Content marketing is one of the most crucial strategies that websites have been using for many years to reach and drive more organic traffic to their websites. Today, it is reported that 88% of B2B marketers are creating custom content and 76% of marketers are expecting to produce more content in the future.
Likewise, an effective sales funnel strategy has become more imperative as the dynamics of the global market continue to change.
Despite that, 65% of marketers are still challenged when it comes to understanding which types of content are effective and which types aren’t in a particular stage of a buyer’s journey. To address that, a proper content marketing funnel should be planned. But first, let’s define what that means. And be sure to stick around until the end as we’ve prepped a fantastic infographic to illustrate how content marketing funnels work more effectively.
What is a Content Marketing Funnel?
A content marketing funnel refers to the use of highly engaging and valuable content on each stage of a sales funnel – Awareness, Evaluation, and Purchase – with the objective to convert as many leads as possible into actual customers who are willing to pay for the products or service you are trying to sell. In other words, you are going to build content that will make your target audience know, like, and trust your brand so that a long-lasting customer-company relationship can be established.
In this post, we will discuss the things you should expect in each stage of the sales funnel, and then lay out the step-by-step process of how you can implement a content marketing funnel in your WordPress website today.
Step 1: Understand What A Sales Funnel Is
The foundation of effective sales funnels largely depends on how well you know your customers. This means that before anything else, you should already have established your buyer personas that detail the demographics and psychographic data of your target audience. The type of content you will produce will depend on the needs of your buyer persona as they progress through the sales funnel.
Top of the Funnel: Awareness Stage
The buyer seeks a solution or answers for a problem or a need. The chance of them signing a contract in exchange for free consultation probably won’t work at this stage. What will work is eye-catching content like infographics and videos explaining who you are and the products you are trying to sell.
Middle of the Funnel: Evaluation Stage
After capturing their attention, you now should prove why your solution is the best fit among their options. The types of content you should be producing at the middle of the funnel should be centered on the compelling reasons why they need your product or service, enough to move them to the final stage, purchase.
Bottom of the Funnel: Purchase Stage
This is the point where your leads make the actual purchase decision. If your prospects have reached this stage, it’s more than likely that they are ready to make a commitment. And as crucial as it is, you need to ensure that you have the right offer and compelling call-to-actions to get them to buy from you.
Step 2: Organise Your Sales Funnel
Now that you understand the basics of a sales funnel, you must organise your existing sales funnel and establish a clearer action plan. The following are some considerations when designing your own content marketing funnel:
- What is the most crucial stage in your sales funnel that will turn your visitor into a customer? This often depends on the type of product or Unique Selling Proposition you are trying to impose on your customers.
- How will you reach your prospects?
- What offers do they receive and in what order?
Step 3: Plan Your Opt-In Points on your WordPress Website
Opt-ins are options that appear on different parts of your website that your audience signs up for a series of emails or free offers like premium content. These points will allow you to grow your email lists with the most qualified leads as well as generate more activity on your website and increase your target audience’s interest in your company.
Here are three opt-ins that you could use on your website:
- Welcome Mat Opt-ins which cover a whole page to give a compelling offer
- Exit Intent Opt-ins are pop-ups that pitch one last offer before a visitor leaves your website
- Sidebar Opt-ins displayed on every page of your website which advertises a lucrative offer that is relevant to the interest of anybody who would visit your website.
When planning offers for opt-ins, it is important to first look at your website’s analytics to have a holistic view of your visitors. Knowing who are the first-time visitors and who already have read some of your blogs will give you an idea of the type of free premium content or service you need to include in your opt-ins.
Step 4: Create Content for Each Stage
Here are some examples of content ideal for each stage of the sales funnel:
1. Awareness Stage – Highly Engaging but Low on Text
- PPC/Social Media Ads
- Landing Pages
- Social Media Content
- Explainer Videos
- Evergreen Content
2. Evaluation Stage – Thought Leadership Content
- How-to blog posts/Guides
- Case Studies
- Email Newsletters
3. Purchase Stage – Social Proof
- User-generated content
- Ratings and Reviews
- Regular E-mails
For the content that you will create, don’t forget to include topics that provide a “sneak peek” of your opt-in offer, as well as the topics that address the concerns of your prospects in each stage of the sales funnel.
Stage 5: Amplify Your Content
Even if you produce 100 quality blog posts, it will all be useless if your audience doesn’t know that they exist. What you need to do after you create content is to promote it to draw more visitors to your website and bring them into your buying funnel.
- Outreach to Relevant Websites, Blogs, and Influencers
- Paid Promotion on Social Media Sites
- Email Marketing
- Relevant Content Directories and Syndication
Stage 6: Capture Lost Leads and Customers
It is normal not to be able to convince everyone to buy or accept your free offers. In fact, it is a signal that you are only attracting the people who are a perfect fit for your business and what you are offering. So, if some of your prospects got lost somewhere in the sales funnel, don’t worry. Here are some of the things to follow them up with.
- If they don’t opt-in: place a Facebook tracking pixel on the “Awareness”-related content of your website and retarget them with your free offer.
- If they don’t choose your introductory offer: offer them one more chance to avail of the offer but at a higher price.
- If they still don’t purchase: send them an e-mail and ask them what kind of content they would like to read on your website.
These are the fundamentals of establishing a content-driven sales funnel on your WordPress website. Although two different businesses may have different parts of the sales funnel, what has been discussed above can be used with any kind of business that wants to create its own sales funnel today.
eters that are now implementing an increasing amount of custom content. But not all are harnessing this content into a strategic sales funnel, which is imperative as the global market dynamics continue to change.
In order to reach your intended audience and give them the right content at the right time, you need to be able to do so in as many effective ways as possible and put processes in place that not only give them what they need but enable them to become aware of what you do and how it will help them.
Once you’ve given a lot of value throughout each stage of the sales funnel and your prospects are now willing to pay for your products or services you can then start steering them towards making a purchase.
Perhaps you’ve already started showing your expertise and letting your audience know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them via such methods as blogging and being active on social media, you may even have a newsletter and do a bit of advertising.
These days the process needs to be more refined, which requires an increased amount of touch points in your content marketing funnel to capture leads and convert them into paying customers.
At each stage of your target audience’s journey, you must provide them with highly engaging and valuable content that’s effective in getting them to like and trust your brand, which helps form a long-lasting client-company relationship.
Content Marketing Funnel Infographic
In this infographic, we will show you what a sales funnel is, how to organise it and create some opt-in points, suggest content for each stage, amplify this content and capture lost leads and customers.
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