Marketing would be a much simpler task if it ended with you posting about your product or service, and putting all information on the table for the consumer to use as they need to. But as with everything else in life, easy things seldom bring satisfactory results. If you want more revenue, you have to put in extraordinary efforts. If you have been in tune with the current trends of Digital Marketing, you are probably aware of the significance of Content Marketing and everything that it entails for your business.
Though all Marketers today realize the need to provide as much information as possible to the prospective customers to assist them in making an informed decision, it is the application of this theoretical understanding that is tricky.
But don’t you worry. This is what we are here for.
Discussed below is everything that you need to know about presenting the content that you have to offer in such a way that is most helpful to your customers and therefore, contributes to your revenue in the long run.
Understanding the Content Marketing Flow through a Funnel
Even a very basic understanding of Content Marketing will tell you that its focus is not on explicitly promoting your brand but providing information that will stimulate a prospective customer’s interests in your product or service. When a buyer first notices your brand, it cannot be said what stage they are in, in their buyer’s journey. A buyer’s journey, as you would know, is the path undertaken by a buyer that begins from him/her acquiring an awareness of a problem, engages in the consideration of all possible solutions to the problem and finally zeroing in on a particular brand and making a decision to purchase, thereby effectively terminating the problem.
A successful buyer’s journey ensures that they will come back to your brand for the value that your product or service has provided them. A satisfied customer also means that you have acquired unpaid promoters who will recommend your brand to their friends and family.
To understand the how your Content Marketing strategy should incorporate the buyer’s journey, let’s take a look at the standard Marketing Funnel.
The three stages of the buyer’s journey correspond with the three stages of your Marketing Funnel.
What's an Inbound Marketing Funnel
1. ToFu (Top-of-the-funnel) = Awareness Stage
This is the beginning of the funnel. This is where the customers realize that they have a problem that they need to take care of. So, in relation to that you should be providing such content that attracts prospective customers to your website while they are searching for solutions.
2. MoFu (Middle-of-the-funnel) = Consideration Stage
This is where having identified the problem, the prospective customer begins to explore all brands that can solve their problem. So, to out do your competitors this is where you should provide content that details how you will solve their problems and why is your solution better than your competitors.
3. BoFu (Bottom-of-the-funnel) = Decision Stage
This is where the customers finally decide on a particular brand. So, to help them make a decision, giver the complete picture of your brand and your product/service and all its benefits for the customers should they make a purchase from you.
The most effective way to provide this information is through Content Marketing. And now that you have an idea of what kind of content to create at each stage of the funnel, let’s understand the same with the help of some examples.
Content tailored for each stage of the funnel
To provide content to assist your prospective customers through their buyer’s journey, you should know what kind of content they are looking for. So, by working through the possible questions that customers might want answered, you will be on the right track. One way to go through with this is to create Buyer’s Persona.
"A buyer’s journey (...) is the path undertaken by a buyer that begins from him or her acquiring an awareness of a problem, engages in the consideration of all possible solutions to the problem and finally zeroing in on a particular brand and making a decision to purchase (...)."
What is Buyer’s Persona?
The Buyer’s Persona is an imaginative representation of the ideal customer which is based on the real-life existing customers, their buying patterns and related market research. To get an accurate account of a buyer, the key areas that need to be focused on are – demographics, motivation to purchase, customer behavior pattern, shopping habits, etc. The more detailed you are in your imagination, the more accurate your representation of a buyer would be.
So, how would a buyer’s persona help you in creating content for and distributing it throughout the funnel?
Creating a buyer’s persona gives you access to the psyche of a customer, and through that you can understand what they are looking for, why do they want it, and how will they decide that on what to purchase. The idea being that by stepping in the shoes of a buyer, you can ask the questions that they are likely to pose to you. And so, as a seller, you would then be in a position of preemptively answer their questions before them having to ask them.
Also, understand that not all prospective buyers will start their journey from the first tire of your funnel, i.e. some of them might join in the MoFu stage instead of the ToFu, and some might even directly meet you on the BoFu stage. This means that these customers have started their buyer’s journey from a different brand, but somewhere in between their funnel, they figured that it would be more advantageous for them to switch to your brand. This is an example of leads leaking through the funnel. Something that you should be sure to avoid if you want to be sure about converting all leads into buyers and not losing them along the way, which you probably will if you are not careful about the content and the way you market it across the different stages of the funnels.
These pointers will help you in dividing relevant content throughout the funnel in a way that will be most beneficial to you and your customers.
Content for each stage of the funnel
Content for ToFu
Since, this is the stage when you attract customers and bring visitors to your website, you need to strategically place your content off-site. Social media platforms, blog posts, are the most important places for you to be master.
Content for MoFu
Now that the customers have decided what to buy, give them user-generated content i.e reviews and feedbacks, and detailed descriptions of your product or services through eBooks, Webinars, Podcasts, etc.
Content for BoFu
This is the most crucial moment of the funnel. So, make sure that the customer has all information about your brand, your product/service, and why it is better than other options in the market. And substantiate it by informing them about the discounts and offers that they can avail with your brand.
The most important thing about strategic Content Creation is that you offer the right information, in the right amount, at the right stage of the funnel. Adding video content and sharing it on social media and YouTube will make your brand more visible on the online market. Educational and Explainer Videos will make your content more approachable and engaging.
Therefore, understanding that Content Marketing is all about creating content for each stage of the funnel in a way that the customers don’t find it wanting nut in fact, find all answers they are looking for, without having to ask the questions.