You can easily influence three important aspects of a buyer’s journey – value, intent, and action – by running content marketing campaigns. But you cannot achieve the marketing goals without sending the right content to the customer according to her current position in the buyer’s journey. A content marketing funnel will help you to send the right content to a customer at the right time by visualizing the customer’s buying journey.
According to a survey conducted by Clutch,
“The value customers experience from content marketing influences whether they purchase from a company. Over half (55%) are likely to research a company after consuming content marketing, and 86% have at some point purchased a product due to content marketing.”
As a part of your overall content marketing strategy, the content marketing funnel will attract prospects to your brand and guide them through important phases of the customer journey – awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. The intention of a customer varies at various stages of the customer journey.
The content marketing funnel helps you to influence the prospect’s purchase decision by sending content according to her intent in the current stage of the customer’s journey. You can easily increase ROI on content marketing campaigns by focusing on three important stages of the content marketing funnel – top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU).
How Map Content to Different Phases of Content Marketing Funnel?
Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
A prospect enters into the content marketing funnel through the TOPU. While preparing TOFU content, you should assume that the prospect is not aware of your business and brand. You should focus on educating the prospect and guide her to the MOFU by sending informative content – blogs, articles, ebooks, videos, podcasts, infographics, and social media posts.
It is always important to focus on some important factors while creating TOFU content – making the prospect viewing and interacting with the content and ensuring follow-through after the interaction. You can measure the effectiveness of TOFU content using metrics like the number of views, time spent on the page, and web page bounce rate.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
The prospect is aware of your business or brand while entering the MOFU. But she is yet to make a decision about purchasing your product or service. As the prospect is evaluating your product or service, you must focus on gaining her trust while creating MOFU content. You can convince the customer to consider your products or service by sending content like emails, case studies, white papers, webinars, and other useful resources.
While creating MOFU content, you must focus on creating content that converts prospects into customers. The MOFU content also helps you to generate qualified leads and drive sales conversion. However, you cannot influence a prospect during the consideration phase without sending different types of content. Your content marketing strategy must focus on influence the prospect’s purchase decision by establishing credibility and winning trust.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
This phase of content strategy funnel must emphasize making the prospect order your product or subscribe to your services. The BOFU content must influence the prospect’s purchase decision by making her feel confident enough to commit the sales transaction. As the prospects already know about your business and brand, you must focus on highlighting why the consumer must buy your product or service.
In addition to highlighting the USP of your product/service, the BOFU content must mention what makes your product/service superior to similar offerings. While creating BOFU content, you must focus on simplifying the purchase process and including the right call-to-action. The content can even drive sales conversions by including discounts, promotional deals, or free trials.
The conventional content marketing funnel does not focus on delighting or retaining the customers. But delight or retain is an additional phase of modern content marketing funnels. The step focuses on sustaining customer relationship through engagement. You can easily keep the customers engaged by requesting them to review your product/service and leave feedback. The engagement will help you to improve customer experience, showcase customer success, and create cross-selling opportunities.
What Should You Consider While Building a Content Marketing Funnel?
Create Content for Each Phase of Content Marketing Funnel
A study conducted by SEMrush suggests that
“the vast majority of marketers create content for all customer journey stages. 95% of our respondents create TOFU content, 86% MOFU content, and 76% BOFU content.”
But you must focus on creating content for all four stages in content marketing funnel to optimize sales conversion. When you create content for each phase of the content marketing funnel, it becomes easier to educate, guide, and influence a customer throughout the buyer’s journey. Also, the content makes the customer move to the next stage in the content strategy funnel.
Adopt Omni-Channel Communication Approach
While preparing a content strategy funnel, you must focus on sending content to prospects through multiple channels of communication. In addition to publishing informative articles and blog posts regularly, you must send content to customers through emails. The omnichannel communication will help you to convert more prospects into customers by addressing their needs, showcasing your brand, and sending personalized messages.
Drive Traffic to Website by Publishing Content
While preparing a content marketing funnel, you must focus primarily on driving more visitors to your website from online sources. Many digital marketers drive traffic to websites regularly by posting how-to content. They use how-to content as a tool to make customers notice a business or brand by providing solutions for specific problems. Also, many digital marketers use infographics as an easier-to-understand alternative to how-to content to enable customers to get solutions quickly.
Generate Leads by Publishing Relevant Content
Your content marketing funnel must act as a tool to drive lead generation strategy. You can create and publish how-to content to get more website visitors and generate more leads. The smarter digital marketers use how-to content in both TOFU and BOFU phases to generate qualified leads. However, you can generate more leads by complementing the how-to content with case studies and persuasive product overview.
Send Content to Influence Customer’s Buying Decision
You cannot influence the buying decisions of prospects without winning their trust. You must create content that adds credibility to your brand and persuades the customer to consider your product or service. During the BOFU phase, you must share content that makes the customer confident enough to place an order. You can easily influence a consumer’s buying decision by sharing customer reviews and customer successes, along with product overviews.
Help Customers to Move from One Phase to Another
While building a content marketing funnel, digital marketers find it challenging to move the customer from one phase to another. But you cannot achieve higher conversion rates without moving the customer throughout the content marketing funnel. You can easily move the reader to the next phase by sending follow up emails, sending related content, and improving the website’s internal link structure.
Combine Keyword Research and Competitor Analysis
While creating content from various phases, many digital marketers choose relevant topics by performing keyword research. At the same time, many digital marketers perform competitor analysis to choose relevant topics. But you can make the content more effective by combining keyword research and competitor analysis.
Measure and Optimize the Content Marketing Funnel
You must measure the effectiveness of the content marketing funnel using key metrics like conversion rate and the number of purchases. These metrics will help you to identify the shortcoming of the content marketing funnel and creating content that will persuade readers to buy. Also, you must make changes to the content strategy funnel by combining various types of content to increase ROI.
As a key element of your overall content marketing strategy, content marketing funnel helps you to generate more leads and drive sales conversion. But you must focus on four important phases on content strategy funnel to create content that complements the customer intent. Also, you must combine different types of content to guide the prospect throughout her buyer’s journey.