It takes time to convince people to make a purchase. One of the best ways to move people through the buyer journey is to create a conversion funnel, which provides consumers with small actions that lead to a purchase.
What types of content and messages can be used to successfully move consumers through the marketing funnel? There isn’t a single recipe for success, but there are some proven strategies that can work for you.
Top of the funnel (TOFU)
At the top of the funnel are consumers who aren’t yet aware of your product or service. This is the stage where you need to raise brand awareness, not to try to sell your products or services. You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger on the street and immediately try to sell your product or service to them, and you shouldn’t do that in your content, either. Much of your content marketing success comes from indirectmarketing, so don’t go for the hard sell yet.
At this stage of the funnel, you want to make people realize they have a problem and a need for your product or service. To that end, your content should be non-threatening and require very small, easy actions from the audience. Try to be helpful in an effort to build an early relationship.
Lead magnets work particularly well. It’s quick and easy for consumers to download a free checklist or worksheet that can help them solve a problem. At this point, the problem could be as simple as saving time or money.
The goal is to make sure you’re offering something of value to your target audience to generate a basic interest in your brand, products and services. Without this initial awareness, you can’t generate the interest that leads people to the middle of the funnel and closer to conversion.
Keep in mind that, to get people into the funnel so you can move them to the next stage, you need to know who they are. That’s where gated content comes into the picture. Don’t just give out a link where anyone can download your checklist or worksheet. Instead, create an opt-in form where you can collect their email addresses and any other contact information you want (the more information you try to collect, the lower the response rate will be). When you have their information, you can add them to your email marketing campaigns and other marketing initiatives.
Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
Once consumers have become aware of your brand and interested in your products or services, they’ve reached the middle of the funnel. At this stage, they’re considering your brand, but they’re not ready to buy yet. You need to give them reasons to buy to move them to the bottom of the funnel where they actually make a purchase and convert.
Ebooks and case studies work very well in the middle of the funnel. If you revealed a problem and solution to consumers through your content in the top of the funnel, then your content in the middle of the funnel should be the next logical step in solving that problem. Focus on benefits and results while continuing to tap into the audience’s emotions in your messaging.