The content marketing funnel helps you decide on the types of content to use across the various stages of the buying cycle. Read for more details
Table of Contents
- What is a content marketing funnel?
- Stages of the marketing funnel
- Landing pages
- Social media
- Key takeaways
Wouldn’t life be great if each new guest visiting your site purchased an item, instead of spending hours researching the product on your competitor’s website? Imagine your prospects making their purchases on their very first visit to your website. What a wonderful world it would be!
The thing is, selling isn’t that easy. Selling is actually more complicated today than it was decades ago. Because a customer today has the internet and a world of knowledge at his fingertips, he/she can get all the information about competitor products, quality of services, and other discounts available in every online marketplace that exists. This is why the answer to how to do content marketing has become more elusive than ever before.
According to research conducted on the purchase pattern of consumers and it was found that:
- An average client researches the internet, looking at around 3-5 content pieces before conversing with a salesperson, according to a HubSpot survey.
- It was also found that 87% of customers start their inquiries on multiple online channels such as various websites and customer reviews.
Present-day purchasers are keen and savvy when it comes to buying new items. They are checking various bits of information before proceeding from one phase of the purchase decision to another.
We will now look at how you can create amazing and creative content for each stage of the marketing funnel automation. Before that, let’s get a better understanding of what is a content marketing funnel.
What is a Content Marketing Funnel?
A content marketing funnel is a framework that begins with attracting potential clients, engaging them through informational content, and converting them into paying customers.
Similar to the real-world sales funnel, a content marketing funnel is shaped like a pyramid. The funnel helps marketing companies understand how the sales process works and also gauge the overall conversion at every step of the funnel.
The wide top of this funnel acts as the starting point. It is the place where countless individuals come in contact with your services or products for the first time. You can consider these individuals as your leads. Converting them into paying customers will depend on the various stages of the marketing funnel.
You must expect that as they travel through your funnel towards the much smaller neck in any sales cycle, many will drop off. Finally, a small number of leads will reach the lower part of the pipe and become paying clients.
The content marketing funnel is the structure most businesses use to turn total strangers who visit their site into loyal customers. To master the skill of content marketing we will need to go through the three stages of the marketing funnel.
The three main stages of the content marketing funnel are as follows:
- Discovery/attraction – When a lead first finds out about the services or products you are selling.
- Consideration/engagement – When a certified lead chooses to see if your service or product is the correct fit or not, comparing it to that provided by other competitors.
- Delight/purchase – When they get the last piece of data they need before becoming your customer.
Top Of the Funnel (TOFU)
TOFU or Top Of the Funnel refers to the campaigns and other activities that create lead generation and considers consumers who form the top portion of the funnel. It is the first stage and the broadest portion of the content marketing funnel. How does your audience become aware of your presence in the market? TOFU is a part of the funnel that usually conveys brand visibility, the main focus of this particular stage.
Marketing campaigns aimed at attracting customers to the brand. First, you have to establish trust among prospective customers. It is achieved through events that drive thought leadership or through trade shows that showcase your brand. It can also include targeted advertising that incites curiosity, blog posts and infographics that spread the word about your brand, and social media posts.
The primary aim of this stage of content marketing is to drive lead generation. All information about your prospective customer is collected here. One would, at this stage, think that you have a lot of leads. But not all these leads will stay with you through the marketing journey. There will be dropouts, ones that will not buy from you. They are researchers looking for solutions for their problems but are not sure that you will solve them. So they are regularly browsing for more information. These are your target customers.
According to Semrush, 72% of marketers believe that ‘how to’ guides solve a specific problem, establish that you are an expert in the field, and leave the customers asking for more information. Organic search appears to be the most effective channel to bring in visitors, and it is the essential metric to measure the effectiveness of the TOFU content.
Middle Of the Funnel (MOFU)
At this stage, your customer has reached the middle of the funnel. They have realized that they have a problem and know with clarity what it is. If your strategy is good enough, you will filter your customers from the TOFU stage to the MOFU stage. You would have disqualified quite a few leads that you will recognize will not reach the end of the sales process.
During this stage of the funnel, your leads are still not convinced. They are still haggling at the possible solutions to their problems and are not sure you will solve them. They are still researching vendors. Similarly, you at this stage, are working on building their trust, and your content has to do just that, build your customer’s confidence in you. Be wary at this stage. You don’t want to lose your customer, and at the same time, you do not want to force and appear too strong.
At the MOFU stage, the kind of content that drives traffic is educational like infographics, checklists, and ebooks. Bring value to your viewer; you will keep them engaged for a longer period by which time they will know your brand. A ‘how-to guide’ generates leads just like in the TOFU stage. Case studies and landing pages are also useful.
To create targeted content at this stage, you can have some offers for your customers. They are still comparing you with your competition, so do not compare vendors at this stage. Give them comparisons of solutions. Videos, podcasts, and webinars must familiarize them with your brand. The MOFU content is measured by the conversions achieved and the total number of leads acquired.
Now, this is where you must take good care of your customer. He has passed two of your crucial stages and is nearing the end of the sales process which is to buy your product. Though the Bottom Of the Funnel or BOFU is a very narrow space, the customer that has reached this stage is highly qualified.
Thorough research has preceded their presence at this stage of purchase, and they have defined their solution. Though they will still be comparing your product with others, they now know who you are and what your product is all about. They will have the same information about your competitors, and it is time you start talking and engaging them though you will not make a direct selling move.
How to Create Targeted Content for Your Consumer
The kind of content that will push a BOFU customer to buy your product can include case studies, vendor comparisons, trials, consultations, and live demos amongst other things. The right content will enable the positioning of your brand as better than your competitors. Give your customer all the information required to support the customer to make that final purchase.
The main focus of the content marketing strategy is to identify and attract a well-defined audience, engage them and then drive action, the result being the sale of your product.
Now, let’s look at the different types of content that fit into these three stages of the marketing funnel.
Stage 1: Creating Targeted Content for Attracting Leads
Running advertisements is perhaps the most effective method of rapidly expanding your site’s traffic. As a rule, you should focus on one of the two sorts of promotions:
- Search engine advertisements (Google Ads)
- Social media advertisements (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter)
Both are excellent methods of boosting your brand image. You will have to invest a little energy in sorting out who your potential customer is.
2. Landing pages
If you are running paid advertisements, then landing pages are the places to which you will direct most of the traffic. When it comes to landing pages, these are a few things that big brands follow.
- Always focus on putting forth reliable information.
- Give details to your customers about a product or a service and tailor your page around that specific information.
For example, if you have a camera company, your landing page should have the details of your latest camera and its features like ISO, shutter speed, and frame rate. Along with product details, you can also offer some discounts or cash-backs so that it becomes easier to capture new arrivals to your site.
For someone who is not aware of your brand or product or service, videos are an excellent method of disseminating a ton of information within a brief time frame. Such leads either don’t know your identity or have never seen any of your items, so you need to grab their eyeballs with really innovative and exciting videos.
Stage 2: Targeted Content for Engaging Prospects
1. Blog posts
Now that you have successfully attracted your potential clients, it is time to keep them engaged. Your leads have now seen your landing pages, tracking down your online presence, and now they know that your brand exists.
Informative blog posts are one of the best ways to keep your clients engaged. A blog is where you can write and share interesting facts and statistics related to your industry. Post more information about a product or a service, guides, advantages, and disadvantages, and write on other interesting topics. You can use blog posts as a ‘top of the funnel’ content as well as during this stage.
2. Social media
It takes a long time to get a high rank on Google and receive a reasonable number of readers or audiences. You could lounge around and stand by until individuals discover your blog; however, that would be the wrong choice. This is the point where social media websites and applications prove to be useful.
Social media marketing can be an incredible method of pulling in new leads. Apart from getting new leads, you can also keep your existing clients engaged and offer them interesting content regularly.
Stage 3: Content for Delighting Potential Customers
1. Special offers and loyalty programs
A large number of online business brands work on a straightforward ‘one and done’ approach. They need the present deal and never look at how they can pull in their past clients, who, as you will know, are more likely to purchase your products or services.
A simple, consistent, and well-known technique for delighting your prospects is to provide them with selective offers and run a loyalty program. Setting up a loyalty program will help you to draw in and engage your best clients. It will make them return for more and along the way, you can turn them into brand ambassadors.
2. Case studies
Case studies are important for each phase of the client venture, including the ‘delighting existing clients’ stage. In any case, the principal point at this stage is to reconnect, engage and delight your customers. You need a decent customer relationship management or CRM system that stores clients’ information so that you can send coordinated and focused messages that, ideally, incorporate some notes and case studies that show your knowledge about the product.
- You must create content and also implement it for each stage of the marketing funnel to support and aid your strategy in the long run and to convert researchers into buyers.
- ‘How to’ guides are a good bet to drive traffic. The most efficient way to attract customers is to help them solve their problems and give them solutions.
- Provide product overviews and case studies to generate leads.
- Customer reviews are the best way to build trust. Your success stories will drive customers to try your product.
- Emails and related content will nudge your customers through the funnel.
- One must reach out to customers to increase purchases.
- Based on keyword research and competitor analysis you can create fresh content.
- The conversion rates will help you measure the effectiveness of the content funnel.
We are living in a fast-paced world. Most people need to do their research, progress at their own speed, and buy when they are prepared. So, companies that play a supporting role through this process with important, top-notch content are the ones who will keep on capturing the market share. Those extra steps play a considerable role in making customers happy, leading to returning customers. These are individuals who will make a special effort to elevate your image. Therefore, it is vital to create targeted content for every stage of your marketing funnel.
Standing for Top of the Funnel, this is a section of the content marketing funnel that targets a large volume of leads. It includes those marketing activities that do not force the customer to buy but offer relevant information that tells the customer that your product fulfills a need or problem they are presently facing.
The success of TOFU activities can be measured by:
1. Reach: Total impressions by a channel
2. Engagement: Total number of interactions with your post
3. Consumption: Number of views or unique pageviews
4. Retention: Amount of time spent on your page
MOFU stands for Middle of the Funnel. It is a stage in the content marketing funnel where the marketer positions his organization as the best source of the product a consumer requires.
1. Identify the target audience
2. Start promoting your product or service
3. Create a marketing funnel
4. Create amazing content for the customer to consume
– Lead generation
– Nurturing the leads
– Acquisition of customers and expansion of the contact base