voice-assisted purchases may reach $40 billion by the end of 2022 in the U.S. 

  •  Personalization in search

As websites serve different end-users, it’s proving increasingly important to personalize their experiences. Enhancing the search with contextual, relevant ads can achieve this. Personalized recommendations, for example, make the experience more intuitive.

Suggested content from Amazon

Top Ecommerce Site Search Solutions

Ecommerce Site Search Software helps sellers and retailers by offering a better experience for consumers. Consumers can find what they need quickly by using the search functionality. E-commerce software provides product recommendations, improves engagement, and helps reduce cart abandonment. We collected a list of the most popular software:

  • CodeFuel

CodeFuel is a powerful, customizable, and efficient monetization platform that helps you leverage search ads and enhance your user experience with on-site search. Using machine learning and advanced analytics, our all-in-one solution maximizes the yield for publishers.

  • Algolia

It is an API platform that provides site search and content discovery. The platform specializes in delivering content to users in the fastest way possible.

  • Searchspring

Automates and simplifies e-commerce processes from site search to merchandising. Searchspring provides solutions for e-commerce businesses like analytics, reporting, and site search boxes.

  • Swiftype

It is a cloud-based site search platform. Swiftype aims to deliver tailored search experiences to customers, focusing on relevance and analytics.

How to Choose the Right Site Search Solution

Many site search platforms are available, and their features and pricing vary. We recommend considering which one offers the better search experience is just one of the features, and if you want to ramp up your revenue, it is essential to choose a solution that can also leverage search ads.

Here are some additional features worth considering: 

  • Analytics

To maximize site search benefits, you should choose a platform that can provide you with robust analytics capabilities. This feature can help you track and analyze user search behavior and, as a result, better understand your consumers.

  • Functionality

Site search should work quickly and accurately. That means delivering results even when the visitor writes a typo. An autocomplete feature can also simplify the search. 

  • Customization

The best solutions should enable you to include different visitor profiles in your site search to deliver a more personalized experience. 

  • Reliability

The search feature should operate smoothly without a hitch. It would be best to choose a solution that runs on reliable infrastructure.

How On-Site Search can Boost SEO?

The paradox of good SEO implies that the more content your site has, the harder it is to sift through and locate specific articles or content. So, however good the site navigation is, there comes the point where it is a hassle for visitors to try to find what they are looking for.

A functional search box that delivers fast and accurate results can help your users find the right content on your site and raise your SEO ranking.

Best practices to ensure the on-site search boosts your SEO ranking:

  1. The search box is visible on all relevant pages.
  2. The search box provides autocomplete & predictive search suggestions based on the query.
  3. The search box is keyboard-friendly.
  4. Search result pages save searches.
  5. The search box doesn’t return an empty search results page. Instead, it suggests similar content, products, or services.

How Codefuel Site Search will Enhance your Visitors’ Experience

CodeFuel offers an enhanced user experience and monetization. While monetization may not be the first thing you associate with site search, if you want to make the most of your search box, it is something you should consider.

CodeFuel Site Search provides fast and accurate results, together with highly targeted search ads to improve your visitor’s search experience. Our site search solutions are optimized to boost revenue and your media campaign flexibility.

What Is Content Monetization? A Guide for Website Owners

What Is Content Monetization? A Guide for Website Owners

Creating great content for your website can produce more than high SEO rankings. Content monetization allows you to leverage your content so when the user consumes it, you get paid. There are several ways you can use to make your content produce revenue. You can be paid directly by the user or a third party.

In this article, we will cover these methods and break down how you can use them. We’ll also cover the examples of monetization platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

How does Content Monetization Works?

Surely you have heard of content marketing. Content monetization is the other side of content marketing. Content marketing focuses on creating valuable content to acquire more customers, while content monetization, on the other hand, has the goal of profiting from them. It gives publishers and content creators the possibility of earning money from the content they create. So, monetization can give you a way to profit even if you are not selling your content.

How does it work? It will depend on the method you choose. Still, the basic premise is that every time the user or website visitor consumes content, performing an activity, for example, subscribing, clicking on an ad or affiliate link, you get paid.

But before starting to look into monetization methods, you should ask if content monetization is right for you.

Is your content worth monetizing?

Before starting to monetize your content, you should ensure you’re producing the best content for your audience.  After all, all monetization strategies require that you create high-quality content if you want it to work.

High-quality content can help to build the audience you require to generate a revenue stream with monetization. So what are the characteristics of fantastic content?

  1. Is unique: Your content should be original and different from other options available for your audience. The uniqueness will help you rank higher in search engines, give your audience more value and increase their engagement.
  2. Has high quality: The work should be impeccable, well researched, and without grammar or spelling mistakes.
  3. Is consistent: The best content in the world won’t help if it is not consistent. You should regularly engage with your audience. That way, they will know when to expect new content from you. And you’ll build a loyal audience of followers.

 Besides, when you want to start monetizing through a platform or ad network, you will have to meet some requirements to benefit from it. You should consider monetizing your content if you:

  • Are an expert in your niche.
  • Already have a content platform, blog, YouTube channel with a steady flow of followers.
  • Get a lot of engagement from your followers, and you see their numbers grow.
  • Can spend time working on improving your content.

8 ways to Monetize your Content

Whether you have a blog, a podcast, or you publish YouTube videos, you can use most of the following strategies to make money:

1. Sell exclusive rights

In this agreement, you relinquish all rights to the work. That includes copyright and royalties exchanging your content for money.

There are many ways to approach selling your content rights. For instance, freelancers and ghostwriters do it when producing content exclusively for a brand. Another option is producing the content first and then selling it as is (in a marketplace or to a publisher).

Regardless of what option you choose, the core is the same, you exchange your piece of content for money and give away all rights to the buyer.

Selling content is becoming a popular strategy, according to this HubSpot Infographic:

Content Monetization Infographic

2. Limited usage rights

This is also a broad category. Whether you produce the content for a buyer according to specifications or you sell a ready-made piece, you may choose to limit the usage rights to it.

You, as the content creator, may choose to allow the content to be used in print only, for example, or for non-commercial use. To put it simply, you offer a license for using your content. You can also allow your content to be redistributed.

Here you have an example of how an images company, VectorStock, manages the licensing for their illustrations.

License Content

This approach doesn’t work so well for written content because of the lack of originality. But, when you come to visual content, images, illustrations, or videos, there are many places that sell stock content with limited usage rights.

3. Affiliate sales

With this monetization method, you have an audience, a blog, or a website and are willing to promote other people’s products or services. Maybe monetizing your email newsletter by promoting a product via an affiliate link. You can also recommend items via product reviews to your blog readers.

In all cases, you include a trackable link. When a visitor clicks on the link or makes a purchase from it, you get paid.

How do you get into affiliate sales? There are marketplaces for affiliate marketing. You can also work directly with sellers.

There are many platforms and ways for affiliate marketing. If you want to know more about this monetization strategy, check our Monetization Guide for Beginners.

4. Premium content

When you sell premium content your audience can access exclusive content they are not getting elsewhere.

This model has become popular in the last few years. Main publications like the Harvard Business Review and Entrepreneur give readers a limited number of free articles and then the paywall for premium content.

See, for instance, the HBR tiers:

User type   Text
Anonymous   Free articles
Registered user (registration is free-of-charge   articles sample
HBR Subscriber   monetization subscriber

5. Subscriptions

If you have unique knowledge or are an expert in a subject, your audience may pay you to get regular access to that.

This method allows you to get a steady stream of revenue by offering more in-depth content on a subscription basis. Examples may include in-depth or specialized content. You can also offer regular content via a newsletter like e-books or guides that are available only for subscribers.

If you’re going the subscription or membership route, be creative and mix the type of content you offer your subscribers. A premium video series, for instance, or a webinar can be a good idea.

Or you can give members access to a range of content with the subscription. Examples of this are sports program memberships. You might offer a course or a library of assets that people can refer to as long as they are subscribed.

An example of this type of monetization is Medium.com. For $5 a month, you get unlimited access to all the content published on the platform.

medium for monetization

6. Monetize with ads

You can sell your audience to advertisers. That means you display advertisements on your blog or website, and every time a visitor clicks on the ad, you get paid.

monetize with ads

There are different ways to monetize with ads:

  1. You can use a monetization platform like CodeFuel. The platform serves ads based on user intent, ensuring maximum engagement. This has the advantage of simplifying monetization with ads.
  2. You can deal with advertisers yourself by selling ad space. Here you have several options on how to charge. You may charge a fixed rate or a rate per a thousand impressions (CPM)
  3. You can also monetize with an ad network like AdSense. The downside of these large ad networks is that they tend to be very general and not very suitable for niche companies. In addition, the pay is usually low.

Monetizing with ads is a good strategy for website owners, publishers, and bloggers. The catch? Your content needs to be popular and on target for your audience. If not, you may risk spending more in tactics to drive traffic than what you get in ad revenue.

7. Sponsored content

If you are a publisher, you may think that adding sponsored content may impact your own negatively. In fact, the opposite is true. By offering other brands the possibility of getting promoted through sponsored reviews or posts, you can generate revenue and elevate the quality of your own content.

You can also produce sponsored content and publish it in relevant publications. A very popular content monetization strategy is live streaming content. Getting sponsors for your live streaming can also increase your content revenue.

An example of this is sponsoring content on LinkedIn. For instance, investment company Acciona got more exposure after a sponsored campaign on LinkedIn.

Sponsored content monetization

8. Donations

Now, you may argue that donations are not a monetization strategy but hear me out. When you structure your monetization with donations, you give your followers the choice of supporting you but leaving the content open for everybody.

For example, you can use Patreon to ask for a monthly donation from your sponsors. You can also add a Paypal donation button. Bear in mind that when adding a Paypal “Donate” button, you accept Paypal displaying relevant ads on your site.

Content monetization models and strategies for digital publishers

While the above strategies may work for content creators and publishers alike. Still, publishers may benefit from the following strategies.

Paywall

A difference from premium content, publishers can set a paywall, so content is available only to paying customers. Research or specific niche companies usually implement this strategy due to the high quality of the content. That doesn’t mean you cannot put out free content to attract your audience.

Tiered access offerings

As a publisher, you can offer a tiered access approach. Here you have many options, from giving a free trial period. You can also have different levels of access to the content according to the pay. This includes allowing users to pay for a single report or piece of content.

Add a paid tool or API

Adding an app or tool may increase your monetization fronts. A tool gives your users a way to enjoy your content on multiple devices. This gives you the opportunity to have a revenue stream while increasing your exposure and the user’s engagement.

Top content monetization platforms

Facebook

If your Facebook page is popular and you have a good fanbase, you can earn money from it. To monetize your Facebook account, you first need to check if you meet the terms of eligibility. If you meet the criteria, then you can apply some of the following strategies:

  1. Ads: Facebook monetization lets you display ads that appear when the user is scrolling through your page. The algorithm inserts the ad at the natural breaks in the user activity. You get paid according to how many people view the ad.
  2. Subscriptions: Facebook also has a subscription model, where your followers can pay a monthly subscription fee to access exclusive content or other perks.
  3. Brand Collaboration: Eligible companies can connect with brands so online influencers can promote their products on your page.
  4. Stars:  Your followers can buy a form of Facebook currency called “stars” to support your live streaming.
  5. Paid events: You can host webinars, events, and performances via Facebook live and charge for it.

Youtube

Content creators use the YouTube monetization model to earn revenue from their content and traffic. The YouTube partner program, for instance, allows you to attach ads to your video content.

To monetize with ads, your YouTube account needs to meet certain requirements. For instance, you have to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours.

Other YouTube monetization options include product placement, affiliate marketing, and online courses.

Want to know more about YouTube monetization? Check out How to Make Money on YouTube in 2021

What not to do when monetizing content

Monetizing content may seem easy, but there are rookie mistakes that you should avoid. Here is what not to do when you start monetizing:

Not caring about transparency

In the haste of starting monetizing, you can overlook the need to be transparent about your affiliate links or promotions. For instance, if you endorse a brand, you need to disclose any relationship you may have with the brand. When publishing a review, you are forbidden to review a product you haven’t tried. Learn more about the Federal Trade Commission guidelines here.

Tricky links

If you are monetizing through affiliate marketing, you must disclose that you are using affiliate links from company “x.”  If you don’t do it, you may risk losing your followers. Audiences’ loyalty is volatile, and if you mislead your followers, you risk losing them. Contrarily of what it seems, disclosing that you have a promotional relationship with companies may increase your follower’s trust.

Not measuring enough

Measuring and tracking content metrics is essential to ensure your content monetization strategy. The number of followers, likes and shares don’t really tell you how the content is performing money-wise.

To track how your ads or links performance you should pay attention to click-through rate, conversion rates, and demographics. Especially on social media, content creators sometimes get distracted by the number of likes or followers and don’t pay attention to the demographics.

Related content: Social media demographics you can’t miss in 2021.

Myth or Fact: Is Monetized Content Authentic?

There is a myth about monetized content being untrue or unethical. In reality, when content creators and publishers follow regulations and disclose commercial relationships, monetized content is just like any other online content.

Actually, the best content creators are the ones that strive to give the users an authentic experience. The best content publishers focus on the audience. They deliver content that connects to the audience’s needs. Therefore, the best content creators only promote brands that can deliver value to their followers.

How CodeFuel helps companies monetize content the smart way

To summarize, monetizing your content starts with you producing great quality content. The strategy you choose for monetization will depend on the type of audience and your goals.

When it comes to monetization, you can do the work yourself or use a platform to simplify and optimize monetization.

CodeFuel helps companies monetize their content by working at the basis: giving the audience what they are looking for. The platform leverages the user intent to display search and shopping ads that enrich the user experience while earning revenue for the publisher.

Start optimizing your content monetization with CodeFuel today.

Solving Publisher Pains

Content publishers face various challenges on a daily basis. CodeFuel has learnt from both internal and external studies that they face daily worries concerning social media impact, audience engagement, brand loyalty, bounce rates, traffic and mobile penetration.

It is now considered fact that publishers are not only looking to earn more revenue (obviously that’s always a priority), but a key concern is also to attract relevant users to consume their content.

Relevant Content

Users want to read relevant content. It keeps them on site for longer. The trick is to offer the ultimate experience, to deliver everything possible for an incredible user experience. When traffic comes from a social media network, the publishers needs something in place to secure that traffic and keep them on site for as long as possible.  To achieve this, content publishers need to understand the end user, to create a loyalty, and to use targeted content with slick monetization units.

Moving In The Right Direction

Creating fresh and trending content is all well and good, but publishers need to take the focus away from SEO and put it more on the end use. They need to understanding his / her habits and trends. CodeFuel’s In-Feed, for example, uses intuitive technology to align ads with key habits and trends.

The right technology is essential to capture intent, to target and personalize content so the end user will stay and explore the website environment and all it has to offer. Publishers need to aggregate internal content from the website with external content such as rich video, Wikipedia snippets and knowledge graphs.

Data oriented companies try to use data to deliver the right content to the end user, but they don’t quite hit the mark. Not a lot of companies have the technology needed to address all issues needed in one solution. CodeFuel manages to achieve this in one swoop.  With a simple line of code, it uses Smart Demand to capture certain site and session info to deliver powerfully accurate sponsored content and ads with strong metrics. It also comes with the HUB, a back-end system that allows full campaign control to analyze and optimize performance.

CodeFuel delivers value to the publisher and solves pains – all in one. We essentially offer one provider with multiple solutions which engage the user, monetize content and optimize data. What more could a publisher want? Learn more about CodeFuel here.

Site Search vs. Google Search: Why In-Site Search Is the Only Choice

Site search vs. Google search – which is better?

Many website owners feel that these are the same. They may include Google’s on-site search solution, without realizing there are big differences between the two. Those differences can impact the user experience. And they can have a big impact on user engagement, user retention, and the bottom line.

In this article, we’ll explain the differences between in-site search solutions and Google’s on-site search box.

Site Search vs. Google Search

According to the marketing research firm Econsultancy, up to 30% of site visitors will use the site search box. That means that 30% of your visitors could be demonstrating purchase intent. As we’ll see below, this information has big implications for the user experience and the bottom line.

But is there a real difference when it comes to site search vs. Google search?

There is.

Google search operates just like the search engine does when adding the “sitename” operator to a query. Therefore, Google’s in-site search will use the same algorithm and dataset when delivering results.

There are several problems with this:

  • Website owners have no control over the search algorithm.
  • The search algorithm itself may change, which can impact the results that users receive.
  • Website owners can’t prioritize content, products, pages, and so forth.

Although Google’s on-site search tool works, it doesn’t offer the same benefits as an in-site search solution:

  • In-site search tools give you control over the search algorithm.
  • You can prioritize whatever content you wish in the results.
  • Since you can customize the search experience, analytics are even more powerful and can have an even bigger impact on your bottom line.

In-site search can even be monetized. Site search solutions such as SiteFuel and SearchFuel, both offered by CodeFuel, allow website owners to earn revenue with every search.

The first solution, SiteFuel, delivers results inside a visually appealing search grid. Revenue comes from recommended content and ads, which add more value to the user since they are tailored to search queries.

The in-site search solution SearchFuel works similarly, with a traditional search experience. Website owners can easily embed the box into their website, then earn a search revenue share with every query.

Why Site Search Is So Important

Today, in-site searches are becoming more common than ever. In fact, the larger the site, the bigger the role that site search plays in the user experience. Many times, in-site search is itself a go-to navigation tool.

In large websites, the search box is the first go-to navigation method people use to find what they’re looking for. On ecommerce sites, for instance, many customers would rather type in a specific product than delve through countless menus.

Other sites also make heavy use of search boxes:

  • Knowledge bases
  • Support websites
  • Wikis
  • Content-rich websites and blogs
  • Media outlets

The more content you have – whether it comes in the form of products or articles – the more you need an in-site search solution that works.

Here are the major benefits you get when you implement the right in-site search solution:

  • In-site searches indicate search intent. This allows ecommerce sites to find out what products are popular and which aren’t.
  • Searchers are buyers. A study from Econsultancy suggested that visitors who use search can be as much as 50% more likely to buy than those who don’t…all the more reason to have a custom on-site search tool.
  • Search data offers insight into customer needs. The right data will tell you what customers want from your business and your website. With this information in hand, you can turn around and offer it to them.
  • Searches tell you about site usability. Search is critical to your site. But if users are searching at the expense of other navigation tools, you may need to make some changes to your information architecture.
  • The search algorithm and search results can be optimized. When you can promote your own content, products, or services, you can influence customers. This is ideal for any website owner or business.
  • The right search solution increases engagement and retention. The right search tool improves the user experience – the wrong one can increase bounce rates. The longer that users stay on your site to view content, the more they are engaged and the greater the chance they have of becoming long-term customers.
  • A better user experience means a better profit margin. Ultimately, search solutions will have a direct impact on your bottom line. The better the search tool, the better the impact on the user experience and the profit margin.

Every search optimization tool is different. Some are geared towards analytics and some are designed to put money in your pocket.

Regardless of which search tool you choose, it’s important to recognize the benefits of site search vs. Google search. From increased user engagement to increased profit margins, site search offers many benefits that you just can’t get from Google’s tool.

Why You Need a Sales Engagement Model for Your Content-Based Website

A sales engagement model can help any content-based website improve its monetization.

Many businesses understand that they need content to make money. But they don’t always include best practices to help them increase profits.

A documented content marketing strategy, key performance indicators, and a sales engagement model are critical components for any effective content-based website or campaign.

What Is a Sales Engagement Model?

Many consider engagement to be a function of marketing.

Marketers bring in new customers by engaging them across social media, websites, and other channels, both online and off.

However, there is a good case for making engagement part of the sales department. In a survey by Salesforce’s Pardot, 64% of customers said that the “authenticity” and “helpfulness” of content were determiners when it came to staying with a service provider.

High quality content, therefore, should be used across the entire sales funnel. To make the most of your content program, you need to integrate your sales content and your marketing funnel via a single sales engagement model.

To do that, create appropriate content aimed at each stage of your marketing funnel.

Engagement Requires the Right Content at the Right Time

You’ve probably heard much of the advice designed to help you improve your content marketing and monetization:

  • Add value. In other words, discover what your customers want, then give it to them. People need problems solved, and content that doesn’t solve problems doesn’t keep them engaged.
  • Demonstrate credibility. Credibility comes from reputation, reviews, social proof, track record, original research, and so on. The more credible your content is, the more likely you are to be accepted and engaged with by users.
  • Distribute your content widely. Content doesn’t help if no one knows it exists. Great content must be spread far and wide to achieve the maximum impact.
  • Analyze content consumption. The more data you have at your fingertips, the more you can tailor content to your customers’ needs.

And so on.

Although this advice remains true, it doesn’t incorporate the sales funnel into its equation.

The sales funnel is mapped out to fit the AIDA formula:

  • Awareness – Customers need to learn about a product or service that can solve their problem.
  • Interest – Next, interest in a solution must be generated.
  • Desire – Third, marketers must ignite a desire for a particular solution.
  • Action – Finally, customers must be compelled to act, by making a purchase, opting in, etc.

Every website visitor, app downloader, or prospect that you come across will be at one of these four stages.

The problem with many marketing programs is that they don’t engage customers based on their stage in the marketing process. The wrong content can deter or confuse customers and decrease conversions.

When creating content for your funnel and your users, you should tailor it to each stage of the funnel.

For instance, prospects at the first stage of the funnel are simply looking for information. They aren’t ready to be sold to just yet. So hitting them with your brands’ products or a sales pitch will only turn them off.

These leads must be nurtured with informative content. This information should educate in a general way, without directly mentioning your products or services, or even your brand.

At the next stage, users should be warmed up even further with focused content, such as white papers, ebooks, and guides. Further down the funnel, you can present your solutions, drive traffic towards landing pages, and engage with sales staff.

Fitting Content into Your Sales Engagement Model

As mentioned above, content must add value, be tailored to meet customer needs, be data-driven, and so on.

But for content to be effective in terms of sales engagement, it must drive customers towards the next stage of the sales funnel.

Here’s what content should look like at each stage of your marketing funnel:

  • Awareness – At the top of the funnel, your content should be informative and engaging. Design information for people who are just “beginners” – those who have just learned they have a problem and are trying to make heads and tails of it.
  • Interest – The more interested users become in a solution, the more specific and directed you can be with your content. At this stage, you should elaborate on existing solutions, problems with those solutions, and what to look for in an ideal solution.
  • Desire – To ignite desire in your prospects, start talking about the benefits of your product over the competition’s. Return on investment and your product’s USP are good talking points.
  • Action – At this stage, buyers are choosing among vendors and you are attempting to elicit a response. Prospects should ideally be opted in to autoresponder sequences and they should be directed to landing pages that push for a sale.

Every content marketing and monetization campaign can be improved with the right sales engagement model. By mapping your content to your marketing funnel, you can improve engagement, retention, and your bottom line.