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Chapter 2 – How content marketing relates to marketing funnel?

Chapter 2 – How content marketing relates to marketing funnel?
Content marketing is the only type of marketing that helps marketers to create custom marketing strategies and add more variations to it. As we have already been discussing in our Free Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing that content is one of the results-oriented digital marketing strategies to promote your business. There is reason marketers call “Content as the King of the Marketing. Nearly 88% of B2B marketers create custom content marketing where 76% of them plan to produce more and more content in the future. However, there are many marketers who don’t know the importance of content marketing and how innovative content can make a distinction their business success. Current digital technologies are impacting our traditional marketing funnel and marketers are still figuring out to do best to fit into same. However, they need to understand that the old marketing sales funnel has been changing to a content marketing funnel (in reality) which many brands are still doing their best to figure out. You can look for the easiest ways to support sales by targeting each part of the funnel with a unique and innovative visual content. The visual stage-specific content will help to qualify, nurture, and convert visitors or leads into paying customers. The right content marketing strategy and use of the same will open up a world of opportunities to your door. So, if you are still figuring out what this marketing funnel all about? How content marketing relates to traditional marketing funnel? How does this content marketing funnel works? What are the content marketing stages? How you can use to create your own marketing strategies for businesses? Then the answers to your all questions lie here. Let’s dig out the one by one to understand it in better.

What is Marketing Sales Funnel?

Marketing sales funnel commonly known as Sales Funnel or Revenue Funnel consists of the following stages:
  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action
Brand awareness feeds the top of the funnel through various mediums like TV, newspapers, word to mouth, pamphlets, radios, etc. You let your audience/people moving through the funnel by getting them interested through awareness. Once you make them interested, they make a decision and takes the Action. A funnel that has a low conversion rate which is why it is called a “leaky funnel”. Where the leak takes place in those four stages tells marketers or businessmen to what layer of the funnel needs work on. The big problem with the traditional sales funnel is that it really doesn’t address how modern consumers and make them buy. Likewise, when it comes to content marketing funnel, the marketers or companies don’t know how to create content? How content marketing, as well as companies, can come together and work like one? Marketers ask questions like:
  • How many blog posts should I write?
  • How often should I be tweeting every day?
  • Is there a specific percentage of my budget that I should be spending on video?
  • Do I really need to write white papers and ebooks?
 

So, what is Content Marketing Funnel?

The purpose to generate various kind of content is to convert visitors into actual customers. The same been is encouraged by a content marketing funnel which is a system that helps to convert as many leads into customers. Through step by step content flow, the marketer can gain as many as potential customers to pay for your products or services. The sales funnel has a major flaw that there are chances people are your leads or potential customers, however, there are fewer chances they would actually buy your product due to leakage. The leakage is there are chances that as potential customers move through the funnel towards the much narrower neck (as mentioned in the picture), many will drop off. To overcome this leakage, the content marketing funnel has made a little variation in the actual sales marketing funnel. Its basic agenda is to make sure the smaller number of leads will actually make it through the entire funnel and become paying customers. A content marketing funnel has three broad stages:
  • Awareness – when a lead or visitor first discovers your brand
  • Evaluation – when a qualified lead (or potential customer) decides to find out whether your product or service is the right fit or not
  • Purchase – this is the stage every business desperately wants to achieve when the prospect gathers the last bit of information they need before deciding to buy and becomes a customer.
However, there should be another stage that every marketer or business should dare to achieve which can be clubbed as the fourth stage in the funnel i.e., Happy Customers.
  • Happy Customers

Businesses consider sales/conversion as the last stage of marketing funnel which is absolutely wrong. Sales may seem the ultimate goal but the strong and happy customer relationship is the foundation of any business. Therefore, the marketer should believe in this stage of the funnel and put more focus on Happy Customers than awareness and consideration. They will directly go to conversion especially when it comes to small businesses.  

Don’t agree, let’s take a look:

In your marketing plans, you have only or around 5% chance to sell your product or services to a new customer. However, if you have an existing happy customer, there are 60-70% chance to sell the same product or services to a repeat customer. We agree every business needs to work on to get new customers. However, your marketing strategy should be designed in such a way where you can target your new audience as well remarket your happy customers again. It’s been stated that 65% or more of a small business’ revenues come in through existing customers. You agree or not, a little 5% reduction in customer defection can increase revenues by 100%. The marketers as well businesses need to work on strategies where they can target to retain their old customers. Today, only 32% of companies are trying to retain their customer. Rest yet need to focus on that. Competition is serious.

What type of Content Goes with Content Marketing Funnel?

Now, the real question arises: What kind of content belongs at which stage? Here is the answer to your query in a simple way. We have shared different examples to signify which type of content belongs to which stage. Have a look!

Awareness

  • Ads
  • Landing Pages
  • Website
  • Videos (Explainer or Product Demo)
  • Infographics
  • Handy Checklists
 

Evaluation

  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Self-Assessments
  • E-mails
 

Purchase

  • Social Media
  • Blog Posts (How To’s or Guides)
  • Whitepapers/E-books
  • Case Studies
  • Webinars
 

Happy Customers

  • Surveys
  • Special Offers
  • Contests & Giveaways
  • E-mails
  • Social Media
  • Blog Posts
  • Whitepapers / Ebooks
Takeaway: This is the roadmap to make your content marketing strategy as per the funnel. It’s all up to you how you make an use of it. At this stage, marketers need to be aware that why content marketing is so important for your business success. In the coming chapter, you will learn How to build a refined content marketing strategy for your business. Previous Chapter
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