Creating content for users goes way beyond just adding the right keywords to page copy.
Understanding your audience, and creating an editorial calendar that aligns with business objectives and your sales funnel, will help you accomplish more conversions and increase your lifetime customer value (LCV).
You’ve probably heard content referred to as a demand generator and lead nurturer, but the role of content in your marketing strategy should extend to all stages of your sales funnel.
From blog posts to retargeting campaigns, you need to optimize your content marketing strategies for conversions and retention.
This post will show you what format and form of content you should implement at each stage of your sales funnel and additional strategies to make your campaigns measurable and successful.
Understanding the Buyer’s Journey
The first stage of the sales funnel is typically referred to as consideration. At this stage of the funnel, users encounter your content and brand for the first time during their research.
At this stage of user research, you should present content that answers customer questions and offers innovative solutions.
All top funnel content should be informative and authoritative.
In terms of promotion and reaching customers mid-funnel, this is where offsite content creation and sharing will be most effective. You can reach customers mid-funnel on:
- Social media (paid promotion or organic).
- Organic search results.
- External publications (guest posting, press releases, link building).
In terms of keyword queries, optimize titles and meta descriptions for terms, such as:
The best type of content to address this research would be:
- White papers
- Blog posts
- Guest posts
- Evergreen guides
Offering other forms of media (e.g., video, infographics, interactive quizzes) is another way to make your brand appear more professional and authoritative.
By separating your brand from the competition, you can lead customers into the next stage of your funnel.
Once a user lands on your website, they’re going to conduct intensive research on your brand and the services you offer before making a purchasing decision. This means that customers will consult everything from user reviews to any success stories you’ve had.
Here, you’ll have to advertise your business more than your content.
At this stage, users are looking for:
- Positive user reviews.
- A fast and engaging website.
- A clear and powerful value proposition.
- Social proof or evidence for your brand.
Expanding more on that last point, you should offer content that communicates your experience as an authority in the industry.
Provide these forms of content for social proof and evidence:
- Case studies.
- User-generated content.
- Awards/Industry recognition.
You’ll also want to provide more description about your services and products.
Demos, tutorials, and how-to videos will allow customers to visualize how your business operates and what you can offer for their individual needs.
Once you’ve convinced your customers that your brand is top-notch, it’s time to close the sale.
Getting the Sale
Bottom-funnel content will tend to represent sales copy and target terms with high shopping intent.
Here, you’ll offer your customers page copy with a CTA to include, promotions, limited time offers, discounts, and everything else.
You might also want to consider links to top-level evergreen content and blog posts for users who do not enter top-of-funnel.
Leverage CTA’s with emotional appeal and the principle of scarcity. Once this is complete you can begin to measure your results.
Creating & Measuring Content KPIs
Identifying leaks in your funnel, primarily where users bounce, will help you optimize your website and content strategy to increase your revenue.
Here is a list of content KPIs that can be tracked on each piece of content based on its placement in the sales funnel:
- Brand reach
- Referring links
- Bounce rate
- Bounce rate
- Bounce rate
Establishing an editorial calendar will allow you to actualize your customer data research and target growing trends in the industry and new demands. Most of all, this will allow you to track results thereafter to address holes in your funnel.
In terms of topic selection, this should be based on your keyword research and competitor analysis. By assessing this quarterly, you can keep your strategy flexible to new trends and determine whether your goals are being reached.
Don’t forget the benefits of repurposing or retargeting successful, top-level content for some easy wins.
Focus on Retention & Loyalty
Finally, your content marketing strategy should not focus solely on new customer acquisition. Following the 80/20 rule of marketing, we know that a majority of our business revenue will come from our most loyal fans.
Incorporate content into your remarketing strategies to increase your LCV. Strategies include:
- Follow-up emails with special promotions.
- User polls and surveys on ways to improve your business.
- Rewards programs for referrals or multiple purchases.
Always follow up on lost leads and customers who’ve made purchases from your business with informative content that reaffirms your authority. Measure the effectiveness of these campaigns and optimize.
By better understanding how each piece of content plays into your sales funnel you can track their results and optimize to improve your ROI. Reassess quarterly and continue to seek ways to improve your marketing strategy.
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