Your audience has a process that they go through when they’re deciding to make any type of purchase. It’s mostly unconscious but we know that they do it. This is called the buying cycle. The buying cycle is part of the content marketing funnel in that you need to create content for your audience at every stage of their buying cycle. You can use the content that you create to leverage all the stages in the buying cycle. Let’s look at this more closely.
Look at the following as if it’s shaped like a funnel with the widest part of the funnel at the top and the smallest part at the bottom. You’re going to want to create targeted content for every stage.
This is the widest part of the content marketing funnel. This is where it’s very important that you identify who your customer is so that you can find them. You’ll need to create content that attracts your audience to you and you’ll need to place that content in front of them where they hang out. For example, if your audience loves a certain YouTube or Instagram star you might pay for that star to mention your product by offering their audience a discount code or extra gifts for buying through their link.
Also, all the content you create and publish will help you be found via search engines. You can use content solely to accomplish this minding your SEO, but you can also hurry it up using PPC (pay per click) via Facebook Ads to help push it along.
At this point, your potential customer has moved down the funnel a little. They know you exist and now they’re researching what they can about you and your products or services. They’re also comparing you to others who offer the same thing at this point.
Ensure that you have awesome landing pages that are created just for the people you expect to visit the page. Plenty of charts, stats, and data to help your audience make a decision to buy from you.
While researching the audience member is going to start feeling more trusting of one offer over another. It could be yours if you’ve done your research and provided the right content at the right time to educate your audience.
One way to ensure that your audience chooses you is to be authentic in your presentation of content and to ensure that you’ve branded yourself well across all platforms online. If they got on one of your lists, ensure that they receive information that is designed to help them make a choice.
This is the bottom of the funnel but it’s not the end. This is where the audience becomes a customer and makes a purchase. They buy the item from you and don’t return it. They are essentially satisfied. But content should still be created for the after the purchase phase. Welcome emails, bonuses, and an invitation to your social media platforms is a great next step.
To help them make a purchase it’s not uncommon to offer first-time buyer discounts which will help people choose if they’re price averse but this is not always necessary. The best thing to do is ensure that the purchase process is simplified so that you don’t have abandoned carts.
When someone has bought from you, they’re much more likely to buy from you again assuming the product or service was amazing. At this point, you want to lead them toward buying another product that you offer by educating them and informing them about what you offer via email and blog content.
A content marketing funnel can be more advanced than this and you can create one for each platform that you’re publishing content on. But, this is the basis of your content marketing funnel.