Creating a content marketing funnel that delivers growth for your business

Three stages of the funnel and one hidden fourth stage (bonus).

(image credit)

A prospective customer consumes, on an average, 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision.

In all likelihood, some of those pieces would be ones that provide a comparison between the product and its competitors. So its quite obvious that you need to produce some pieces of content that address that particular question. But where does this particular type of content fall during the consumer’s decision making process?

WHAT IS A CONTENT MARKETING FUNNEL?

Content marketing funnel is a process designed to feed new leads into your business process via different types and channels of content, and then working at converting them into possible transacting consumers by progressively working them through various graded content types/channels.

WHY DO YOU NEED IT?

Content marketing is arguably the marketing channel that gives you the most bang for your buck — in some cases, in a dollar-to-dollar comparison, it can drive 3–5x more leads for your business as compared to say display ads or search ads.

THREE STAGES OF A CONTENT MARKETING FUNNEL

TOP OF THE FUNNEL (ToFu)

Awareness is the theme here. Designed to grab the attention of the target audience, pieces of content herein produced aim on creating brand awareness and driving traffic to the website and maybe various landing pages.

5.7k of the 6.9k views of my story about Medium’s clap feature have come from Google alone.

MIDDLE OF THE FUNNEL (MoFu)

Here, it is all about the consumers’ consideration. This stage focuses on creating content that educates and informs the potential consumers. This is about creating and nurturing your leads, forging a relationship with them.

So, what do we do here?

Since, middle of the funnel is all about generating leads, and forging, nurturing and growing a relationship with your audience, the best type of content type here would be educational resources.

BOTTOM OF THE FUNNEL (BoFu)

Conversion is the game here. This is the part that focuses on conversion of leads to consumers. It is extremely product focused and tends to get as personalised as possible.

SOME FINAL POINTS BEFORE THE BONUS

Other than these, there are of course some no-brainers:

  • For any kind of marketing, you need to always start with an audience in mind. Unless you understand the target audience and what are the problems they face, you would not be able to create the right content for them. So, needless to say, this has to be the starting point of any strategising.
  • Research on what your audience looks for when they Google. The top of your funnel relies a lot on appearing in search page results, so it makes sense to ensure that you are producing content that’s aligned with the search phrases and keywords of your target audience.
  • Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and try answering, with an unbiased head, the question — “What will be a convincing argument for me to try a new product?
  • Don’t try to solve multiple problems on day one. It is better to be the preferred solution for one single, specific problem for a niche audience out there as compared to being ‘one of many solutions’ for a bigger audience.
  • Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Instead of guessing what kind of content you should be producing, research on what kind of content and what topics are being received well by your target audience. Start by focussing there. There are two approaches here : Approach 1 — Figure out the most engaging and popular content in your topic area and create similar content to ride the success wave being witnessed by others. Approach 2 — Use the pool of popular content to identify the underlying theme that’s gaining popularity, and then create a fresh piece of content that covers a topic/sub-topic that has yet been unaddressed by others. Content marketing is already a tedious process; let us eliminate the guesswork!

THE FOURTH BONUS STAGE OF THE FUNNEL

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Abhishek Anand

Helping businesses grow 10x faster, and scale efficiently. Top Writer — Quora, Medium. Drop in a line if you’d like help with yours. mail@abyshake.com