A successful content marketing funnel is a multi-stage process. It moves people from awareness of your product to satisfied customers.
According to Forrester, on average, a consumer uses 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision. The decision could include comparing several products. A consumer goes through a long process of comparing different products before making the final choice. Some ask for opinions from friends, read reviews, or read blog posts.
According to a 2018 study by HubSpot, 61% of marketers consider promoting traffic and lead in promoting their products. Most people who come through the traffic do not come to purchase but to get more information. With a strong content marketing funnel, there will be a higher return on your content. Which business does not want a higher ROI?
In this article, we will look into:
- What is content marketing funnel?
- Why do you need to create a content marketing funnel?
- Audience-oriented funnel creation
- Creating successful content
- What to do once a customer has completed your funnel
What is content marketing funnel?
The content marketing funnel is a system that introduces new leads to your business through different types of content. The leads are progressively converted to possible customers through funneling by providing more content.
Funnel marketing can be split into three categories, each with different features;
- Top of the funnel (ToFu). Focusses on brand awareness and increased site traffic to grab attention.
- Middle of the funnel (MOFU). Focuses on lead generation and nurture. The content informs and educates customers.
- Bottom of the funnel (BOFU). It is personalized and product-focused. It is aimed at getting conversions on the product or service.
Top of the funnel (ToFu)
What is top of the funnel? The stage is concerned with capturing the customer’s attention. Providing value content like answering questions or information on how it solves customer problems is needed.
The information helps in creating brand awareness. It can be shared on different social media platforms for more attention.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
What is MOFU? The content helps convert site visitors to sales leads. After getting some value from you, it is necessary to convert them to actual leads.
This can be done by enticing an offer in exchange for permission to contact them. Via email so that you can nurture, build a relationship, trust, and rapport with your customers.
Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
What is BOFU? BOFU convinces leads to buy your products or service. Once you have nurtured the leads, it’s time to convert them to actual customers.
Why care about creating a content marketing funnel?
A study by Kapost indicates content marketing increases 3X more leads per dollar spent when compared to paid search. Why is this possible? Creating blog content is the best kind of SEO you can do.
Content marketing brings more indexed pages, more backlinks, which promote your brand-awareness growth through word of mouth.
A study by Content Marketing Institute says content marketing rakes in conversions rates 6X higher than other methods.
Here’s a recap on why you should use content marketing:
- Increase brand awareness
- Get higher conversion rates
- Increase organic search traffic
- Spend less money on paid ads
Start with the audience in mind
When you intended to create content, first understand the target market and build a funnel that suits their needs. Use ideas like
- What problems are people facing that your business can solve?
- How can you make their lives easier?
- What questions can your business answer?
Why is it useful?
First, understand the day-to-day challenges of your target customer. For instance, a 30-something stay-at-home mom has different struggles from a 50-something stay-at-home mom.
Here’s an example, the target audience for Designrr video transcription software is a YouTube influencer who is struggling to rank their video. To solve this, this person started transcribing their videos to help with his SEO on YouTube. But he needed accurate transcription and post it on his blog and imported the transcripts to his YouTube video. With a better accurate transcription, Google has been able to identify the type of content he is producing, and started to get more views both on Google Search and YouTube,
Learn more about how you can create a buyer persona to help your business grow.
Creating successful content
Pay close attention to;
- Research content
- Find influencers
Research popular content (learn from the success of others)
After understanding what your target audience needs, you will know the type of content they prefer. You can use BuzzSumo to search for content over the Content Research> Content Analyzer tab.
For success, you must engage in social content. The social engagements indicate interest, which makes results useful to the audience. You can also try and create content that focuses on information previous articles have missed on the topic.
Search for the top influencers in your topic
Find top influencers in your topic and what they are saying about your topic. On BuzzSumo, search under the Influencers tab.
Search Bios show popular influencers interested in your topic and export the list.
Search Content Shared gives a list of popular people who recently shared content about your topic, which will get people’s attention. By sharing, your content reaches people who have never heard or read your blog.
Create the actual content
Create high-quality content that will be noticed by people.
1. Top of the funnel
The main aim of ToFu content is capturing attention. The content reaches many people who may become potential customers. Here are the best types of content to create:
- Content curation: also called clicking on the Share Button. With social media, content curation helps in sharing high-quality content on many pages. Avoid low-quality content which can be flagged as spammy.
- Blog posts: Blogs are powerful for displaying your expertise and effective for SEO. Make the blogs highly shareable to get more audience.
- Videos: videos take time, but they will improve your conversions.
- Podcasts: you can transcribe blog posts that target keywords, and people will listen to them.
2. Middle of the funnel
In the middle of the funnel, the type of content must be educational. Your audience applies knowledge in this content and gets some quick win.
The main goal of this content is to capture some contact information from users. Through this, you will nurture a relationship with time, which develops the bottom of the funnel. You can get the email details of the customer for Lead Magnet and give them information.
It is a win-win situation. Your business gets leads while the customer gets more information on products or services.
Note: since the EU began enforcing the GDPR regulations, ensure you read on the best practices for email lead capture.
Popular types of content in this funnel includes:
- White papers: white papers help convince customers that your product or service is a solution to their problem. The fact-sheets give statistical data in an academic style.
- Case studies: they often include statistics and other data gathered at the end of a test or project.
- Free guides or eBooks: how-to articles give your audience advice on problem-solving. Describe your product and show how it is efficient in solving their problems.
- Worksheets: they are used with how-to articles. They give readers ideas to apply what they are learning.
Tip: You need something that will bring value right away with a lead magnet. Kinda like this example:
3. Bottom of the funnel
The bottom of the funnel content is personal. It aims at bridging the gap between free value and your paid product offering. The content is best delivered through email autoresponder sequences. It can be sent to people who provide their email to the Lead magnet described above.
Email sequences connect dots between the original problem and the solution your product is offering. Once the customer is satisfied, you can ask for the sale. You can use how-to create winning CTAs to get useful ideas for email sequences.
If you intend to use some of the MoFu content, make it interactive and personalized to the customer. The best content in this stage is the demos. The natural progression will come for your product.
Other popular contents include:
- Testimonials from satisfied customers: sharing victory stories customers’ processes before and after trying your product can be convincing. You can share the story through a series of emails to potential customers.
- Webinars and advanced classes: holding advanced classes or offer events for your audience by providing answers in person increases leads and desire to purchase.
- Free discount codes: you can provide discount codes for a limited period. They will trigger higher purchases.
When your content marketing funnel does not end in converting audience to customers, your business has failed in its marketing strategy.
What to do after converting your audience to actual customers
In most cases, the customer’s journey ends after the sale. Restart the process and keeping the cycle flowing for retention.
When customers are satisfied with the process and the product, they will most likely recommend you to their friends, family, and other people. You can create a simple process that lets the customers do work for you. These ways include:
- Giving exclusive content that customers can share with others
- Give a discount on the next customer they refer and make a purchase
- Provide some free trials that customers can give to finds
- Ask customers on how you can provide better service or suggestions for new products
- Provide quality customer care service and after-sale service
Businesses that offer excellent services are highly talked on social media, which is great for fueling the top of the funnel.
Creating a successful content marketing strategy takes a lot of time, discipline, and work. Focus on the audience and come up with suitable solutions to their problems.