Let’s say you’re the owner of a cosmetics company. You and your team are experimenting with different content options for your target audience. It seems that when you provide video content of colorful eyeshadow swatches or overall cosmetic performance, you get more sales than you do with audio-only podcast episodes. Or, maybe you receive a boost in sales when you provide infographics instead of newsletters. Moving forward, you will produce more of what works. This hypothetical scenario isn’t so hypothetical after all. It’s precisely the purpose of understanding the stages of the marketing funnel so you can create the types of content buyers respond to most at any point in time.
Understanding your audience is critical in content marketing. Content isn’t one-size-fits-all. Potential customers have different needs at various points in their buyer’s journey. You can meet those needs by providing more of what suits them at that time. All stages of the marketing funnel require different kinds of content. But how do you know what sort of content to include for each stage? We’re here to help!
What is a Marketing Funnel?
First, you must grasp what a marketing funnel is and why it’s helpful. Essentially, a marketing funnel is a visual representation of your audience’s path from being aware of your brand to becoming a loyal customer and advocate.
The four basic stages of the marketing funnel are:
- Awareness. When your audience becomes aware of your brand. This stage introduces your audience to your service/product.
- Evaluation. Encourages audience members to weigh their options to determine if your product or service best fits their needs. This stage is when you tell them why your product or service solves their problem and why they should choose your brand instead of the competition.
- Conversion. This stage is when your audience takes the action you worked toward, like purchasing your product.
- Delight. Keeps your audience engaged and excited about your products and your company.
Your content will be most impactful if you gear it to your audience at the stage they’re in.
Writing Content for the Stages of the Marketing Funnel
There’s content that best suits your audience’s needs in every stage of the marketing funnel. Once you understand what they need at any given time, your content will be more helpful, and you’ll get better results from your efforts.
Content for Awareness
Awareness is when buyers become aware of your brand. They identified a need in their life, searched for a product or service to fulfill that need, and discovered your company.
Content that works best in the awareness stage includes:
- Blog Posts. Your audience wants to understand your product, what it does, and what your brand stands for. Long-form blog posts work really well for laying this foundation. Also, you reach potential customers through search this way.
- Webinars. Webinars create a classroom learning environment online, in real-time. You can teach people about your brand and show them how it meets their needs.
- Infographics. Infographics that explain your brand are easily shareable and eye-catching.
- Videos. You can pack a lot of information into a short amount of time on video, showing how our products work and providing testimonials.
- Social Media. With social media posts and ads, you can reach a targeted group of people with information about your brand and show them your products.
- Podcasts. The great thing about podcasts, other than their popularity, is that the unique medium may reach a different market than the other methods above. Podcast hosts also do a lot of research on their audience, so they can give you lots of info on who you’ll reach with your message.
Content for Evaluation
You’ve officially grabbed their attention! This stage is where you keep them engaged and help them discern whether your product is a suitable purchase for them. In other words, this stage is where you convince them that your product will meet their needs.
Some research to give your audience may include:
- How-to Guides. These guides provide clear instructions that solve a myriad of questions a buyer may have about your product or service.
- E-books. Allow for longer-form content and deeper dives into your topic.
- Demonstration Videos. Give buyers a hands-on guide in using your product successfully.
- Research Reports/Case Studies. Give buyers some research or case studies that support your product claims.
- Testimonials. Have existing customers tell your audience why they chose your product and what they like about it.
Content for Conversion
The time is now! The customer purchased your product. But your job isn’t over. You have to help them feel confident about their purchase and utilize your product to its fullest.
Helpful content during the conversion stage includes:
- Customer Help Center. Show your customers you still want to support them and answer any questions they have as they start using your product.
- Chatbots. A quick, easy, and personal way to answer last-minute case-by-case questions.
- Product Tutorials. Showcase a non-employee uniquely using your product.
- FAQs. Answers the most common questions all in one spot.
- Discount Offers. Create a sense of urgency and often seal the deal.
- Free Trials. A harmless way for customers to relieve uncertainty and test out your company. It minimizes the risk for them to try your product.
Content to Delight Your Customers
You got the customer! Your content for the various stages of the marketing funnel worked! Now, you have to keep them coming back and develop a relationship with them.
Content that helps with client retention and relationship building may include:
- Exclusive Offers. Makes customers feel valued and special by giving them exclusive offers or access to new products before everyone else.
- Surveys. Gather feedback about how your customers feel about your products and how you can improve. Then act on their feedback.
- Contests/Giveaways. Give people some friendly competition and free stuff, all while gaining exposure for your company.
- Referral Programs. Reward loyal customers for recommending your brand to others. It’s a simple way to get new customers and keep old ones coming back.
Don’t Fear of the Funnel
You might feel intimidated by the thought of mastering writing content for the stages of the marketing funnel, but never fear! Content Journey would love to help. Contact us to learn how we can assist with the initial research you need to understand your audience and developing the content they’ll respond to most.