Did you know that most marketers use a content marketing funnel to accomplish brand awareness goals and create content for different customer journey stages?
According to Smart Insights, 86% of marketers have used content marketing to reach their brand awareness goals. Furthermore, new research from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) has surfaced that over 79% of marketers have helped educate their audiences with the help of content marketing.
But, how do you create an effective content marketing funnel? To create an effective content marketing funnel, you have to build a marketing funnel with the following phases:
- Building Awareness
- Doing Evaluation
- Keeping the Audiences Engaged
Seems so simple, right? However, that’s not truly the case. You need to do many things behind those four stages to ensure success in your content marketing funnel.
But, before we jump into the extensive info about those four stages, let’s define first what is a content marketing funnel.
What is a Content Marketing Funnel?
A content marketing funnel visualizes the journey of your potential customers when they’re considering making a purchase. It’s a part of a much larger, comprehensive content marketing strategy.
Your content should support the different stages of your customer journey. Thus, it’s essential to make our content relevant to push your leads to purchase.
Note: Make sure your content does not sound ‘too salesy,’ or your prospects will turn their backs on you. You can promote your products and services in a way that caters to the need of your potential clients rather than trying so hard to sell.
Furthermore, to make your content relevant, make sure that it is composed of the following components:
- type of content to create
- ways to measure your content success
- ways to improve your content strategy
To know how your content fits your prospects’ overall journey (discovery to purchase), you may create a customer journey map. This way, you can ensure that content corresponds to the needs of your potential customers.
But, how do you create a customer journey map? To create a customer journey map, you need to do the following:
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Your Content Marketing Funnel
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is essential in helping you ascertain whether your customer journey map will have a substantial impact on your customers and business. It would also be best to identify your current and future buyers to set specific goals at each stage of your audience’s experience.
Conduct Persona Research
To gather the most insightful data of your customer, get them from the people that have interacted with your brand—your prospects and real-time customers. It’ll help if you do the following task:
- Monitor the discussions concerning your company that transpire on social media.
- Use your web analytics well.
- Seek customer support and complaint logs.
- Do interviews.
- Communicate with employees who regularly interact with buyers.
- Send an email survey to existing users.
- Draw clips from recorded call centre conversations.
Moreover, it includes how your customers find your brand, when they purchase or cancel, how easy or hard to find your website and its ease of use. In addition, it also includes the problems your brand did and didn’t solve.
Define Customer Touchpoints
The satisfaction of customers comes first place in every business. However, unless you don’t have your customers in mind at each touchpoint, you’ll likely drop the ball.
Thus, make sure that you’ve got each touchpoint handled correctly. For example:
- Ensure that you have a great product
- On-time delivery
- On-target advertising
- Smooth and secured billing transactions
- A great website.
After defining your touchpoints, organize them on your customer journey map. Overall, make sure that your customers have a great time purchasing your items.
Map the Current Stage of Your Customer Journey
Build the map of your customer’s journey at the current stage. You can use a visual workspace like Lucidchart to start mapping your customer’s journey.
Map the Future State of Your Customer Journey
After building the map for the present state of your customer’s journey, it’s time to do the future state of your customer’s journey. You can use the hotspots and layers in Lucidchart to map out solutions and quickly compare the present state of your customer journey with the exemplary future state.
It would be best to present your findings to your company, bringing everyone up to speed up the process on the areas that need improvement.
So, now that we’re done with the customer journey map, we can now proceed to the four stages of Content Marketing Funnels.
4 Stages of Content Marketing Funnels
1st Stage: Building Awareness
When prospects first enter your content marketing funnel, it’s best to assume that they don’t know about your company or the solution you can provide for them. Since this is the case, it’s your job to make them aware of your products or services.
The Top-of-funnel (TOFU) content concentrates on educating your audience, which may come in the form of:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
In addition, it can also come in the form of e-books and podcasts. All of these might be overwhelming for you, but you really don’t have to do all of them.
Pick only the ones that you know you’re confident of doing and start there.
2nd Stage: Doing Evaluation
After the TOFU, there’s M.O.F.U. or the middle of the funnel. This part of the funnel determines if your potential customers need your products or services.
In the evaluation stage, you’re also venturing to build trust with your customers. Thus, find ways and means to make a trusting relationship with your consumers.
That way, you can ensure they’ll purchase from you or do business with you. No one would ever do business or buy from someone whom they can trust.
Thus, make sure to build a better reputation to have a trusting relationship with your consumers. You can produce content that best demonstrates your products, making them want to choose yours over your competitors.
The content might come in the following form:
- Case studies
- White papers
- Useful resources or downloads
- Events or webinars
Good content can help significantly in making your prospect move into the conversion stage. Thus, always make sure that your content is optimized and highly relevant to your customer’s needs.
3rd Stage: Conversion
Now, the bottom of the marketing funnel (B.O.F.U.) is about conversion. It’s all about getting your prospects to want to purchase your products.
You can highlight your products by making content, comparing it to similar products or services. To make a conversion, it’s best to clearly show your customers why they should choose your products or services.
Point out the advantages of using your products or services and compared them to your competitors. This way, your prospects can see that you’re offering a much better solution than the other businesses, making them choose you.
4th Stage: Keeping the Audiences Engaged
Once you’ve successfully made conversions out of your prospects, it doesn’t end there. You still have to keep your audience engaged.
Thus, it would be highly beneficial to make content that encourages your audience to leave their feedback and stay engaged. You may also do special promotions and early previews of your products to keep your audience in-tuned with what your business is currently up to.
Plan For the Success of Your Content Marketing Funnel
Every business owner wants success and a chance to grow exponentially. For this to happen, make sure to have a plan that includes S.M.A.R.T. goals.
With S.M.A.R.T. goals, you can ensure that you’ll be reaching your business objectives in time. In addition, create a customer journey map to serve them better, along with the four stages of the content marketing funnel.
That way, you can ensure that you’re serving your customers and prospects with the best content possible related to your business.