Winning Combination: Using Content to Target the Entire Marketing Funnel

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

How to use your content marketing efforts to target potential customers from top to bottom of the marketing funnel.

Who are you targeting with your content marketing efforts?

Whether you are trying to simply raise overall brand awareness, or you are trying to convince customers that are ready to make a purchase to choose you over a competitor, you likely employ the marketing funnel in how you shape your content.

However, to truly make your content as useful and powerful as possible, then you need to use it to target the entire funnel, and not allow being hyper focused on one level take away from potential in others.

Fortunately, your content doesn’t have to be this way. By truly understanding who your potential customers are and what they want, you can craft content that works along the entire funnel.

Related Article: The Full-Time Funnel: Improving B2B Lead Nurturing with Marketing Automation

Give Your Audience What They Want

While it is incredibly important that you have plans for each level of the funnel, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to naturally blend these different approaches in a way that can be useful from top to bottom.

In order to do this, you need to really have an understanding of who your target audience is, as well as what specifically about your brand or product they would be interested in.

What makes you unique? Why should someone choose you over a competitor?

You need to be in touch with what your audience actually wants to hear, see, or engage in.

In a webinar about successful PR tactics, Larry Parnell, Associate Professor and Program Director of The George Washington University Master’s in Strategic PR program, says that this is crucial for all types of content a company puts out, regardless of its purpose.

“Your content needs to be fresh and current and relevant to what your audience wants to hear about. And if you try to force into that content, messages that don’t connect or resonate with the audience, or in this case if you’re going through the media, aren’t relevant to that reporter, then you’re going to make yourself very quickly obsolete.”

If you take this approach, then you will be far more able to craft content to perform along all levels of the funnel.

Use Analytics to See Who Your Customers Are

For this to work at its best, you need to make sure you are doing everything possible to truly and fully know who your target audience currently is, and where you have the largest potential for growth.

By doing this, you will better understand what your audience is interested in, and then mold your content so that it fits what they want.

The best way to do this is by utilizing analytics in your marketing efforts.

As stated by Washington State University’s Carson College of Business, the use of analytics hugely benefits marketing in two key ways.

  • Identify new opportunities by finding both your strengths and weaknesses.
  • More accurately attribute where sales are coming from, allowing you to even better target specific marketing channels and strategies.

Related Article: Fill It to the Top: Tips to Ensure a Strong Sales Funnel

Utilize data tools to look at your content and see what is performing well, and what type of customers it is working on.

Are they first-time or return customers? Did they do extensive research before making a purchase or was it more of an impulse decision?

Was their decision following interacting with any of your content, and if so, what did type of content is performing better than others?

These are all questions analytics can answer for you, and this data will help you create content that broadly appeals to customers all along the funnel.

If your sales are predominantly coming from customers near the bottom of the funnel, who are ready to make a purchase, and are deciding between different options, then you should change your content strategy to better capture the attention of people at the top of the funnel.

If the opposite is true, however, then you need to use your content to better highlight specific features that will drive conversions among customers near the bottom.

Target the Entire Funnel

Once you have a solid grasp on how to draw in customers at each level, you can create content that uses parts of each strategy in order to market to a broader audience simultaneously.

To do this, you need to be very intentional about naturally blending these strategies into a cohesive message so that it does not feel forced or awkward.

This starts with grabbing the attention of your audience in a way that also highlights the strengths of your brand or product.

This goes back to what you have identified as the thing that sets you apart from the competition. Why a consumer would choose to spend their money on you.

If you can do this in a way that grabs the attention of people at the top of the funnel while also demonstrating the qualities that make people at the bottom of the funnel are looking for when making a decision, then you have the opportunity to appeal to a much larger audience with one piece of content.

Related Article: 6 Hacks to Turn Your Blog Into a Lead Generation Machine

This also allows you to target this larger audience with how you spread this content while being more specifically targeted with your more niche content.

If your company or brand can use content marketing to appeal to customers at all levels of the marketing funnel, then you are putting yourself in a much better position to succeed.

 

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