Dissecting the content marketing funnel

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Content is king, and for your business to excel in today’s fast-paced marketplace you need a solid content marketing strategy to generate leads and turn them into paying clients.

According to CMI’s study 2015 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, consistently creating engaging content, and on a variety of subjects, are the biggest challenges that most businesses face. Also, CMI’s 2014 benchmark study revealed that an increasing number of B2B marketers are putting more faith in content marketing, and getting better at it too.

So what does it take to make a strong content marketing strategy?

It’s helpful to think of it as a funnel with three stages: top, middle, and bottom.

Top of Funnel Strategy

Content marketing begins with casting a wide net to attract as many eyes as possible. Common ways of doing this are through blogs, infographics, photos, videos, and interactive web features shared through many social media channels. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are the big four that you should focus on. Frame your company as the foremost experts in your field to instill customer confidence and get them interested.

Middle of Funnel Strategy

Move leads to this stage with an enticing call to action in your top-of-funnel content. In this stage you have to nurture trust, and become more specific to customer needs with product focused content. This can be done through ebooks, blogs, white papers, webinars, or worksheets.

Bottom of Funnel Strategy

Now’s the time to close the deal. Both the sales and marketing teams must work in tandem to pull it off. Continue to ensure trust and competency, and promote the features and benefits of what you’re offering. Be sympathetic to your buyers’ concerns because they will be asking themselves “Why should I buy from this company?” at this point. Strong bottom-of-funnel methods are webinars, case studies, testimonials, third-party studies, and product tutorials.

Photo via Flickr user mkhmarketing

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