How to funnel customers into your business part 1
Many marketers struggle to gauge the efficacy of their content efforts. Utilizing the marketing funnel to strategize content release can ensure more conversions from your great content.
Today, effective marketing strategies rely heavily on content marketing, especially to target buyers with customized content for each buyer persona and handhold them through the sales journey or funnel. Creating customized content for marketing is now a norm with over 80% of B2B marketers claiming to use niche content customized to target buyers’ needs and tastes. But there’s a catch, many of these marketers are struggling to differentiate between effective content and content that doesn’t influence the buyer enough to pull towards a favourable decision.
Content is one of the best methods of marketing your product or service, its costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates three times more leads. There is, however, some caveat to ensure its effectiveness and impact. A common misconception is that content marketing is all about writing and publishing blogs, but there is a lot more to a successful content marketing campaign.
Before we discuss how to make content marketing campaigns more effective, let’s understand what content marketing is and its objectives?
Content marketing in a nutshell
Content marketing is a form of marketing that employs content such as articles, blog posts, eBooks, white papers, newsletters, infographics, podcasts, videos, webinars, and so on to target prospective buyers. An effective content marketing campaign aims to make your prospective buyers aware of your product or service and take them across multiple stages of the buyers’ journey ultimately, turning them into a satisfied customer of your business.
The main objective of content marketing is to convert visitors into customers. Although, there are different types of content marketing methods, the marketing funnel method is a simple and systematic approach that is open to as many leads as possible and progresses through a step-by-step flow. To ensure your content marketing efforts are effective, you have to use different types of content customized for different stages of the funnel, which focuses on attracting the target audience, nurturing leads and generating customers.
The buyer’s journey and the marketing funnel
Before becoming a customer, a person has to go through the marketing funnel, which invariably consists of different stages before a purchase is made. Many companies, when making their marketing funnel copy a funnel from another company, but that’s not the most effective way to go. When building your marketing funnel, the most important question to ask yourself is, “How does my buyer think?” Every industry and individual company has different kinds of buyers with varying needs. We’ll get a little more into this in part two of this blog, but first let’s look at the general outline of a typical marketing funnel across industries and companies.
The average marketing funnel will have the following four stages:
1. The awareness stage: In this stage, potential customers will be looking for information, resources, research data, opinions, insights and so on. Generally, awareness stage content will include blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, videos and infographics. In this stage, they are becoming aware of all their options and how these options can serve their business.
2. The evaluation stage: in the second stage, potential customers will venture into deeper research about your product or service and its features. Most of the content here are white papers, eBooks, newsletters and so on. These are given to people who visit your website from blog posts, social media posts, infographics and other forms of awareness content as “lead magnets”, because they provide their email and other contact information in exchange for free the content.
3. The purchase stage: The third stage is where these potential customers will be looking for all the details to become a customer. You will finally convert the leads from the previous stage to customers, which is comparatively difficult as your target is to prompt your leads to purchase your products or services and not just sign up for a newsletter or any other free content. The content used in this stage is more comprehensive and detailed, such as webinars, questionnaires, testimonials, demos, product specifications, and sales meetings.
4. The delight stage: The fourth and final stage occurs after you’ve converted a lead into a customer. Increasing customer retention rates by just five percent can boost profits anywhere from twenty-five to ninety-five percent! The key to customer retention is nurturing your existing customers. The content in this phase includes informational content to help existing customers get the most out of their product or service, contacting them about updates, new features or first-looks of new products and services, as well as messages of gratitude for their loyalty.
This funnel may vary based on the business model of your organization, industry, product, pricing, and the target audience. For B2B customers to make it through all the stages of the funnel they require extensive nurturing, engagement and relationship building, especially for larger and/or more costly purchases. The funnel and the content delivered to your potential and existing buyers can be further personalized by leveraging automation. With automation, your most relevant content pieces can be delivered to potential buyers based on their unique, individual interests.
As mentioned earlier, studies have shown that content marketing generates 3x more leads when compared to paid search. It is good to understand how it is possible and how we can ensure that we achieve this every time. Content marketing done the right way provides more indexed pages and backlinks enabling your content to reach to a wider audience. This in turn ensures 6x higher conversion rates compared to other conventional methods.
To summarise, compared to paid ads or other methods, content marketing:
· Reduces costs
· Provides organic search traffic
· Provides more awareness and recognition
· Increases ROI
In our next blog, we’ll talk more in depth about creating effective content for your marketing funnel. Here is a sneak peek:
Content for the Awareness Stage
In this stage, content must reach a wider audience. Content at this stage strives to gain the attention of the prospective customer, educate them about the solutions and offerings and take them to the evaluation stage.
Content for the Evaluation Stage
In the evaluation stage, prospective buyers try to determine the value of your product or service and the legitimacy of your organization.
There’s a lot more detail about these stages awaiting you in part 2 of this blog.
Accelerating your buyer’s journey through the funnel in real-time, every time
The Social27 Playlist delivers a ‘binge-worthy’ content experience for customers while
the AI assistant identifies intent, qualifies leads, and schedules meetings for sales.
At Social27, we are experts at curating content specifically for your target audiences at each phase of the marketing funnel. And, using our AI services, you can further personalize your content and get valuable, actionable insights into what’s working and what’s just causing more friction. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to social27.com for more information. We want to be your partner in your digital transformation no matter where you are in your journey.
Social27 is an AI powered Automation, Augmentation and Analytics platform. Social27 Playlists empower B2B marketers to deliver a personalized and ‘binge-worthy’ content experience in real-time. Our AI Assistant identifies buyer intent, qualifies leads, and schedules meetings; accelerating sales and revenue growth. Social27 Deal Room automates all the repetitive and time-consuming processes in the deal workflow, keeping all calls, contracts, and compliance in one place. And finally, the Partner Ecosystem Accelerator enables velocity across your ecosystem by enabling a #NoFriction customer journey.