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Content Marketing 26 min read November 29, 2022

How to Create a Full-Funnel Content Strategy

How to Create a Full-Funnel Content Strategy
How to Create a Full-Funnel Content Strategy
Content is anything you share on social media, whether it’s a text update, a photo, graphic, video, link, etc. It carries the necessary information about you and your product or service. Among the elements it includes are a login, a profile header, a bio, and a clickable link in the profile header, counting posts, pictures, stories, lives, ads, and webinars.

Each type of content has its tasks and goals. They can be collected into a content marketing funnel. Anyone who reads about your company for the first time or has never even thought about your product is unlikely to become your client after 1-2 advertisements on the Internet. This is a cold audience that needs to be warmed up with the help of a content strategy funnel. This is the essence of a content funnel.
Today’s article will tell you how to build a full-funnel content strategy, review the funnel's basics, learn how it works, and adjust the buyer’s movement.

The following experts from Twitter Chat commented on today’s topic:
  • Jonas Sickler
    SEO Manager at Terakeet
  • Debi Norton
    Internet Strategy Consultant & Founder of BRAVO
  • Joey Trend
    Co-Founder of Hum JAM
  • PraveenKumar Yadav
    Performance Marketing &
    SEO Analyst at Easebuzz
  • Lyndon NA
    Internet business consultant, (SEM (SEO/PPC), CM & SMM, with UX, CRO & ORM)
  • Avast Zumac
    Entrepreneur, helps B2B companies shorten a sales cycle

1. What Is a Content Marketing Funnel?

Before buying a product, the buyer goes through a specific journey – the sales funnel. This procedure allows you to take a potential client from “Who you are” to “I’ll take all these!” Because of the difference in the mood and level of customer confidence at different stages of the sales funnel, you need to know what content will help you take the next step.

But before, you need to clarify how a content marketing funnel differs from a sales funnel:
Difference Between a Content Funnel and a Sales Funnel
Difference Between a Content Funnel and a Sales Funnel

Content Strategy vs. SEO Strategy: How to Decide Which Comes First

1.1 What Is a Customer Journey?

The customer journey is the stages the client goes through, starting with getting to know the company or product and ending with the transaction and repeat sales.

For the target audience to buy, you need to create a positive information field, work out a quality strategy and develop a funnel. In content marketing, a funnel is a gradual delivery of content.
Avast Zumac
Avast Zumac

Entrepreneur, helps B2B companies shorten a sales cycle

The best way to understand the journey is by gaining their interest level. How did they respond to your pricing the first time and now? They know you if it changes even the slightest, which is good. If they don’t, you have more time to nail the awareness.

  1. For example, you have content for a broad audience unfamiliar with your brand. By giving targeted advertising on Facebook, you can determine which people are interested (they watched the video for more than 10 seconds and went to the site).
  2. The next-stage content can be shown to these people – they are more likely to buy your goods or services. Again, look who is interested and interacting.
  3. For the third time, try to sell something: a product, a service, a subscription, etc. The task of a marketer is to select and compose content in such a way as to ensure effective sales.
Our honorable speaker Jonas Sickler can help you to visualize the customer journey to reveal essential moments:
Jonas Sickler
Jonas Sickler

SEO Manager at Terakeet

Research your buying process from awareness to purchase. Talk to sales and existing customers to uncover key moments in the journey where customers make decisions that guide them down the funnel. Then, create a mind map or visual tool to show the key points of influence or friction in the journey.

Components of an Effective Marketing Plan: Buyer Persona and Buyer’s Journey

1.2 What Is a Target Audience for the Content Strategy Funnel?

To sell successfully, you need to know who you are dealing with. The target audience personas are a must-have for any business. It allows to:

  • understand information needs and collect relevant information for customers;
  • create compelling selling content, increasing the likelihood of a purchase;
  • solve customer problems;
  • form a positive information field around the brand and product.
Jonas Sickler recommends including "insights into your personas to help you target them. Research each customer segment, and avoid assumptions".
There are different ways to create the target audience personas. Sometimes the target audience is segmented by gender and age. Sometimes segments are built from needs and pains. Here’s the traditional way to create the customer portrait:

  • Demographics: age, gender, occupation, income, etc.
  • Interests: sport (what kind of sport), politics.
  • Hobbies: exercises, games, dances, crafts, etc.
  • Gadgets: desktop, smartphone, tablet.
  • Preferred media: what information is used to consume.
  • Level of education and intellectual preferences.
  • Social networks, blogs, forums.
  • Problems and pains of the target audience: what questions need to be answered?
Debi Norton
Debi Norton

Internet Strategy Consultant & Founder of BRAVO

Target Audience persona goes deeper than your ideal target audience, i.e., demographics, and geographic and moves into the TA needs, pain points, and motivations.

We ask our experts how they uncover the questions the target audience asks during their customer journey. Joey Trend said: “I use Google to discover people’s questions. Type a broad search term into Google and look at the related searches people are looking for.”

Moreover, you can use keyword research here – related questions, people also asked, and so on. To make this process easier, Serpstat created a set of Keyword Research tools.
With these tools, you can quickly discover new keywords to write and rank for within a few minutes. After you enter your parent keyword, Serpstat generates a list of related or similar keywords, along with their keyword difficulty, volume, Cost Per Click (CPC) value, and PPC competition.

It also has "Search Questions," where you can see what people are asking about a particular keyword, which is great for seeing what solutions or answers you can provide for your target audience.
Do you want to know your audience better and collect relevant keywords?
You can sign up and get a free 7-day trial! Click the button below to know all the details.

2. Why Is a Full-Funnel Approach Essential?

With the help of a content funnel, you distribute efforts and warm up the audience from the first stage – an information request. You give the answer that people are looking for, at the same time, introduce yourself to the audience, reinforce the image of an expert and drag them into your information flow. As a result, by the time of the purchase decision, the client is more loyal to you and most likely will choose your offer.

Here are three benefits of creating a content strategy funnel:

  • Sell directly from the posts. No ads or other activities. You can use posts only.
  • You can calculate where the sales fall and pump them up.
  • Predict sales and number of actions.
Jonas Sickler
Jonas Sickler

SEO Manager at Terakeet

Think about the journey both horizontally and vertically. Each stage has the main intent, as well as sub-intents. I like to publish content about the main intent first, then go back and build out the vertical topic clusters.

3. Three Stages of a Full-Funnel Content Strategy

Here is a typical three-stage funnel for a content strategy: awareness – evaluation – purchase. Of course, depending on your product, you can create a more complex funnel by adding more steps and details. According to Debi Norton, “Classifying the Searcher's intent with funneling. New prospects – looking to understand their needs. Middle funnel – honing in on prospect needs. Bottom funnel – getting the conversion.”

Let’s discuss these three stages in detail:

  1. Awareness or product recognition: the audience is not yet ready to buy. People are looking for an answer to the question “How to…?” or “What to …?”
  2. Evaluation or acquaintance with your proposal: the audience has found the response to the information request. They have a specific vision of the situation, and are ready to get to know your proposal in more detail. At this stage of the content funnel, you are pulling the audience into your product.
  3. Conversion: a potential client is ready to buy and chooses alternatives. At this funnel stage, it is essential to use the exact offer to “hit the cream” and convert the visitor into a buyer.
Joey Trend
Joey Trend

Co-Founder of Hum JAM

Top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, the bottom of the funnel. Make sure to target all 3 of those stages in a searcher's intent when creating content.

3.1 Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

The first impression is significant. If you have many sources of attracting clients, it can take time to figure out where they often meet your company. The clients could have learned about your company from a post or seen a YouTube review. 

The stage of acquaintance covers an extensive range of audiences. It is not a fact all these people will be targeted at your product. Starting communication and connecting with as many people as possible is crucial at this stage.

5 Stages Of Awareness In SEO Copywriting

✔️ What Content to Choose at the Top of the Funnel Content Strategy?

  • Useful materials. Feel free to give free exciting content. At the acquaintance stage, only some clients will be ready to pay money for a product they know about immediately.
  • Brand information. Who are you, what do you do, who did you help, and how do you organize your work? Such content will help build the trust of the audience and continue contact.
  • Beautiful pictures, photos, and infographics. So you can attract the attention of those not in the mood to read.
Jonas Sickler
Jonas Sickler

SEO Manager at Terakeet

Use different marketing channels to push your message out. Get ahead of your top-of-funnel audience by atomizing blog content on social media and generating buzz with bylines or ads.

✔️ How to Measure Effectiveness?

You can measure the effectiveness using the likes, comments, reposts, engagement, brand mentions, the number of subscribers, clicks, and transitions to the site. 

For example, Joey Trend uses SocialBee to amplify his content reach. It connects all the social media pages and schedules posts based on the best, most active times to post.

3.2 Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)

The range of the audience narrows, and everyone gets to know each other better. If a potential client stays with you after the meeting, they have a problem to solve with your product. At a minimum, your content is helpful to him at this point.

The MOFU stage is the best time to build a base. Gather contacts, form reasonable offers, and let your clients know how you differ from your competitors.
✔️ What Content to Choose?

  • Extended versions of materials, webinars, and podcasts. Make it clear that you are constant and reliable. Highlight the characteristics of your customers.
  • Increase usefulness: tutorials, training materials, checklists, and much more to improve the skills of your audience.
  • Comparisons. Be careful with this point. The offending competitor is a bad idea. But, objectively showing the good sides of your product is valuable and practical.
  • During the evaluation stage, it is possible (and quite logically) to ask for an evaluation of your products and brand. Conduct tests, polls, or votes.

Use These 10 Social Media Tips to Skyrocket Your SEO Now

✔️ How to Measure Effectiveness?

The following metrics can be used at this stage of a digital content strategy:
  • clickability of links;
  • conversion;
  • growing database and number of subscriptions.

3.3 Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)

This is the most complex and responsible stage of a content plan. You can understand how well and effectively the previous stages were done at this step. So, the client knows that he is interested and makes the first symbolic purchase.
✔️ How to Choose Content?

  • Specifics. Nobody likes to pay money for abstract things. You can describe what the person is paying you for at this stage.
  • Cases and reviews. Show that many people have already bought from you, which ended well for all participants in the transaction.
  • A small list of suggestions. No matter how successful your customers move through the funnel, you should refrain from spraying yourself and giving out all current offers at the last stage. If there are a lot of products – segment, otherwise – make offers gradually.
Joey Trend
Joey Trend

Co-Founder of Hum JAM

I prioritize content by the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel keywords. When creating content, having that structure in mind converts more traffic into sales.

One of the main things that could be improved in the content funnel is to include sales managers only at the last stage. Physically, they can only participate in the sale step. But it would be best if you kept them informed of all stages – this is necessary for mutual understanding with customers.

Bottom of the Funnel Content: How to Create Conversion-Focused SEO Content

For example, if you talk about round-the-clock support at the first stage, but at the sales stage, your manager does not know about it, this causes negative questions from a potential buyer.

✔️ How to Measure Effectiveness?

  • look at the frequency of purchases;
  • follow the average check.
PraveenKumar Yadav
Praveenkumar Yadav

Performance Marketing & SEO Analyst at Easebuzz

The decision-making stage is the final – conversion via journey stage, the journey at which your potential customer makes a decision based on their research. Your goal is to help them make a positive decision and finally become your client. Here the final conversion happens.

3.4 Retention

Retaining existing customers is cheaper than gaining new ones. Continuing a relationship is building an audience of loyal customers who will advertise and make a profit for free.

  • Help and support documents.
  • Special offers.
  • Discounts.
  • Partnerships and exclusive offers.

The retention phase is especially relevant for the service industry, where the first purchase is considered a start for subsequent transactions. It is generally not very important how much a person will immediately spend. Making it a regular customer and a follower of your brand is much more critical.

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4. Tips for Working With a Content Funnel in Social Networks

  • Use different content
In a three-stage content strategy funnel using content for different types of business, there can be a very different number of publications – it depends on the price of the product, the decision cycle, and the degree of audience interest. Keep people warm as much as the situation requires.
Lyndon NA
Lyndon NA

Internet business consultant (SEM), CM & SMM, with UX, CRO & ORM)

I use the four base Intents: Navigational, Informational, Commercial, and Transactional. But I then break them down into subtypes and align them with Content topics, types, and formats.

  • Build a content plan
Visitors who enter your account see no more than 3–5 recent posts. Build a content plan so that, after seeing only these posts, a person can understand what is happening on the site and how you can be helpful to them.
  • Answer questions and comments
A content sales funnel in social networks works if there is live communication in the account. A business representative answers questions and comments and engages people in contact. If you publish quality posts but do not communicate, nothing will work.
  • Enter into a dialogue
Your goal is not only to build a content marketing funnel that converts into a paying customer but to enter into a dialogue, better understand the audience, and sell by appealing to their pains and needs.
  • Make different funnels for each service separately
With the help of content, a sales funnel is always sharpened to sell one product or service. If there are several products/services, it makes sense to make your content marketing funnel for each service separately. After all, the products/services cover different problems or are focused on other target audience groups.

Beginner's Guide to Digital Marketing

5. How to Measure the Success of the Content Strategy

Let's see how to determine how each piece of content meets expectations at each stage of a content funnel.
Effectiveness of Content at the Awareness Stage

However, this is a necessary first step. At this stage, you need to monitor the following indicators:
  • How often your content appears in search results (SERP)?
  • Social media views and reach: if your reach is higher than the average organic reach for a social media platform, you are doing everything right.
  • New users on your website: when you cover new users who have never heard of you before, it becomes evident that your brand awareness is growing.
Effectiveness of Content at the Evaluation Stage

Now let’s see how we can measure this interest:
  • Clicks: they mean your content is exciting, and you have the indicators confirming this. You can count clicks in Google Analytics.
  • Bounce rate: (also measured in Google Analytics) estimates how many people who clicked on your links returned to search results without visiting another page.
Content Performance at the Purchase/Conversion Stage

Here’s what you can track:
  • Sales: if you’re selling something directly from your website, you can easily see what content made people buy.
  • You need to add a “page visited title condition” in Google Analytics to track which parts of your content are your top sellers.

12 Website Changes to Lower Your Bounce Rate

Final Thoughts

Analyzing customer response to content is necessary to help you build your content funnel. Be helpful, responsive, and honest at all stages. Keep the client informed at every step, involve buyers in content creation, and collect statistics.

Using this article, you will be able to create your content marketing funnel as well as build a community of loyal customers. Keep your strategy in mind as you develop your content, and remember that conversion analytics at every stage of the funnel is the most critical success factor. 

This is the only way to understand which part of the process needs to be strengthened or, perhaps, completely revised. Content analytics is a thermometer that monitors processes as it helps make them efficient.
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