Table of Contents
- What is the Content Marketing Funnel?
- The Stages of the Content Marketing Funnel
- Stage 1: Awareness
- Stage 2: Consideration
- Stage 3: Conversion
- Post-Purchase Customer Nurturing
- Mapping Content to Each Stage of the Funnel
You’ve built an incredible brand, developed a top-notch product, and created engaging content. But there’s one crucial component missing: customers. No matter how amazing your content is, it won’t deliver results if it doesn’t reach the right audience. That’s where the content marketing funnel comes in. By strategically planning your content to align with the buyer’s journey, you can guide your audience from awareness to conversion and beyond. In this article, we’ll explore the stages of the content marketing funnel and provide a free template to help you create a winning content strategy.
What is the Content Marketing Funnel?
The content marketing funnel follows the same structure as the sales funnel, lead generation funnel, and SEO funnel. It maps out the steps a prospect takes from becoming aware of your brand to making a purchase decision. The funnel consists of three main stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion. In some cases, a post-purchase stage is added to nurture existing customers. Each stage requires different types of content to cater to the audience’s needs and guide them towards conversion.
Selling is Getting Harder
In today’s competitive digital landscape, making a sale is becoming increasingly difficult. Outperforming the competition is the biggest challenge for most brands. That’s where content comes in. Content sets your brand apart by showcasing your personality, building trust and authority, and positioning you as a reliable source of information. However, creating content that resonates with your audience at each stage of the funnel is crucial for success. In this article, we’ll show you how to do just that.
The Stages of the Content Marketing Funnel
The content marketing funnel consists of four stages: awareness, consideration, conversion, and post-purchase. Let’s delve into each stage and explore the types of content that align with them.
Stage 1: Awareness
During the awareness stage, your prospects are just entering the funnel and learning about your brand. This is the discovery phase, where you have the opportunity to shape their perception of your brand and create a positive first impression. To build trust and reputation, focus on providing content that is informative, engaging, and non-salesy.
Types of Content for the Awareness Stage:
How-to Videos: Create entertaining and informative videos on broad topics related to your brand. For example, if you’re a tech brand, create a video titled “Top 11 Ways to be Productive Before Lunchtime.”
Paid Ads: Use paid ads to increase brand awareness and promote engaging content. Avoid being too pushy or aggressive with your messaging or offers.
Landing Pages: Create landing pages that align with your paid ads and offer consistent messaging and valuable content.
Infographics: Deliver a wealth of information in a visually appealing and shareable format.
Ebooks: Offer ebooks on broad topics that provide valuable information and establish your brand as an authority.
Surveys: Engage your audience with quick surveys to gather feedback and improve your content.
How-To Guides: Create valuable resources that help your audience solve a problem without demanding anything in return.
Social Media: Establish a presence on social media platforms where your audience spends time, regularly posting content and engaging with them.
Checklists: Provide fun and useful checklists that offer value to your audience.
Podcasts: Create entertaining and enlightening podcasts that introduce your brand and keep your audience engaged.
Example of Top of the Funnel Content:
A social media post promoting the movie Deadpool demonstrates effective top-of-the-funnel content. The post showcases the film’s sense of humor without including links to showtimes or ticket sales, focusing solely on brand awareness and engagement.
Metrics to Measure ROI of Awareness Content:
To measure the performance of your top-of-the-funnel content, track metrics such as social media likes, shares, and engagement, social followers, blog subscribers, traffic to your site, video views, and time spent on page.
Stage 2: Consideration
In the consideration stage, your prospects have identified a problem and are exploring potential solutions. They are evaluating different brands, including yours, to determine which one best meets their needs. Your content at this stage should position your brand as a leader and expert in your industry, highlighting the benefits of choosing your solution.
Types of Content for the Consideration Stage:
Free Downloadable Assets: Offer valuable tools, templates, or samples that provide a taste of what it’s like to use your brand.
White Papers: Create in-depth content that focuses on data, research, and information, positioning your brand as an authority.
Social Media: Develop a social media strategy that engages and connects with your audience as they move closer to the decision stage.
Case Studies: Showcase success stories and customer experiences to demonstrate the value of your brand.
Webinars: Host live or pre-recorded webinars to provide valuable insights and create a sense of urgency.
Emails: Use email marketing to deliver exclusive content downloads, limited offers, and testimonial videos directly to your audience’s inbox.
Reviews: Incorporate customer reviews to build trust and credibility, and identify areas for improvement by analyzing competitor reviews.
Comparison Pages: Create side-by-side comparisons that highlight the unique selling points and advantages of choosing your brand.
Gated Content: Offer highly relevant and valuable content in exchange for contact information, nurturing leads further down the funnel.
Example of Consideration Stage Content:
Podia, a website-building platform, excels at creating comparison pages. These pages provide side-by-side comparisons of 48 competitors in their industry, offering additional content such as videos, testimonials, and FAQs.
Metrics to Measure Consideration Content:
Measure the success of your consideration-stage content by tracking metrics such as leads generated, number of qualified leads, and form fills.
Stage 3: Conversion
The conversion stage is where your prospects make the final decision to purchase. At this stage, your content should be product-led and provide real insights and examples of using your brand. Make the purchasing and onboarding process as seamless as possible to encourage conversions.
Types of Content for the Conversion Stage:
Live Demo: Offer authentic user experiences through live demos or free trials to showcase how your product works.
Paid Social Media: Consider using targeted paid social ads to make irresistible offers to prospects in the decision stage.
Coupons and Discounts: Provide personalized or exclusive discounts to motivate prospects to make a purchase within a limited time frame.
Comparison Pages: Utilize comparison pages to remind prospects of the reasons why your brand is the best choice.
Special Offers: Create customized offers to make each prospect feel valued and incentivize them to convert.
Pricing Pages: Present clear pricing tiers and highlight the value each tier offers to help prospects make an informed decision.
Example of Conversion Stage Content:
SendinBlue, an email platform, effectively showcases pricing options on their pricing page. Each tier is clearly explained, highlighting the added value at each level.
Metrics to Measure Conversion Content:
To measure the success of your conversion-stage content, track metrics such as sales-qualified leads, purchases or sales, and conversion rates.
Post-Purchase Customer Nurturing
Don’t forget about your existing customers. Nurturing post-purchase customers is critical for building loyalty, encouraging repeat purchases, and generating referrals.
Types of Content for the Post-Purchase Stage:
Support Documentation: Provide comprehensive support documentation to ensure a delightful customer experience.
How-To Videos: Create videos that help customers maximize the benefits of your product.
Customer Onboarding Materials: Develop materials that guide customers through the onboarding process and help them get the most out of your product.
Feature Updates: Keep customers informed about new features and upgrades to maintain their engagement and loyalty.
Example of Post-Purchase Stage Content:
Support documentation and how-to videos are valuable post-purchase content examples. These resources assist customers in utilizing your product effectively.
Mapping Content to Each Stage of the Funnel
To ensure you have the right content for each stage of the funnel, it’s essential to create a content marketing funnel template. This template allows you to map your content assets to the appropriate stages of the buyer’s journey. By customizing the template with your own content, you can easily plan and implement a successful content strategy.
The content marketing funnel is a blueprint for success in today’s competitive landscape. By creating content that aligns with each stage of the funnel, you can guide prospects from awareness to conversion and beyond. Remember to focus on educating your audience, providing valuable insights, and building trust. With a well-planned content strategy and the right content marketing funnel template, you’ll be on your way to dominating the content landscape and achieving your business goals.