Content Marketing
How to Build the Perfect Conversion Funnel with Content Mapped to the Buyer Journey

How to Build the Perfect Conversion Funnel with Content Mapped to the Buyer Journey

September 28, 2020
5 min read

Can you imagine how easy your life would be if every website visitor purchased a product? After navigating your complex conversion funnel filled with quality content, they purchase right there on the first visit. Easy and done. 

However, the thing is—selling isn’t easy, and it’s far more difficult with so much digital information at your customer’s fingertips. With 87% of all shoppers beginning with an online search, it takes more effort for brands to stand out with the right content that engages and converts.

Modern consumers are digital piranhas. They’re researching multiple brands and finding the best content out there—all before making a final purchase.

For this reason, your content is essential to entertaining, educating, and converting potential customers. The right content nurtures prospects throughout your customer journey and ultimately turns them into loyal brand advocates that keep coming back for more.

While most brands understand the importance of content development, many of them struggle with finding the right content that keeps a lead’s interest long enough to produce results. Instead, they’re bogged down by trying to choose the right content frequency, budget, or format. 

However, once you treat each piece of content like a new opportunity to inspire your target audience, you’ll be able to push them farther down your conversion funnel. 

If you’re looking to improve your conversion rate, you have to start with content. In this article, you’ll learn how to successfully implement a lead nurturing strategy that’s full of impactful content. 

Quick takeaways:

  • A lead nurturing strategy helps build a long-lasting relationship with leads that don’t end with a final purchase
  • The conversion funnel attracts, builds momentum, and results in return sales with your target audience through quality content
  • Each funnel stage requires different content and messaging to engage leads and stand out from the competition successfully

Why is Lead Nurturing Important?

No matter how many leads you attract to your website, about 73% of them are not ready to convert. However, brands that take time to nurture leads effectively have the potential to see a 450% increase in qualified prospects and 50% more sales.

Lead nurturing enables you to anticipate your prospect’s needs and deliver value based on their pain points. By leveraging quality content, you’re able to build long-term relationships with qualified prospects to accelerate them through your lead conversion funnel.

Lead nurturing during the buying process helps:

  • Establish communication with leads immediately
  • Build thought-leadership and credibility
  • Discover how to personalize and segment your audience
  • Increase engagement
  • Automate the sales cycle and find up-sell opportunities

What is a Conversion Funnel?

A conversion funnel is a path a prospect takes through your website that often leads to final conversion. Depending on your business, a conversion could be a purchase, sign-up, form fill, or more.

Leads could drop out of the funnel for several reasons. Whether they aren’t ready to buy or experience technical errors, it’s essential to identify these drop-off spots to drive engagement and convert more leads successfully.

A typical conversion funnel includes the following stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration 
  • Purchase
  • Loyalty

conversion funnel with content mapping

However, it’s essential to note that modern buyers don’t always neatly fit into a funnel. With access to more information than ever before, conversion funnels are less about the structure, and more focused on customer behavior that nurtures prospects every step of the way.

The Content You Need to Build a Successful Conversion Funnel

A holistic content development strategy takes your lead through every stage of the buying cycle to build loyal relationships. 

So, how can you develop an engaging conversion funnel to increase your ROI with content?

Let’s take an expanded look at what each funnel stage includes and the ideal content that nurtures leads into a final conversion.

Stage 1: Awareness

At the top of the funnel, you need to attract leads to your website by highlighting a pain point and providing a solution. After completing a competitive analysis and discovering how your brand solves customer needs at a higher level, you can highlight those benefits from multiple angles that drive website traffic.

Bottom line: Your content needs to grab a user’s attention enough to entice a click-through. The content for this stage includes:

  • Search ads: Leverage eye-catching headlines or imagery to showcase your brand’s value. However, it’s essential to nail your target audience and budget for the best results
  • Dedicated landing pages: With a focused landing page, you can effectively communicate your brand’s main message and tie in advanced personalization
  • Blog posts: Long-form content demonstrates that your brand is trustworthy and drives organic search traffic
  • Videos: With 84% of consumers persuaded by video, it’s an effective medium to grab your lead’s attention through entertainment

Stage 2: Interest

Now that you’ve hooked your lead, you need to continue to provide them with entertaining and educational value, so they remain interested. In this stage, you build momentum around your brand and keep your lead’s attention until they’re ready to make a purchase.

Value-building content includes:

  • Infographics and checklists: Generate shares and earn engagement through digestible materials that mix data with solutions
  • Social media: Meet your audience on their preferred platform and engage with them to build a community
  • Email: Newsletters let you build a 1:1 lead relationship and have a higher ROI than any other digital platform

Stage 3: Consideration

Through the consideration phase, users research and decide whether or not your brand is the right fit. Armed with web searches full of competitive information, consumers oftentimes compare brands against each other to find the best deal or value proposition. 

The consideration phase is all about defining options and propositioning your brand as the best solution. Consideration content includes:

  • Thought-leadership content: Display your credibility through comprehensive ebooks, white papers, webinars, and more
  • Reviews: 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, so they help inform leads about your brand and customer service
  • Comparison videos: Anticipate and answer your lead’s questions by pitting your brand up against the competition

Stage 4: Purchase

Are you ready to close the sale? At the purchase stage, you want prospective customers to add an item into the cart and hit ‘buy now.’ While the lead’s intentions are clear, they may need additional reassurance that they’re making the right decision.

The purchase stage content should be educational and include:

  • Free trial demos: Allow leads the ability to test-drive your products before completing a purchase
  • Discounts: Offer incentives, like free shipping or additional product offerings, to sweeten the deal and encourage quick action
  • Pricing guides: Include detailed product information and pricing to ease any doubts

conversion funnel

Stage 5: Loyalty

If you thought the conversion ended with a purchase, think again. You want each converting customer to come back, purchase, and tell all of their friends. 

In fact, past customers spend 67% more than new ones. It also costs 5x more to attract a new customer than an existing one. 

At this stage, customers are looking for continued education and support. Content includes:

  • Product tutorials and videos: Keep customers abreast of any recent enhancements or new products
  • Email journeys: Utilize triggered emails based on customer actions or inactivity
  • User communities: Help foster a community around for customers to learn more 

Increase Engagement with a Content Conversion Funnel

While a conversion funnel seems easy in theory, it’s essential to remember that it’s an ongoing cycle that needs to be carefully monitored and updated. Conversion funnels aren’t an easy pursuit; however, they provide long-term value and ROI that increases your brand’s overall productivity. 

By focusing on customer behavior and experience, you can successfully implement a conversion funnel that outmatches competitors and attracts your target audience. 

Ready to kickstart your conversion funnel? Schedule a free consultation to learn more about our Content Builder Services today.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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