Your content marketing strategy isn’t going to reach new heights without a carefully curated content marketing funnel. A well-crafted content marketing funnel helps drive traffic, generate leads and secure conversions. All you need is an effective plan and high-quality content.
Luckily, we’ve outlined everything you need to know to understand the content marketing funnel. In this post, you’ll learn how you can create your content plan, maximize each stage of the buyers’ journey, and share content that encourages conversions.
- Content marketing funnels allow you to align your content with each stage of the buyer’s journey, maximizing their experience and encouraging conversion
- 80% of bloggers report successful results when posting blog content consistently
- The key to a successful content marketing funnel is understanding your target audience and catering your content to their needs
- 72% of consumers only engage with personalized marketing messages
Well-crafted content marketing funnels serve as a reliable means of increasing brand awareness, educating readers and generating conversions.
What Is A Content Marketing Funnel?
The content marketing funnel is an essential part of every marketing strategy. It aligns your content delivery with the needs of customers throughout their journey, ensuring an engaging experience for both you and your audience.
Using a content marketing funnel will allow you to strategically publish your content and maximize its effectiveness according to each stage of the buyer’s journey:
- Top of the Funnel (TOFU): Awareness
- Middle of the Funnel (MOFU): Evaluation
- Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU): Decision
Image Source: Adrienne Smith
Each stage of the buyer’s journey serves as an opportunity to share specific content that encourages conversion.
The Key To Success
The key to creating a successful content marketing funnel is understanding your buyer’s journey and tailoring your funnel to their needs. To learn more about the importance of understanding the buyer’s journey, enjoy the short video below.
Video Source: Frank Kern
If you can answer potential customers’ questions with high quality content, you’ll make them feel understood and supported, ultimately driving them towards conversion.
A successful content marketing funnel will:
- Increase customer value
- Improve customer relationships
- Fill content gaps
- Encourage conversions
- Enhance retention
The next step to building the perfect content marketing funnel is understanding the stages of the buyers’ journey and types of content that enhance their experience.
Stage 1: Awareness
Every buyers’ journey starts at the Top of the Funnel (TOFU) with brand awareness. At this stage of the funnel, your audience is looking for information to help solve a problem, execute a task or learn something new.
It’s your job to meet their needs. During this phase, your goal is to:
- Spark interest
- Demonstrate expertise
- Build authority
Doing so will attract them to your business and gently encourage them to keep engaging with your brand.
In the past year, 86% of marketers have used content marketing to raise brand awareness, making it one of the most popular ways to effectively spread knowledge about your business.
Image Source: 1827 Marketing
TOFU content should generate traffic, social media engagement, mentions by influencers and media, and newsletter subscriptions. Some of the most popular and effective types of TOFU content include:
- Blog Posts
- Landing Pages
- How-to videos
- Cold emails
Focus content on educating readers and demonstrating value to your audience. Each form of content above should share useful information and establish credibility with potential customers.
Since readers are just getting to know your brand, there’s a few things you should know to maximize the effectiveness of your content marketing funnel.
- Prioritize SEO. SEO is one of the best ways to reach new audiences. Carefully completing keyword research and adhering to SEO guidelines will help maximize your brand’s visibility and increase your chances of gaining new leads.
- Minimize Self-Promotion. During this stage, your goal is to educate customers and build trust. CTAs and offering use of free tools are always encouraged, but pushing your products and services can cause prospects to lose trust.
- Blog, Blog, Blog. Consistently sharing blog posts is one of the most effective ways to share information and gain visibility. In fact, 80% of bloggers report successful results when posting content consistently.
Image Source: Orbit Media
Check out Marketing Insider Group’s guide to creating the perfect blog post to get started today.
Stage 2: Evaluation
In Stage 2, customers want to learn more about the solution you offer so they can accurately evaluate whether or not it will solve their problem.
Now that you’ve reached the Middle of the Funnel, or MOFU, your goal is to:
- Educate buyers on your solution
- Stand out from the competition
- Continue to demonstrate expertise
Since you’ve already established brand awareness and the ability to solve customer problems, you’ve built enough trust to start suggesting minor commitments with your content.
Remember, customers aren’t yet convinced to convert. Demonstrating your expertise is the best way to build trust with your audience and encourage them to make a purchase. Therefore, MOFU content should include:
- Case studies
- Comprehensive guides
- Explainer videos
- Testimonials & reviews
These types of content are more product-oriented and help prospects understand the benefits of purchasing your marketing offering. Featuring testimonials on your website can be one of the best indications that you’re prepared to satisfy customer needs.
Image Source: Appsumo
MOFU content also provides an opportunity to further engage with your audience and expand their knowledge of your business.
Here’s how to succeed as your potential customers evaluate the ability of your business:
- Repurpose Your Content. Combining your TOFU content, like blog posts and infographics, into a more saturated offering can help make your MOFU more targeted.
- It’s Safe To Self-Promote. Now that your audience has made the conscious decision to keep interacting with your brand, it’s safe to tastefully plug your products or services.
- Don’t Give Up On Your Blog. Just because blogs serve as TOFU content, doesn’t mean you can’t use them to target mid-funnel prospects too. Sharing long-form posts, such as “What To Look For In A Copywriting Service”, can be one of the most effective ways to educate your audience about your products or services.
Stage 3: Decision
Congratulations! Your prospect has decided to convert. But, your work is far from done. In this stage, prospects are convinced that your solution is the best, but still need a bit more guidance and education.
At the Bottom of the Funnel, or BOFU, your content needs to:
- Address any hesitations
- Answer any final questions
- Make buyers feel confident to convert
This stage of the content marketing funnel calls for creative ways to seal the deal. Luckily, there’s several types of content to publish that can help you do just that.
Hands-on experience and customer reviews are some of the most effective ways to demonstrate success. Types of content that prove you’re the best option include:
- Case studies
- Comparison tools
- Product pages and overviews
- Success stories
- Pitch Decks
Since case studies are customer-generated, they offer a convincing form of content that proves your ability to potential buyers. After all, 93% of buyers make decisions based on customer reviews.
Here’s what you need to know for BOFU content:
- Copywriting is Key. Your potential buyer is on high-alert for any reason why they shouldn’t trust your business. This means that every detail counts. Learn how to perfect your copywriting to avoid turning off prospects with poor grammar and lengthy-text.
- Hone In On Your Target. Content shared at this stage is especially important. 72% of consumers reported that they only engage with personalized content. Sharing personalized content catered to specific buyer personas makes your prospect feel seen.
Image Source: 1827 Marketing
Stage 4: Retention
Just because you’ve made a profit doesn’t mean you can pull the plug on catering to customer needs. Establish brand loyalty during The Retention Stage by continuing to provide value and engage your audience.
Now that you’ve reached The Retention Stage, it’s time to focus your attention on:
- Providing support
- Sharing helpful tips
- Guiding customers to maximize their investment
Continuing to share valuable insights and resources will keep your customers content and coming back for more.
The best types of content for keeping your audience engaged throughout the customer lifecycle include:
- Help articles
- Personalized emails
- Blogs, guides & webinars for continued education
These types of content keep paying customers updated, while reminding them to engage with your business and expand their knowledge of your brand.
Use your content marketing funnel to retain your paying customers and:
- Keep Sharing Helpful Information. Your TOFU content is still useful, even though readers have already converted. Paying customers are still interested in learning about other topics related to your business.
- Cater to Your Audience. Segmenting your audience helps you further serve each buyer persona. Whether you’re sharing a blog post or sending an email, segmenting your audience will help you cater to their specific needs.
Start Funneling Success Today
Building the perfect content marketing funnel is simple when you understand your audience and cater to their needs. Although, consistently sharing high-quality content presents its own set of challenges.
Marketing Insider Group specializes in creating helpful content that generates growth for businesses. Master your content marketing funnel by checking out Marketing Insider Group’s expert SEO Blog Writing Service today, or schedule a quick consultation now to learn more!