The Complete Guide to the Content Marketing Funnel

Published on April 15, 2022

What is the content marketing funnel?

If you have ever wondered what it’s all about, we have your answer! In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about content marketing funnels, including what they are, what makes them work, and how to build one that gets results for your business or organization.

Let’s dive in!

Put simply, a content marketing funnel is exactly what it says it is.

It's a system of content that you send out - usually via email and social media posts - to prospective customers who may or may not ever convert into paying customers.

 

Is content marketing top of funnel?

Everyone needs a solid foundation in place before they can build a strong house. If you’re building your content marketing strategy, that foundation is top of funnel (TOFU) content. In other words, it’s what people need to see before they click through for more information.

To illustrate why TOFU content is so important, let’s say you work for an industrial power company and want to make a sale by attracting new customers.

Your sales team may be able to sell a few prospects on becoming new clients—but if they don’t provide enough value upfront, those prospects won’t become customers.

That means your sales team is working hard without seeing any results because there wasn’t enough value provided at the top of your sales funnel.

TOFU content helps build a bridge from your sales team to your customer service and support teams. Without that bridge, there’s no way for prospects to make it across (and into becoming customers).

Your sales team needs valuable content so they can position you as an authority in your industry, which gives them a reason to reach out.

The purpose of that value is twofold: Not only does it help position you as an authority, but it also gives your prospects another reason why they should do business with you.

 

What is the difference between content marketing and social media?

While social media may seem like content marketing, it’s really not. At least not in its current state. Your followers aren’t your customers. If you think about it, you have a limited opportunity to deliver value through tweets and Facebook posts, and most of your posts are just never seen by people who follow you.

The true power of content marketing lies in having an audience that is excited enough about what you have to say that they are willing (even eager) to pay for more information or purchase a product or service offered by your company.

The true power of content marketing lies in having an audience that is excited enough about what you have to say that they are willing (even eager) to pay for more information or purchase a product or service offered by your company.

To do that, you need an asset—something of value—to give away. This can be either something you’ve created (like a podcast episode or video tutorial) or it can be a permission asset, like an email list.

In fact, if you want your business to succeed with content marketing and social media, building your email list should be one of your top priorities.

The biggest mistake I see companies make is assuming that social media will build their email list for them. That’s not how it works. Every share, like and retweet on Facebook doesn’t magically translate into someone signing up for your newsletter.

 

Is content marketing the same as email marketing?

Many businesses believe that content marketing and email marketing are one in the same. While some firms do operate under such a strategy, there is still a major difference between these two approaches.

To better understand what separates them, we must take a look at each of their individual purposes. So, what exactly is content marketing?

According to CMI (Content Marketing Institute), it’s creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and turning those audience members into customers [and] advocates.

The key here is focusing on providing quality content that meets your users’ needs. You want them to come back for more!

Email marketing, on the other hand, is sending a series of emails and hoping that recipients will take a certain action based on those emails. With content marketing, you’re trying to draw your audience in with quality content. With email marketing, your main goal is just getting their attention.

 

12 Best benefits of content marketing funnel.

Content marketing will help you promote your business through relevant and engaging online material that is updated on a regular basis.

When customers are engaged with your content, they feel like they know you and trust you, which makes them more likely to interact with your brand.

1) Content marketing boosts brand awareness.

2) Content marketing increases trust.

3) Content marketing is a valuable way to build relationships with your customers.

4) Content marketing helps you develop expertise in your industry.

5) Content marketing can help increase sales.

6) Content marketing can help build a community around your brand.

7) Content marketing makes it easier for customers to find you online.

8) Content marketing can help increase your search engine rankings.

9) Content marketing helps you reach a wider audience than traditional advertising methods.

10) Content marketing can help you drive up your conversion rates.

11) Content marketing makes it easier for people to share your content with others.

12) Content marketing is an affordable way to promote your business online.

 

Content marketing funnel stages.

Research shows that most people only remember 10% of what they read. A funnel is used to get a message across in an understandable and memorable way.

By using multiple stages for your content marketing plan, you can ensure that your audience will take in what you are saying from beginning to end.

It is also important to include a call-to-action at each stage so that users know what is expected of them. Without it, they may not read on further or do as you ask.

Here are four stages you should use in your own funnels:

1) Attract:

At first, you want your audience to simply take notice of your message. This stage can be used for things like a welcome email or advertisement. Your goal is just to get them interested in what you have to say.

2) Engage:

Now that they are interested, it’s time to begin building a relationship with them. One way you can do that is by asking questions and getting their feedback on different products or services you offer.

 3) Convert:

This is when you want your audience to become customers. You can entice them by making special offers or explaining how buying a product will help solve their problems.

 4) Delight:

This is where you want your customers to be happy and loyal. By delivering on your promises and going above and beyond their expectations, you can keep them coming back for more.

You should also show appreciation for their business by holding contests or offering gifts when they make a purchase.

By dividing your content marketing plan into four stages, you can make it easy for your audience to take in what you have to say and help them convert into customers.

 

Content marketing funnel strategies.

A content marketing funnel should be part of every successful marketing strategy. If you’re trying to attract a significant amount of new clients, then it’s vital that you know what types of content to create for your customers and prospects.

1)  Content Creation:

Your content marketing funnel should start with content creation. This is where you’re going to be producing all of your content, from blogs posts and infographics, to videos and podcasts.

 2) Content Distribution:

Now that you’ve created your content, it’s time to get out there and distribute it.

 3) Content Promotion:

This is where your content marketing funnel pays off. Once you’ve created your content and distributed it, you need to find ways of getting people talking about it.

 4) Content Measurement:

You’ve created your content, distributed it and promoted it. Now you need to make sure that you’re doing a good job at all of these things.

 5) Content Optimization:

Your content marketing funnel isn’t going to be a one-time thing.

 You’re going to be updating it and tweaking it, in order to make sure that your content marketing strategy stays as effective as possible.

Also read: 10 Digital Marketing Strategies Every Startup Should Know

 

How to building a useful content marketing funnel?

A content marketing funnel is a great way for content marketers and business owners to engage with their audience.

It provides a way for you to stay top of mind with your customers, build customer loyalty, and show them value through valuable educational content.

That way, if you ever need their help or have an opportunity for them to buy from you in the future, they’ll be more likely to take action since they already know and trust you.

If your website is starting from scratch or even just running low on new content ideas, here are a few ways that you can get started on building a useful content marketing funnel

1) Write about things that people want to read about:

There are so many different topics out there that it can be hard to find something unique enough to make a name for yourself.

However, writing about things people actually want to read about will help you stand out among other blogs in your niche.

2) Consider your audience's pain points:

If you can find out what your audience is struggling with, you can create content that helps them solve their problems.

3) Show them how you solved those problems:

People like learning from others who have already been through something similar and come out on top.

Showing people how you solved a problem that they’re currently facing will help build trust and loyalty with your audience.

 4) Give your audience more reasons to return:

Once you’ve gotten your audience hooked on your content, you need to make sure that they keep coming back for more.

Continually adding new educational posts with tips and strategies that are valuable to them will help keep their attention and keep them visiting your site.

 5) Provide incentives for them to buy:

Once you’ve created a relationship with your audience and they feel like they know you and trust you, it’s time to start setting up ways for them to become paying customers.

 6) Be an expert in your niche:

If you can become an expert in your niche, people will be more likely to pay attention to what you have to say.

This is a great opportunity for you to start making sales. The first step is becoming an authority so that people are willing and interested in buying from you.

 7) Make it easy for them to buy:

If you have an opt-in form on your website, all of your customers have already shown interest in your content.

That means that all you need to do is set up a way for them to easily buy what you’re selling and they’ll be more likely to purchase from you.

If they don’t feel like they can just easily click a button and make a purchase, then it might not seem as worth their time or effort.

Also read: Digital Marketing

 

Content marketing is a lot of work. You have to write, create engaging content that piques people’s interest and then place it where they will see it. However, if you follow a tried-and-true content marketing funnel, you can save yourself time and money while still creating great content.

You’ll also be able to create audience engagement with each piece and target your ideal consumer by customizing your message according to their responses.

Essentially, content marketing funnels make it easy for you to find success

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