New HubSpot Two-Way Sync Integration — The perfect sales and marketing alignment →

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.

Source

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
How-Tos
Short-form videos
Native social media content
Humorous content
Lead Magnet
Consideration PhaseTop 10 Lists
Product Reviews
Product Comparisons
Homepage
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.

Source

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. 

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

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.

Source

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.

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!

4.8/5 from 228 reviews
4.9/5 from 158 reviews
4.9/5 from 155 reviews
4.91/5 from 154 reviews

Meet your new marketing automation platform

Customer messaging tools don’t automate workflows outside your product and marketing automation tools are bad at behavior emails. Encharge is the best of both worlds — a marketing automation platform built specifically for startups and digital businesses.

“Encharge helped us visually redesign our onboarding flow resulting in a 10% increase in our trial activation rate."

camille-photo
Camille Richon
Founder Payfacile
See why Encharge is different
Use Cases
Marketing automation
Create user journeys that convert, onboard, and retain customers.
Lead nurturing
Nurture email leads into trial users and customers.
User onboarding
Boost product activation and guide your users to value faster
Trial conversion
Smart marketing automation and behavior-based emails to double your trial conversion.
Success Stories
Landbot automates the onboarding for 80,000+ users while saving 320 hours/month
Samdock reduced the cost and time spent on acquiring a new customer by 77% with Encharge
Aito reduced the time for implementing behavior-based emails from hours to minutes
laptop
SaaS
Convert, onboard, and retain more customers. Grow your MRR with marketing automation for SaaS.
meeting
Agencies
Build advanced marketing automation flows for your clients and grow your agency faster than ever before.
document-2
Content creators
Bring your subscribers in Encharge and nurture them into customers with automated email sequences.
opening-times
Subscription businesses
Create targeted messages and automation flows for recurring-revenue businesses.
automated-logistics
Productized services
Automate your services and focus on the important parts of your business.
Flow builder
Create remarkable user journeys with a robust and easy to use visual flow builder.
Broadcasts
Send targeted one-off newsletters to your whole audience or a segment of people.
Behavior emails
Send targeted emails when people do or don’t do something in your app.
User segments
Create user segments with the market’s leading segmentation for SaaS.
User profiles
See the people behind the actions and access the full view of your customer data.
Email personalization
Get your users to act with highly-personalized emails.
Email editor
Design beautiful mobile-ready emails without any HTML skills.
A/B tests
Drive email engagement with A/B tests for your Broadcasts and your Flows.
Lead scoring
Identify interested users and best-fit customers and proactively reach out to them.
Website tracking
Track page visits and form submissions on your website in real-time.
verified
Free email verification
Free email verification for all your contacts in Encharge, on all plans.
Transactional emails
Send emails like password reset, payment receipt, and single sign-on link from your app.
Facebook Logo
Facebook
HubSpot Logo
HubSpot
Calendly Logo
Calendly
Typeform Logo
Typeform
Slack Logo
Slack
Intercom Logo
Intercom
Mailchimp Logo
Mailchimp
Salesforce Logo
Salesforce
Zapier Logo
Zapier
Pabbly Logo
Pabbly
Integrately Logo
Integrately
Stripe Logo
Stripe
Chargebee Logo
Chargebee
Chargify Logo
Chargify
Recurly Logo
Recurly
Paddle Logo
Paddle
Twilio Logo
Twilio SMS
Webhooks Logo
Webhooks
Segment Logo
Segment
API Logo
API
Google Analytics Logo
Google Analytics
SyncSpider logo
SyncSpider
KonnectzIT logo
KonnectzIT
ThriveCart Logo
ThriveCart
+38
More
Blog
In-depth guides, and practical tips for first-timers, marketing experts, and everyone in between.
logo-facebook
Facebook Group
A community for all things Encharge-related.
Knowledge base
Learn how to use Encharge.
window-dev
Developer Docs
Tools for developers.
thumb-up
Feature Requests
Request new product features.
Product Updates
Latest Encharge updates and news.
crown
Premium Services
Our experts, your project. Get your flows built for as low as $350/month.
b-check
Encharge Experts
Get help from trusted Encharge consultants and service providers.
books
Resource Library
Get access to all of our eBooks, webinars, blueprints, cheatsheets, and more.
artificial-brain
Generate Subject Lines with AI
Create unique subject lines with the only free AI email subject line generator based on GPT3.
logo-slack
Slack community
Talk to the Encharge team in real-time.
Affiliate Program
Earn up to 30% recurring commission referring customers to Encharge.