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How To Create a Winning Content Marketing Funnel

Potential customers don’t go crazy for every brand they see for the first time. You’ll need to create a system that first brings them through the buyer journey. When these people become aware of their problems and start looking for solutions, that’s when you pitch your products.

So, how do you get your target audience from Point A to Point B and then convert them into paying customers? You need a content marketing funnel.

What is a content marketing funnel?

A content marketing funnel is a detailed blueprint of the customer journey stages. Content marketers use the funnel to create high-converting campaigns that increase revenue and marketing ROI.


A funnel aims to ease the target audience through the different stages of the buyer’s journey. It does this through specific types of content shown at specific stages of the funnel. Here’s a brief summary:

Funnel StageContent
Awareness PhaseInformational blog posts
Short-form videos
Native social media content
Humorous content
Lead Magnet
Consideration PhaseTop 10 Lists
Product Reviews
Product Comparisons
Lead Magnet
White Papers
Purchase/Repeat Purchase PhaseEmail Newsletters
Product Demos
Case Studies

Various companies will require different funnels. The number of stages and the content funnel model across industries will vary. Whatever the model, a content marketing funnel helps streamline your pieces of content so they work together in one direction, and you can, ultimately, turn leads into paying customers.

Stages of a content marketing funnel

To achieve that ultimate goal of turning leads into customers, there are subgoals you need to achieve in each of the content marketing funnel stages:

1) Top of the funnel: awareness

The top of the funnel, or the awareness stage, is represented as the broadest part of the funnel.

This stage is where you inform prospective customers about their problems. This is where you also introduce your brand to solution-seeking prospects through relevant content.

2) Middle of the funnel: educating

This is also called the consideration stage. In this phase, your content should educate prospects on why your brand is best suited to address their needs.

Leads that go into this stage may be classified as brand-aware or solution-aware.

Brand-aware prospects are those who already know about the existence of a brand. Solution-aware prospects have an idea of the solution they’ll take to address their problem. They don’t, however, necessarily know the brand they’ll use.

3) Bottom of the funnel: trust building

Leads at this stage are very interested in your product. However, they may have one or two other brands that they’re also considering.

This stage is where you aim to reward leads’ interest in your brand. So, this is where offers, promos, and curated content are sent to a brand’s most engaged leads. It helps to use tools to verify emails to ensure these emails are sent to your intended recipients. This should also be part of your content marketing strategy.

Understand these different funnel stages, and you can consistently create successful content strategies. 

How to build a winning content marketing funnel

So, you now know there are subgoals you need to achieve in each stage of the funnel. It’s time to discuss the types of content you need to churn out at each stage so you can achieve those subgoals.

1) Top of the funnel: awareness

Informational content is effective for ToFu. This is content that provides valuable information to users in the initial stages of their research. They can come from blog posts, short-form videos, native content, and others.

Before you can create top-of-the-funnel content, identify your target market. Doing so will help your content marketing efforts. You can create material that will resonate with your audience. 

Check out the example of this type of content from Encharge. Encharge’s primary audience consists of digital marketers. So, it comes out with ToFu content that explains the difference between a marketing and a sales funnel.


Even if you know your audience, more often than not, coming up with ToFu topics off the top of your head for them won’t be enough. You have to know with certainty the types of content they look for.

So, here’s how you can conceptualize topics for your ToFu content.

  • Use Google autocomplete
  • Use a keyword research tool.
  • Check online forums and YouTube comments.
  • Look through your competitors’ content.

Use visuals, fact-check your claims, and edit your blog post drafts. Quality content pulls people in and makes them engage with the piece. This also makes you stand out as a thought leader in your industry.

If you already have a collection of blog posts, build links to other internal articles. This will help you increase website linger time. 

You may also use social media content as ToFu content. 


Videos are exceptionally effective in capturing attention. They also help you deliver your message more clearly than text and photos. Again, focus on giving value. So, your video content can be informational or entertaining. Check out the example from SproutSocial above. This is better for ToFu than promotional, branded, and “salesy” content.

Native content, on the other hand, is content that looks like it was posted by a user.


Social media users love this kind of content due to its genuine and relatable nature. It’s also easier and more cost-effective to make than branded ads.

Lead magnets are effective for ToFu social media content, too.


Marketing your lead magnet on social media allows you to target those who haven’t visited your website yet. We’ll talk a bit more about this later.

2) Middle of the funnel: educating

Solution-aware prospects want to know who the best service provider is. Suppose the prospects learn from ToFu blog posts that they need a website builder. As a result, they start looking through blogs that inform them about the best website builders on the market.


Content for solution-aware prospects includes product comparisons and Top 10 lists. This type of content allows you to showcase how your product differs from the competition. HelpScout, for instance, features their competitors in a Top 10 article, allowing them to detail why they’re the better option.

On the other hand, content optimized for brand-aware prospects includes your own homepage and lead magnets.

Prospects aware of your brand will want to learn more about you. Visiting a brand’s website is one of the quickest ways leads can get an in-depth understanding of a brand.

Add relevant images to your content and utilize short headers. Website visitors should be able to comprehend your message by skimming through your content.


Also, your downloadable lead magnets should provide value. You want your visitor to provide their email address so they can avail of your lead magnets, whether it’s a webinar, a free ebook, or other gated content. This way, you can continue to nurture them via email marketing (more on this later).

Make sure the lead magnet you choose is related to your offering. Suppose you sell email marketing software. You may give an in-depth email marketing guide as your lead magnet. This will help ensure the people who give their email addresses to you are people you can sell your product to. 

For instance, if your lead magnet is an Amazon coupon, you’re more likely to attract people who buy on Amazon. The thing is, they don’t necessarily include email marketers who would be interested in your email marketing software.


Your organic social media posts may also serve as middle-of-the-funnel content. You may create branded posts or repurpose blog content.

3) Bottom of the funnel: trust building

Trust-building content includes your email marketing campaign, in-depth product demos, and case studies. These content types will help you win the prospect’s trust and, hopefully, make them take the final step to become loyal customers.

Here are some tips for creating email newsletters like the one from Kaspersky above:

  • Segment your email list and create email drip campaigns. This makes your content more tailored, personal, and genuine to each email address.
  • Give special offers and discounts. The Fear of Missing Out or FOMO will elicit immediate action from your leads.
  • Testimonials eliminate any doubt a prospect may have about your product. You can use customer success stories and UGC in your social media and email marketing campaigns.

Engaged prospects will also likely look up a tutorial on how to use your service. So, include demos on YouTube and your homepage. 

Case studies can also help establish your authority with engaged prospects. They can leave a lasting impact by providing value.

Once you apply these tips, you’ll increase the conversion rate for your BoFu.

Read next: 25 Top Content Marketing Tools to Try in 2024

In closing

You’ll need to utilize various content types to ease potential customers through a converting customer journey. There are different content types you need to create for each marketing funnel stage.

The top-of-the-funnel content should include informational, engaging, and valuable content. The middle-of-the-funnel content should target solution-aware or brand-aware prospects. Content that applies at this stage is product reviews, your homepage, and more.

Finally, the bottom-of-the-funnel content should target users already engaging with your brand. BoFu content includes testimonials, product demos, and case studies.

With this winning content marketing funnel, you can easily convert leads into paying customers. Best of luck!

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