A content marketing funnel allows you to effectively guide prospects from simply being aware of your brand to making an actual purchase.
It’s a documented strategy that employs various types of content and distribution techniques to reach customers at every stage of the buyer journey.
In short, the right content marketing funnel will help you attract potential customers and guide them through the path from their first interaction with your brand to their ultimate conversion into a paying customer.
In this article, we take a look at how you can build a content marketing funnel to boost sales in your business.
So, let’s dive right in!
Your sales funnel will be focused around the 3 stages of your sales funnel:
- Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
- Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
- Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
Step #1: TOFU – Spark an Interest
The main goal of any content marketing strategy is to attract and engage a targeted audience so you can increase profitable customer action and achieve your marketing goals.
This process starts at the top of the funnel (TOFU). Also known as the “awareness” stage, this stage is the starting point of the customer journey and the funnel’s most populated area.
People at this stage have just recognized that they have a problem or need, but they aren’t ready to buy yet. In fact, most of them have probably never heard of your product or brand.
The goal here is to attract their attention and spark an interest in what you have to offer.
The content you create should provide the best answers for any questions or queries they might have pertaining to your business, products, or services – and it should be easy to find for those searching for it online. At this stage, it’s all about gently introducing people to your brand.
The best types of content for TOFU include:
- Blog posts
- Social Media Posts
- How-to Guides
- Video Tutorials
- Landing Pages
- Email Newsletters
When creating content for your funnel, make sure you use the best graphic design tools and resources to create attractive and engaging content that will stand out from the rest.
The success of this first step greatly depends on your ability to send lots of traffic to your site. So, make sure you create and publish SEO-friendly content to bring more traffic to your site and write guest posts on authority sites in your niche to get high-quality backlinks and boost your search engine rankings.
You can also use sites like Wix or Shopify to create beautiful landing pages for your products and funnel your traffic there, instead.
Step #2: MOFU – Guide and Educate
The people at this stage (middle of the funnel) are on an information search. Compared to the previous stage (TOFU), there are fewer people interacting with your content here. However, they are a lot more willing to interact with encouragement from you.
The goal here is to guide and educate the potential customers from an initial idea all the way to an in-depth understanding of the way your solution can make a difference in their lives.
There is a wide range of content types that can be effective for MOFU, including:
- Comprehensive Guides
- Case Studies
- Product Overviews
- Landing Pages
- Email Marketing
- Success Stories
At this stage, it’s crucial to ensure that you only share relevant, 100% original content that will establish you as a knowledgeable expert or authority on your subject.
It’s also at this stage that prospects will begin to evaluate alternatives following their information search. Sometimes this takes place concurrently with the process of searching for information.
You need to provide them with all the information they need to aid in their evaluation process and help them make an informed decision.
- Free Trials
- Online Demonstrations
- Training Videos
- Product Demos
- Pricing Guides
- Review Articles
- Comparison Articles
- Buying Guides
- How to Choose X (eg. How to Choose the Best Predictive Dialer for Your Business)
Step #3: BOFU – Drive Conversions
This is the end of the funnel where the purchase decision is made. This is arguably the most important part of your content marketing funnel because the type of content you create here can help solidify your brand’s position as a superior alternative to your competitors.
Your content at the stage should answer very specific questions pertaining to your business, brand, product, or service.
You should provide everything your potential customers may want to know, such as how your product works, what skills are required to use it, the type of support you provide, etc.
Customer-generated content works particularly well at this stage.
Other types of content and you can create to help influence the purchase decision include:
- Product Use Cases
- Case Studies
- Customer Success Stories
- Product Reviews and Overviews
- Customer Testimonials
Although organic search works best and most effectively, email marketing, influencer marketing, and paid advertising have also been shown to be extremely effective at this stage.
When using email, make sure you maintain consistent branding across all your emails, from marketing emails to order confirmation emails and everything in between.
This lingerie store is a great example of a business that uses email marketing as part of their content marketing funnel to keep the purchase moving forward.
While still at the BOFU stage, it’s important to create content focused on your customers’ post-purchase behavior.
Just because a sale has been made doesn’t mean the sales process is over. It’s just as important to focus on what happens after the prospect has become a paying customer.
Anyone can get cheap hosting, build a site and start selling products to new customers. But, it takes real work and dedication to be able to retain your existing customers.
Keep in mind that it’s a lot easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one, so you need to create content that helps enhance your customer retention and increase your customer lifetime value (CLVJ).
Also, by focusing on creating the right content for the stage, you help to increase customer satisfaction and dramatically decrease the likelihood of refund requests, and negative reviews.
Over time this will help to boost your business’s bottom line and allow you to generate more revenue from your existing customers.
Of course, the biggest factor in your customers’ satisfaction after their purchase is the quality of your product itself.
However, there are also certain types of content you can create to help facilitate improved post-purchase behavior.
The best types of content to create for this stage include:
- FAQ content
- Content designed to help customers get the most from their product
- User-generated content showing other customers using your products
- Surveys asking customers for feedback on the buying process and ways to improve your service
- Frequent check-ins from customer support to find out how well they’re doing with your product
For example, a business like this detox center in Austin might send regular emails to keep up with their clients’ progress and offer support even long after their service has been rendered.
And that’s it! The simple 3-step process to building an effective content marketing funnel to boost your sales.
Follow the advice outlined here to create the best content that will appeal to your prospects at every stage of your marketing funnel.
Do you think your business could benefit from a content marketing funnel that focuses on the different stages of the customer journey? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Burkhard Berger is the founder of awesomex™. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on www.awesomex.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.
Sales funnel stock photo by Kilroy79/Shutterstock