How to Create a Content Marketing Funnel (+Templates)

Marketing is de facto laborious to do with out content material. Aka you’ll be able to’t market with out it. And, in accordance to Hubspot, 82% of entrepreneurs perceive that. The different 18% (that’s, 10% that don’t use content material advertising and eight% that don’t know) actually don’t know what they’re lacking out on.

content marketing funnel - content marketing stats

But executing a successful content material advertising technique is a cautious course of, and it can’t be executed with out a content material advertising funnel. So on this publish, I’m going to take you on a tour of the content material advertising funnel, from consciousness to conversion and past, and share with you the most effective sorts of content material for each stage, my suggestions for fulfillment, and loads of templates.

Table of contents

What is the content material advertising funnel?

The content material advertising funnel helps you to map your content to your buyer’s journey. Just as they’ve totally different targets and issues at totally different factors of their journey, so too ought to your content material (have totally different targets, that’s, not issues).

content marketing funnel

Click to enlarge

Stages of the content material advertising funnel

There are a gajillion sorts of advertising funnels on the market with totally different frameworks and names for every part. But we’ll preserve it easy with these:

  • Awareness: At this stage, persons are trying to study and problem-solve. Your content material at this stage serves to present these solutions whereas producing consciousness of your model.
  • Evaluation: Here, individuals aren’t simply conscious of your model and your options; they’re . They’re trying to study extra about yours in addition to the way it compares to others. Content at this stage is used to assist construct model affinity.
  • Conversion: Now, persons are prepared to purchase. They’re largely commited to shopping for from you, however might have a few further nods of reassurance and/or assist deciding what to purchase.
  • Retention: Your leads have turn into your prospects. Yay. Your content material right here serves to preserve them engaged, proceed delivering worth, and assist them get essentially the most out of your resolution.

Let’s take a nearer take a look at every stage of the content material advertising funnel.

basic content marketing funnel example

Top-of-funnel content material

At this stage of the funnel, your readers are conscious of their downside(s) however not of your resolution or of your model.

Their purpose is to get info that can assist them resolve a downside, execute a activity, or study one thing new.

Your purpose is to entice them to your online business and web site, generate model consciousness, exhibit your experience, and construct authority.

Top-of-funnel content material sorts

Here are some examples of content that live their best life at the top of the funnel:

  • Blog posts
  • Checklists
  • Cold emails
  • Contests
  • Ebooks/guides
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Postcards
  • Press Releases
  • Quizzes
  • Social media posts

repurposing blog post ideas - example by wordstream

Top-of-funnel content tips

Do your keyword research. SEO is most important for TOF content, as users are not yet aware of your brand. Do careful keyword research and cover all your on-page SEO bases so you can maximize your online visibility and get found.

Keep self-promotion to a minimum. It’s okay to include CTAs to other resources and free tools in your TOF content, but your primary goal here is to educate and build trust. Always pushing your products/services in your content can detract from your sincerity.

Go heavy on the bog. In terms of resources needed and scalability, blogging is the most cost-effective option here. Check out our blog post ideas and blog post templates for help getting started.

Middle-of-funnel content

At this next stage, your target audience is now aware of your business and the solution you provide, and they’re interested.

They trust you enough to make slightly bigger commitments, like signing up for a webinar and engaging with longer-form content; and they’re interested enough in your offering to read brand-specific material like case studies, testimonials, and newsletter emails.

Their goal is to learn more about the solution you provide—both in general and the one specifically offered by your business.

Your goal is to educate them on your offering and set your business apart from competitors—not just with your features and benefits but with your expertise and knowledge.

Middle-of-funnel content types

content marketing funnel - example of a testimonials page

Middle-of-funnel content tips

  • Self-promote pretty freely.  In this type of content, it’s okay to put calls to action and plug your product/service.
  • Repurpose top of funnel content. You can combine blog posts and checklists into a more robust offer, or verticalize your content to make it more targeted.
  • A little friction here is good. The people that will take the time to fill out a two-step form or provide  are the ones who are actually interested.
  • Blogs aren’t out of the question here. All too often, blogs are seen as top-of-funnel content, and for the most part, they are, but there are still plenty of keywords to target with long-form content that i would categorize as mid-funnel. For example: what to look for in a [service provider], x questions to ask when vetting a [provider], or how to find a good [provider].

blog posts across the content marketing funnelClick to enlarge

Bottom-of-funnel content

Now, your audience member has decided that they want to purchase the type of solution you provide. They’re pretty sure they want your solution specifically, but still need a little convincing and/or guidance.

Their goal is to feel confident in choosing you and in the particular product/service they choose.

Your goal is to get them to convert obviously, but it’s also to address any objections and hesitations.

Bottom-of-funnel content types

  • Case studies (can also be mid-funnel)
  • Comparison tools/sheets
  • Pitch decks
  • Product page
  • Pricing page
  • Spec sheets

Bottom-of-funnel content tips

Hyper-target: All of your content should be geared for your target audience, but at this stage particularly, it should be catered to very specific buyer personas and even personalized to the prospect (such as with a pitch deck)

Copywriting is important here: The prospect is now in scrutiny mode, so every detail counts! Use my tips on how to write copy that sells so you can make the most of this content.

Always be testing these pages: Try out different call to action phrases, information presentation, and page structure, and also make sure that these pages are free of pop-ups or other widgets that might interfere or interrupt the experience.

Beyond funnel content (retention)

At this point, you’ve got a customer. Good job! But does that mean your work is done? Far from it. Not only do you need to continue providing value through helpful tips, but you also need to keep them engaged.

Their goal is to learn how to best use your product/service and to make the most of their investment.

Your goal is to keep them engaged, provide the support they need, and continue adding value.

Retention content types

  • Announcements/updates
  • Help articles
  • Personalized/performance emails
  • Surveys/polls
  • User forums
  • Blogs/guides/webinars/tools for continued learning

content marketing funnel - peformance report email

Image source

Retention content material suggestions

Continue offering informational content material. The very top-of-funnel content material that helped them turn into conscious of your online business remains to be helpful, even manner down right here on the backside. That’s as a result of this content material isn’t instantly associated to your particular services, but in addition covers ancillary subjects.

Segment your viewers. This could go with out saying, however whether or not you’re operating a Google Ads marketing campaign, an electronic mail marketing campaign, or one thing else, phase out your prospects—possibly even additional segmenting by ranges of loyalty—so you’ll be able to cater to them particularly.

Master your content material advertising funnel

And that concludes our tour of the content material advertising funnel. For extra assist with creating nice content material, take a look at these sources: