Every marketer knows how important content is to securing success in the current landscape, but content marketing strategies are sometimes notoriously illusive when it comes to defining the end goal of their content efforts. This is where establishing a content funnel is an invaluable tool to help get serious about how we approach content marketing.
What is the content funnel?
The content marketing funnel works much like any other sales funnel, designed to help you approach your customers (or prospects) with the right kind of content to suit their needs at any given time. The Content Marketing Institute reports that whilst 76% of B2C companies use a content marketing strategy, less than half consider their current strategies to be effective in achieving their goals – a content funnel helps change wishy-washy content marketing into something far more solid, structured and measurable.
Stages of the Content Marketing Funnel
This stage of the content marketing funnel is all about getting that initial point of contact with your prospect, which will then enable subsequent meaningful activities to be built around coercing this potential customer into making a purchase. The content created during this stage of the process should be focused on engagement without heavy pressure to buy. Some ideas for encouraging awareness include:
- Visual and appealing welcome e-mails
- Highly-targeted calls to action
- Special offers/social media promotions
Once your potential customer is now considering your company for a potential purchase decision, now is the time to begin encouraging further investment. It is important to carefully avoid spamming your prospect at this stage as they could still be scared off if your approach is too overtly sales-focused. Instead of going for the hard-sell, try to:
- Showcase why your product is the best in category – this can be achieved through providing ready access to testimonials or reviews to help encourage trust.
- Be informative, but keep your approach light and flexible.
After you’ve gained a new customer, you still need to provide them with continual value to retain their custom. This can be achieved in a number of ways, including:
- Sharing content intended to help them use your product.
- Optimising brand platforms to instil a sense of community.
This stage calls for continual engagement if you wish to encourage repeat purchases. Become a thought-leader in your field with a steady stream of targeted content, and ensuring social profiles are constantly updated with fresh, original content.
Should you find it’s necessary to rekindle your customers’ interest in your product, claw them back with more great content. Focus on value after carefully assessing your customers changing priorities and purchase behaviours.