When consumers intend to purchase a product or service, they go through a path to purchase that includes research and evaluation before they commit to buying the product or service. This journey of research, evaluation, and purchase is known as the buyer’s journey.
Today’s consumers are more informed and empowered than ever before. Therefore, when marketing and advertising your product or service, you must fully understand your buyer persona and your buyer’s journey. This will help you create content that encourages them throughout the journey and positions you as a thought leader in your field.
The content creation experts at SEO Design Chicago are here to help you create content for every marketing funnel stage. We’ll discuss the buyer’s journey and the stages of the marketing funnel. Then we’ll explain the importance of creating unique content for each stage of the marketing funnel. Finally, we’ll describe the best types of content for each stage of the marketing funnel.
What Is the Buyer’s Journey in Marketing?
The buyer’s journey in marketing addresses the process that someone goes through when purchasing a product or service.
The buyer’s journey includes the following stages:
- Problem Awareness
- Solution Awareness
- Product/Service Awareness
- Problem + Product/Service for Solution = Enlightenment
With the exception of impulse buys, most people begin their journey in the “unaware” stage. People may fit the demographics of your ideal customer, also known as the “buyer persona,” but they aren’t aware of your product or service, or they might not know that they need it.
When an individual experiences an event that changes their situation or experiences a problem that they need to solve, they begin their buyer’s journey in the “awareness” stage. Once the individual recognizes a solution for their problem, they enter the “consideration” stage. Finally, when the individual becomes aware of a solution to their problem, they enter the “decision” stage of the buyer’s journey.
The Importance of Creating Unique Content for the Marketing Funnel Stages
For content marketers, it is important to publish content with which your readers can relate. Content marketers must understand their audience, including how they think, the answers they’re looking for, and the path they’ll take to find a solution. Once you have this information, you can create a content strategy that maps your content to the various stages of the buyer’s journey and the marketing funnel.
If you don’t understand your audience, there will be a disconnect between your business and potential customers. If your content doesn’t resonate with your readers, you’ll be more likely to lose them.
On the other hand, if you create relatable content that meets your audience at each stage of their buying journey, you’ll help your buyers travel effortlessly through the marketing funnel stages and increase your conversion rate.
What Is a Marketing Funnel?
The marketing funnel, also known as a sales funnel, describes customers’ different stages leading up to their purchase. These stages can include activities such as subscribing to an email newsletter, reading emails, and talking to a sales associate.
The marketing funnel is a useful tool when used in the context of the buyer’s journey. Buyers at the top of the funnel are further away from a purchasing decision when compared to those at the bottom of the funnel.
Marketing Funnel Stages
Getting prospects for your business boils down to three simple steps: attracting strangers, engaging prospects, and delighting customers. Your content should perform these functions at each stage of the marketing funnel.
You will also need to consider the stage in which your audience is located and the best channels to publish your content to reach your audience effectively.
Top of the Funnel: Discovery
Content creation at the top of the funnel promotes discovery. The goal of the discovery stage is to make prospective customers aware of the problem and solution. Attract prospects and show them what you can offer as a solution to their problems and pain points.
Middle of the Funnel: Consideration
Content creation in the middle of the funnel promotes consideration. The goal of the consideration stage is to convert prospects who are aware of the problem and solution into leads. Engage with prospects, earn their trust, and set your business apart from the competition.
Bottom of the Funnel: Purchases
Content creation at the bottom of the funnel promotes purchases. The goal of the bottom of the funnel is to help new leads make informed purchase decisions. Convert prospects into paying customers. Give them specific reasons why they should choose your business over a competitor.
Best Types of Content for Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
It can be challenging to create the right content, for the right people, at the right time. Building a content strategy starts with identifying the channels you will reach your audience depending on their location in the marketing funnel.
TOFU: Attract Stage
The attract stage uses your expertise to create content and conversations that start meaningful relationships with the right audience. This stage focuses on content and marketing material that promotes brand awareness.
Here are eight types of content for the attract stage at the top of the funnel.
1. Blog posts
Blogs are ideal for marketing because they provide fresh content to attract new customers and engage returning customers. They also let consumers and businesses interact with each other.
2. Digital magazines
Digital magazines are a powerful way to engage readers’ interests and reach new audiences globally. They are a great way to send content to readers no matter where they are located.
3. Electronic books
Ebooks are an effective and influential marketing tool. They give detailed insights into your area of expertise. They can also enhance your reputation and generate new leads.
4. Email newsletters
Email newsletters are a powerful digital marketing tool to market your business. They allow you to communicate with your customers in a personalized way and deliver the right message at the right time.
An infographic is a collection of imagery, data visualizations, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand topic overview. Infographics are visual tools that enhance your content marketing strategy. They allow you to share information, build brand awareness, and increase brand visibility and recognition.
Podcasts are “talk radio” episodes that share information on any topic imaginable. They are practical tools for marketing because they help brands to reach a niche targeted audience with a positive return on investment. Additionally, They also provide value for listeners because they are informative and educational.
7. Social media updates
Social media updates are a powerful way for businesses to reach prospects and customers. Through social media updates, you can speak directly to your target audience. This can increase your business’s success by creating devoted brand advocates and driving leads and sales.
8. Video demonstrations
Audiences turn to video to be entertained, learn new skills, and research products and services. Creating a product demo video can attract new customers, form deeper connections with your audiences, and increase sales. Videos make a company look trustworthy. They also help customers make decisions and increase sales.
MOFU: Engage Stage
The engage stage builds lasting relationships with people by providing insights and solutions that align with their pain points and goals. This stage focuses on content that promotes engagement, provides value, answers questions, and solves a problem for your potential customers.
Here are eight types of content for the engage stage in the middle of the funnel.
A case study is the analysis of a particular instance of something to demonstrate quantifiable results due to the application of something. Case studies persuade consumers that a process, product, or service can solve a problem. They are used as social proof to provide buyers with the context to determine whether they are making a good choice.
Educational resources, including online training, courses, guides, and other events, can provide your audience with the information they need. Providing educational resources about your product or service will help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.
Email courses and webinars
An email course is a series of lessons delivered via email over a predetermined period. At the end of these lessons, you invite your prospects to purchase your product or service. You’ll show them how your product or service helps them with the particular problem or topic you discussed in the email course.
When you create a free digital download, you’re creating a lead magnet. A lead magnet draws customers into your sales funnel by capturing their email addresses. Free downloads can create brand affinity, make your business more trustworthy, and encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list.
A technical manual is a how-to guide or manual created to make it simple for the end-user to understand the technicality of using a product or service. The benefits of creating online technical guides for your business include brand building, improved customer retention, reduction in workload for customer service reps, and an improved bottom line for your company.
Templates and toolkits
These options are a great way to provide information to consumers and help them understand your product or service and its ease of use. Templates and toolkits can empower your audience and make them feel prepared and confident about your business and the products and services you provide.
Quizzes, surveys, and assessments
Quizzes, surveys, and assessments are an efficient and cost-effective way to generate leads for your business. They help you capture data about your audience, allowing you to run personalized lead nurturing campaigns.
White papers and reports
A white paper is an in-depth report or guide about a specific topic and the problems that surround it. White papers educate readers and help them to understand and solve an issue. White papers and reports are powerful tools for marketing because they position your company as a thought leader, they present valuable and persuasive research about your products and services, and they generate leads.
BOFU: Delight Stage
The delight stage is where you provide an outstanding experience that adds real value and empowers people to reach their goals and promote your business. This stage focuses on content that answers questions, eliminates doubt, and shares social proof to build even more trust with your customers.
Here are eight types of content for the delight stage at the bottom of the funnel.
Help your customers make informed decisions by providing competitive comparisons. When consumers are looking to purchase, they often compare similar products and services. An easy-to-use chart can help your business stand out from the competition.
The purpose of a consultation is to hear out the consumer’s needs and help identify a plan of attack for solving their problems and accomplishing their goals. Consultations allow your business to showcase your expertise and explain how you can help customers alleviate their pain points.
Authentic customer stories are a powerful way to market your business. Customer stories can save your prospects countless hours of research. They also evoke empathy from buyers and build your relationship with brand advocates.
Specifications on the details of the product explain what the product is, what it looks like, and how it functions. These specifications help potential buyers fully understand the product, how they can use your product, and the pain points it resolves.
A free trial of your product or service is a win-win situation for your company and your potential customers. You get a chance to show them what your product or service can do, and they get to try it before they buy it without taking a risk.
Live product demonstrations stimulate interest in your product. They also instill a sense of ownership of the product to the prospect. Live demonstrations provide proof and tangible evidence to support your claims. Additionally, they can combat any product-related concerns that the buyer presents.
Promo codes and discounts
Marketing makes a great impression when you offer something unique. Promo codes and discounts are a great way to encourage shoppers to return to their abandoned carts. They can also keep your customers engaged, help you reach first-time shoppers, and reward your best customers.
Many prospective customers will automatically search for reviews and testimonials about products and services that interest them. Including testimonials on your business’s website can increase your credibility, generate leads, retain customers, and raise profits.
Creating Content Across All Stages of the Marketing Funnel and Buying Cycle
Creating content across all stages of the marketing funnel and buying cycle can be a daunting task for your business if you try to tackle it yourself. Focus on your business and let SEO Design Chicago’s professional content creators provide you with ongoing, high-quality content.
Custom content from SEO Design Chicago provides customers with the information they seek, increases keyword rankings on search engines, and improves your digital marketing efforts. Contact us today!
- What are the stages of the marketing funnel?
- Which type of content is best for the attract stage?
- What content is ideal for the engage stage?
- Which type of content is best for the delight stage?
- Why is custom content important for successful marketing?