The second quarter of 2017 is here, so I want to share some good information about content marketing that really helped me focus on the different levels of the marketing funnel.
Understanding that there is the top, middle and bottom levels to the marketing funnel, let these goals and examples steer content marketing campaigns.
Awareness: top of funnel
The top of the funnel’s job is all about grabbing your audience’s attention. If you don’t have good content, you’ll have no audience. When you have good content and an audience, you’ll be able to advertise with promise.
When you’re working on gaining awareness from a particular market, you’ll want to be sure you’ve outlined your particular top of the funnel goals so you see desired results. Some desired goals can be:
- To increase offer awareness
- Grow retargeting lists
- Increase engagement
- Grow website traffic
But, what about getting that content to your audience?
Professionals are getting their content to their market in a number of ways. You can use content management systems (CMS) such as infographics, blogs, social media updates, photos, and digital magazines.
Assistant Editor of Inc Magazine, Anna Hensel, regularly updates her followers with substantial tweets containing links to articles and any trendy tips. This is effective top of the funnel goal hitting. If Anna wanted to acquire leads, she’s making great strides with her Twitter account.
If you want, we can even discuss how Content Marketing Manager, Gareth O’Sullivan, is consistently sharing informative content to his followers that can take them to the next level in their career. Doing this can naturally captivate serious buyers or people who may want to request his services.
Evaluation: middle of funnel
In this stage is your chance to do something impactful to attract any cold, or lukewarm prospects so that you’ll have an easier time escorting them down to the bottom of the funnel in due time. This stage is also important because this is most likely when many future customers decide to opt-out of annoying and clunky email and text campaigns.
To prevent this, let your brand hit the nail on the head in every way possible, so future customers won’t stop checking for you at this stage and be open to your core offer. And most importantly, be open to your brand. No one wants a tarnished brand.
To that end, the goals of the middle of the funnel are essentially the same as the top of the funnel. You’ll want to continue nurturing those interactions so you can acquire actual leads to put on the books and then keep up with.
Types of content for the middle of the funnel
- Educational resources:
- Case Studies, White Papers, Free Reports, Free Guides + eBooks
- Useful resources:
- Cheat Sheets, Mind Maps, Swipe Files, Templates, Toolkits, Resource Lists
- Software downloads
Once your future customers have their eyes and hands on your lead magnet & tripwire offers, they won’t turn away your core offer. Trust. They won’t. Just make certain the core offer is well explained, hits their pain points and isn’t crap. The lead magnet shouldn’t lead them to an empty room, killing their hopes.
Since lead magnets are the thing to use these days, we want to keep in mind that there are a number of traits the lead magnet should have to generate good results:
- Must be super specific
- Must have a high perceived value AND a high actual value
- Customers who opt-in should be immediately gratified
- Should speak to a known desired end result
Want to know the types of lead magnets to use? Here are a few:
- Guides or reports
- Toolkits or resource lists
- Trials or software downloads
- Free shipping or discounts
- Video training(s)
Grabbing the attention of future customers is not too difficult, but if creative and specific, they’ll bite the hook sooner.
Conversion: bottom of funnel
This is it! Now that you’ve been nurturing those interactions and doing some impressive social listening and influencing to increase engagement and grow retargeting lists, now is the time to monetize the value of the customers you’ve acquired along the way.
Let’s talk goals. Bottom of funnel goals should include:
- Lead nurturing
- Maximize immediate customer value
- Increase retention
- Increase buyer frequency
Don’t these seem a bit familiar? That’s because you’re already working towards them. You want to increase revenue, right? The best way to do this is by offering good lead magnets and tripwires.
- Demo or free trial
- Reviews or customer stories
- Events or webinars
Bringing it all together
There’s a purpose for everyone’s content. Whether it is to acquire the future customer, increase engagement, or to solidify your personal brand as a key thought leader in a particular field, whatever the case may be there should be great attention paid to the content being pushed out.
Use tools like WordPress, Hootsuite, Canva, TweetDeck and Giphy to creation content that stands out. Don’t be afraid to push content that you feel might not be perfect at that time. Push it! No one is perfect. But hey, you had better proof your content a few times because the web talk does talk. And that goes for the average Giphy maker all the way to the fake news.