An optimized B2B content marketing funnel can increase sales 3X and reduce marketing costs by 40%. Find out the best types of content for each stage of the funnel.
Content marketing is emerging as the top method of generating leads and conversions. 86% of B2B marketers and 76% of B2C marketers utilize content for driving sales. Plus, it is up to 41% cheaper than paid searches.
An astounding 70% of people claim content marketing makes them trust a company more. And 80% of millennials want companies to create custom content for them.
But the type and format of effective content depends on where a prospect is in your B2B content marketing funnel.
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of creating your own content marketing funnel:
Stage #1: Top of the Funnel (Awareness Stage)
People don’t just consume content and then make a purchase. They also use it to educate themselves. On average, a person reads 11.4 content pieces about a product before deciding to buy it. The first stage of your funnel has to grab attention and build awareness.
- Content Goal: The content offered at this stage should offer solutions to a specific challenge faced by your target audience. It could also talk about industry trends and insights or introduce your products and services. All of the content should be free, non-promotional, and easy to access.
- Types of Content: Blog posts, infographics, social media posts, videos, ebooks, whitepapers, and guest posts are some content types that you can use in the awareness stage.
Blog posts are most effective at generating website traffic and improving your rankings. Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages which act as flags for search engines. Also, blog posts tend to have a compounding effect, and can grow to account for 38% of website traffic.
Stage #2: Middle of the Funnel (Evaluation Stage)
In this stage, you want to convert your site visitors into sales leads. Assume that they are researching you heavily, so your content goal is to educate them about your products and services.
Here, you nurture them enough so they evaluate you favorably. Your content at this stage should be gated, that is, provided in exchange for contact details. Ensure that your content is targeted and persuasive.
- Content Goal: Your content should provide a tailored solution to your prospects’ pain points. Without being overly promotional, your content should establish your credibility and convince them that your solution is better than those of your competitors.
- Types of Content: Whitepapers, templates, guides, checklists, podcasts, personalized emails, and webinars. 60% of B2B marketers vouch for whitepapers as their top lead generation tool.
Stage #3: Bottom of the Funnel (Purchase Stage)
The goal of your last stage content is to convert sales leads to actual customers. Now, people are convinced of your brand after having received valuable, informational content from you for FREE. It is time to nudge them down the funnel to pay for your product or service.
- Content Goal: Your content will be focused on making a sale. Using personalized content, you convince people that buying from you is their best option and you are offering a better deal than others.
- Type of Content: Trials and demos, case studies, customer testimonials, industry reviews, trade shows, and free or paid consultations are effective during the purchase stage.
B2B Content Marketing Funnel Dos and Don’ts
- Focus on your customers’ needs when creating content, not on yours. 90% of successful B2B marketers do this.
- Create buyer personas and craft personalized content for each persona. This strategy is used by 77% of effective marketers.
- Track your content performance using UTM parameters and use tools like UTM.io for easier UTM tagging. Use social media and web page analytics data to understand which content and channels are giving the best ROI.
Check out the infographic by UTM.io to get a concise breakdown of content types and channels suitable for the different stages of your B2B content marketing funnel.