A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build a Content Marketing Funnel

content marketing funnel

Quality content alone is not enough.

Back in 1996, Bill Gates made a statement of the century. Content is king.
He gave the marketers’ club a new motto. And today, 81% of marketers have declared content their number 1 business strategy.

But something was missing from this daring essay title. A strategy that would essentially make content king of the sales game. In comes a content marketing funnel.

For your content to reach your business goals and make the impact you are after, you will need a distribution strategy that serves your customer’s needs.

In this step-by-step guide, we will teach you everything you need to know including how to make a content marketing funnel.

What Is a Content Marketing Funnel?

A content marketing funnel is a part of your content marketing strategy. And in action, it is a depiction of a content distribution plan tailored to meet your customers at different stages of the buyer journey.

So what is content marketing? Content marketing is the creation and publication of content for your specific target audience. It is anything your business puts out, be it videos, case studies, surveys, social media posts, you name it. It is all part of your content strategy.

Now, how you purpose all those for your customers depending on your brand’s relationship with them is a content marketing funnel.

The Three Stages of the Marketing Funnel

Your content marketing funnel should have three main stages: Awareness/TOFU, Consideration/MOFU, and finally Conversion/BOFU. You can, however, add extra steps to these three if you want to simplify your approach.

A quick example; you will find that other funnels include interest after awareness. These two serve the same goal, but adding the extra step is often a way to simplify the funnel. It all depends on your funnel and ultimate goal.

Awareness Stage

The awareness stage is often referred to as TOFU or top of the funnel. This is because it is the first stage and is therefore at the top of the funnel. Here you have a wide sea of potential customers looking for a solution your business is offering.

Our top marketing tip is that in this stage resist the temptation of selling.
In the awareness stage, you are not a salesperson but rather a trailer. Your key objective should be to generate interest.

This means there is a type of content you should be prioritizing for these customers. Here are a few good content examples:

  • Social Media Posts
  • Brand Ads
  • How-to Guides

Consideration Stage

The consideration stage is the middle of funnel stage or the MOFU. Here the audience narrows as you inch closer to a sale.

In the consideration stage, you begin to establish and nurture a relationship with your targeted audience. You are no longer casting your net wide, but reaching for an audience that has shown interest in using your product or service.

In the consideration stage, you should focus your efforts to expose your brand.

Here are content ideas for the MOFU stage:

  • Case Studies
  • Blog Posts
  • White Papers
  • E-books
  • Welcome Emails

Conversion Stage

At last, we reach the bottom of the funnel or BOFU. You have captured the lead, nurtured the relationship, and now it’s time for the conversion, depending on what your content marketing goal is.

In the BOFU stage, you want to major in content that propels you above the competition. Give the potential buyer a reason to pick you. In this stage, you unleash your sales arsenal. Our most important content marketing tip for this stage is a good CTA.

And for content efforts we suggest the following:

  • Testimonials
  • Customer Stories
  • Product/Service Page
  • Advertising
  • Sales Emails

How to Build a Content Marketing Funnel

Before we can start on the funnel itself, we have to first understand the philosophy behind it, that is the buyer’s journey.

Every buyer; regardless of how much they fit your buyer persona, starts out unaware of your product or service. This means they would have to be aware of the solution you are offering before they can be aware of who you are.

Here is our step-by-step guide on how you can achieve that:

Market Understanding

The first step in a content marketing strategy is to understand your audience. Your product is not for everyone, so your content shouldn’t be for the general public, but rather for the people you designed the product or service for.

Gather as much information on your audience as possible. This will be the bedrock of your funnel. One of the best tools to employ during market research is a survey or scrolling through your social media comments. These will tell you what your audience is looking for and the latter will even help you find what areas where your competitors are getting it wrong.

Draw Attention

This is where you implement awareness strategies. You are at the top of the funnel, so you have to create content that will attract your audience, offer them value, and let them know you exist.

Social media posts are a great way to achieve this. As of 2022, there are over 4.5 billion social media users. That makes social media the place to interact with users.

In your posts, share fun and valuable content, direct your audience to how-to guides and blog posts, post behind-the-scenes videos and business traditions.

If you run out of ideas or need help with a social media strategy, the SMB Hub can help. With our team of social media experts, we can help you craft quality posts.

Build a Relationship

Once you have your users’ attention, nurture the relationship. One of the simplest way to nurture a buyer relationship is through welcome emails and helpful blog posts. When buyers sign up, gathered some propriety information which you can use to send personalized emails.

Make the Sale

In this stage, you want to focus on building trust. After all, trust is the only way to get a sale. So how do you do that? You bring out the success stories.

Authentic stories from people who have benefited from your brand are a powerful sales tool. Customer stories tell your potential buyers that people in their situation have seen results from your services or products. It gives them confidence in your products.

Perfecting the Funnel

A content marketing funnel will help you achieve your business goals, from building your brand to knocking out all your sales goals. Implement the stages above and don’t forget to freestyle.

At the SMB Hub, we have one passion: to see small to mid-sized businesses grow.

Contact us to see how we can help.


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