Content marketing isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, 76% of marketers plan to focus on creating more content over the next 12 months.
But just because marketers plan on creating more content, doesn’t mean that it’s helping them achieve their goals—over 65% of marketers say they’re stumped when it comes to what types of content are effective or not.
If you want to create content that truly resonates with your audience, it’s important to understand how they think and behave throughout the buyer journey. Here’s how aligning your content with the sales funnel can help you create relatable, effective content at every stage.
Creating content that aligns with the marketing funnel
The marketing funnel could be the key to converting better qualified leads in less time. A well-designed funnel takes your inbound leads through a step-by-step flow, ultimately converting them into happy, paying customers.
Creating a funnel helps you align the phases of the buyer journey with content that resonates at the right time. Here’s a closer look at the marketing funnel and what types of content converts at each stage:
The Awareness Stage
At the very top of the funnel, your audience is looking to solve for a problem or find an answer to a question they have. The majority of shoppers turn to online research before making a purchase—and there’s a good chance your audience does, too.
They’re looking for resources, educational materials and insights that can help lead them in the right direction. While they’re still considered a lead, the chances of them converting is low and there’s no guarantee that they’ll make a purchase.
The content that resonates most effectively with this stage are things like blog posts, ebooks or other top-level content.
The Evaluation Stage
This stage falls right in the middle of the funnel, when prospects start doing more strategic research into whether your products or services are the right fit for their needs. When your audience reaches this stage, that means you’ve peaked their interest and they’re ready to learn more. They know their problem and they’re now looking for a solution.
These people are now at the point where they’re evaluating a solution, so your content can start to show why your products or services in particular can help solve for their problems. This is the nurture stage where you start to establish a deeper relationship with your prospects and give them a reason to trust you. (And ultimately, buy from you.)
At this stage of the funnel, engagement is key. In order to start qualifying leads and nurture those relationships, you need to create content that shows how your product or service can fit their needs.
The best type of content for the evaluation stage includes webinars, whitepapers and other content that helps prospects compare your features with that of your competitors.
The Purchase Stage
The bottom of the funnel is when prospects make their purchasing decision. But just because they’re ready to buy doesn’t mean that they’ll go with your company.
At this stage of the funnel, prospects will need a stronger push and call-to-action to help them make a purchase. The most compelling way to convert at this stage is to offer the right message at the right time.
People want to see your product in action. Content that helps to convert at this stage includes things like product demos, case studies and free trials.
Creating your own marketing funnel
The marketing funnel isn’t one-size-fits-all. A deep understanding of your unique audience and where they fit in your funnel is key to converting better qualified leads faster.
Use this as a template to create powerful content for every stage of the buyer journey.