As soon as a content marketer finishes one piece, they may have time to get a snack and walk around the block before this question pops up. There is so much that goes into the decision about what to write about. Luckily, there are many guiding questions that can inspire your next article, such as SEO considerations, keyword research, content gaps and competitor analysis.
One more thing to consider the next time you’re brainstorming is the content marketing funnel. Of course, your content strategy should always be written for your target audience persona. The content marketing funnel and the customer journey can further narrow your audience into buyer persona categories. This will allow you to gently guide your readers through your site and in the end, hopefully end up with a conversion and brand loyalty.
Here’s how to strategically write content based on where your readers are on the sales funnel.
Top of the Funnel
Top of the funnel content (or for people in the biz, ToFu content), should be geared toward your prospective customer. This means that you have a broad range of topics from which to choose. A potential customer might not be familiar with your brand or even your industry. So, to draw readers in, consider question-based or high-volume keywords that’ll capture organic search views.
Awareness content includes SEO foundational blog posts to populate your site. These provide excellent crosslinking opportunities for future articles, which in theory will reduce your bounce rate. When you’re able to move readers logically through your site to relevant blog articles and landing pages, the longer they learn more about your industry and then about your specific products, they may be more likely to make a conversion. For foundational pieces, consider titles like “Everything You Need to Know About Blank” or “Blank 101.”
Even for B2B content marketing, there’s no harm in investing blog posts toward foundational pieces. You can capitalize upon the organic search boost and the crosslinking opportunities. Plus, foundational pieces will allow readers to see your company’s approach to the basics and how it is the foundation of your organization.
At the top of the funnel, companies must inspire industry & brand awareness and interest. The best way to grab their attention is to be interesting! Catchy titles, engaging writing and interactive social media posts will draw in potential customers.
Middle of the Funnel
Now that you have their attention, it’s imperative that your MoFu content keeps readers’ attention. Middle-of-the-funnel readers are solidly within the consideration and intent stages. Here is where you should focus a bit more on your products and services without coming across as trying to sell something. Online content consumers are savvy and know when they’re being sold to.
How-To guides are one way to subtly show how your products or services may help readers accomplish something. Offer practical tips and break up the content with bulleted or numbered lists, as this is an engaging way to consume content. Try to limit the mentions of your company, however. Instead of inserting your products at every turn, end with a CTA along the lines of: “Our services will help you on your way to accomplishing this goal. Check them out!”
Thought leadership content is also an effective type of MoFu content. Thought leadership establishes your brand as the expert on a niche topic. When your expertise shines through thought-provoking, quality content, readers may be more likely to trust you and consider buying from you.
Call-to-actions are key in MoFu content. Always link to a relevant product or service landing page. Make it as easy as possible for readers to navigate to pages that provide all the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision.
Bottom of the Funnel
Bottom of the funnel content, or BoFu content, is where you have to be your own brand advocate. It’s up to you to convince readers that your product or service is better than your competitors’. It might feel unnatural to humbly brag about yourself, but at this stage, go for it! Talk about some of the recent awards you’ve won and any company initiatives that you’re proud of. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour, millennials are concerned less with price and more by authentic corporate social responsibility when making purchases.
At the bottom of the funnel, your audience is in the evaluation stage. They may have two windows up on their browser, looking back and forth between you and your competitor. Make sure your product landing pages are easy to find and easy to read and make the purchasing process as intuitive as possible.
The Sales Funnel and Your Content Marketing Strategy
The next time you’re racking your brain for something to write about, consider the content marketing sales funnel and who your target audience is in each level of the buyer’s journey. This will help you imagine the type of content that’ll be useful to each buyer persona, and in the end, inspire a conversion. From there, you may win over brand ambassadors and loyal customers.