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Content Marketing

How to build an effective content marketing funnel

How to build an effective content marketing funnel

Content marketing can help you to build brand awareness and drive conversions for your business but thinking about how you can drive customers through the funnel using content will help to make your strategy more successful.

It’s hard to build a marketing strategy without creating any content. From blogs and newsletters to product demo videos and case studies, content takes various forms and can help keep your audience engaged and informed throughout their customer journey. 

Content marketing is an essential part of any marketing strategy with 82% of brands reporting that they are currently using content marketing which is an increase from 70% in 2020. 

But how do you ensure content is as effective as possible for your business and marketing strategy? We recommend you build a content marketing funnel. This will help you to understand the types of content that are likely to be effective throughout your customer’s journey to lead them from awareness to conversion. 

Let’s have a look at what a content marketing funnel is and how you can create content effectively to engage with your audience and drive conversions for your business. 

What is a content marketing funnel? 

A content marketing funnel is a model that shows how you can use content to drive brand awareness, attract customers to your brand and nurture them until they’re ready to become paying customers. 

It helps you to map out the customer journey and understand where different types of content fit in. 

The content marketing funnel looks like this: 

  • Top of the funnel - builds awareness 
  • Middle of the funnel - turns visitors into leads 
  • Bottom of the funnel - turns leads into paying customers 

When building a content marketing funnel for your business, you need to think about what your potential customers are looking for at every stage of the journey and the information you need to provide to help them along their buying journey. 

How to build an effective content marketing funnel 

Whatever industry you’re in and whoever your customers are, the chances are their journey looks something like this. They go from being aware of the problem they need a solution to, to finding the solution and then researching the options and brands available to them. 

So. what types of content do you need to create at each stage to move these potential customers to make a purchase? 

Top of the funnel (awareness) 

This is where your customer’s journey starts and is where you’ll find the most people. At this stage, they’re not ready to buy and they’re not aware of your company. They might not even be aware of what the solution to their problem could be! 

At this stage, you need to educate potential customers about who you are and what you do and how you can provide a solution to their problem. You want to attract their attention and educate them about exactly what they need. 

Rather than trying to directly sell to prospects, you need to provide them with educational content that helps to solve their needs and drives them to make their purchase eventually. 

Recommended content for the awareness stage includes: 

  • Blog posts 
  • Social media posts 
  • Whitepapers 
  • How-to content 
  • Online tools 
  • Ebooks 
  • Webinars 

When you’re creating top of the funnel content, you’ll also want to consider optimising it for SEO too. Find the keywords and phrases your potential customers are using when they’re trying to find your products or services online and create content around these keywords. This will help you to appear when they’re completing their initial research and drive awareness for your brand. 

Include a call to action and link to other resources on your website but try to avoid directly pushing your products and services at this stage. You want to build trust and educate your audience before you try to directly sell your products or services. 

Middle of the funnel (drive leads) 

By the time they reach the middle of the funnel, your customers will be aware of your business and the solutions you can provide them with. There are fewer people in this stage but the people who reach this stage are likely to be more engaged with your brand. 

They’re more likely to hand their details over so that you can keep in touch with them but potential customers will need more education and guidance before they make a purchase. 

Recommended content at this stage includes: 

  • How to guides 
  • Product overviews 
  • Case studies 
  • Dedicated landing pages 
  • Email marketing 
  • Reviews and testimonials 

At this stage, you can start to plug your brand more directly and ask for contact details before potential customers can access downloads or other types of content. They have more trust with you at this part so are happier to part with their email address in exchange for helpful information. 

Don’t forget to keep creating blogs at this stage too. Rather than answering questions about a solution, you can start to create content around finding the best provider for a product or service or how to use a particular product. 

The middle of the funnel is all about nurturing leads until they’re ready to make a purchase from you. The more helpful content you provide, the more trust you’re going to be building with them. 

Bottom of the funnel (drive conversions) 

Again, the number of people at this stage significantly drops off but this part of the funnel is filled with people who are almost ready to buy. They just need a little bit more convincing.

At this point, you’ll need to be answering specific questions about your products or services. You need to provide as much information as you can and make the process as frictionless as possible. Potential customers want to feel confident in their purchase with you so address any concerns or objections that might be stopping them from buying. 

We recommend speaking to your sales team and learn more about the questions they’re being asked prior to purchase. Create content around these questions and make it even easier for your prospects to buy from you.

The best content types for the middle of the funnel include: 

  • Case studies 
  • Comparison tools 
  • Product pages 
  • Pricing pages 
  • Product spec sheets 

Make sure this content is specifically tailored to your target audience and their needs to prevent them from going to your competitors for a more personalised experience. 

Test the pages your customers are using to convert and keep refining them until they’re working as well as they can. It can take time to start driving conversions but the hard work is worth it. 

Where do you start? 

If this seems like a lot of content to create, start by outlining your customer personas and the information they’re likely to need at each stage of the funnel. Create one piece of content for each stage and go from there. You can build your content marketing funnel over time, you don’t need to do it all at once. 

As you create more content, you’ll probably find out more about what you need and what your customers are engaging with the most and this will help to further guide your strategy. 

Engaging with customers in this way helps to build trust over time and makes customers more likely and more confident in buying from you, 

Find out more about building a content marketing funnel by contacting our team today

Blog written by

Amy Ward

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