Funnel Design: Leveraging Content Writing for Any Stage of the Customer Journey
Effective funnel design is important for your overall content marketing strategy. Learn how to leverage writing for each part of the customer journey.
Many businesses are beginning to better understand the importance and necessity of content marketing. Companies that were at the forefront of the content creation boom are solidifying their content marketing and sales pipeline through an effective funnel design strategy.
Content marketing is among the most effective ways to build your brand, strengthen your reputation, and engage with prospects. Although there are multiple ways to align your content with your sales and marketing goals, your funnel design is top of the list as one of the most effective strategies for achieving your content marketing goals.
Why Incorporate Content into Your Funnel Design?
Funnel design and content marketing work together to achieve more conversions and increase value for your customers.
Key points to consider when incorporating content marketing into your sales funnel design include:
- You must have a deep understanding of your audience to build your brand awareness.
- Create an editorial content calendar and align it with your business objectives.
- Confirm that your editorial calendar, business objectives, and target audience are well represented in your funnel design.
Creating content that sparks interest while informing is the first stage of a sales funnel, and the beginning of the customer journey, where prospective customers engage with your content for the first time. This stage is where readers take note and make an assessment for consideration of your brand.
Not sure how to get started planning your content? Check out our Complete Content Planning Guide.
It’s important to have a plan. Without a plan, there is no clear direction making it difficult to determine the result of your efforts. Optimizing your content marketing strategies is a must for customer conversions and retention.
Focus on Top-of-Funnel Content for the Awareness Stage
Top-of-funnel content is the stage in the customer journey where prospective customers have determined a problem they have and are actively looking for solutions.
For many, this dilemma leads most people to Google to find answers. Which is the perfect opportunity for businesses to develop blog content that provides answers for readers.
This is primarily done with blog content, however other ways a prospective customer might seek answers is on the various social media platforms as well as from press releases.
Blog posts are impactful pieces of content that target the awareness stage. By demonstrating knowledge and the ability to help, you target a problem, pain point, or topic your audience is interested in. This is imperative to being accessible and visible during the buyer journey.
Content visibility is key to having an effective funnel design. For maximum exposure, consider promoting your content across other channels.
There are many types of blog content to consider when planning your editorial calendar. Depending on the goal you’re looking to achieve with the content, here are a few of the most popular types:
Blog content helps boost your website metrics by demonstrating that your website is relevant to your customers’ questions. Relevant answers typically rank higher in search results by using a mix of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies such as keywords, relevant topics, and visuals to help your website rank better in search engines and be more appealing to users.
Long-form content is typically content that is more than 1,500 words and is about a 7-minute read. Readers want engaging and informative articles. When combined with SEO strategies, long-form content resonates with your readers and increases your search engine footprint.
Short-form content is great for quick concise pieces, and bullet points are helpful in place of lengthy paragraphs.
It’s an excellent option for social media platforms where character limits are enforced.
Try writing a short-form piece as a traffic conversion article. Then link your long-form articles from another social media site inside the short-form content to boost traffic between pages and pique reader curiosity.
This content is helpful for social media captions also.
Social Media Captions
One of the most prevalent channels of direct communication with your customers is via social media. The captions must be engaging and splashy enough to grab the reader’s attention to stop scrolling long enough to engage with your content.
Well-constructed alluring social media captions might include a bold claim, a relatable sentiment, and bright colors. The goal is to guide the reader through the next step in the customer journey and building social media captions into your funnel design is key.
Social media captions provide the opportunity to build relationships with your customers. When customers feel a connection to your brand, they are more likely to progress through your sales funnel design. If they feel they are part of a community behind something bigger than themselves, they will grow to be loyal followers.
Sparking interest and being relatable is crucial to gaining customer loyalty. And it must be done quickly and authentically. You have a mere 3 seconds to gain someone’s attention online.
WriteForMe Best Practice: Drive traffic across multiple platforms with optimized social media captions and gain visibility. The first three lines of your social captions are the most important. Use a catchy lead-in to grab the reader’s attention.
Press releases are versatile and can be used across all stages of the sales funnel design. Ensure your target audience stays in the know through press releases. Press release copy can be used to inform your audience and catch their attention.
When incorporated into the first stage of the sales funnel design, press releases reach people who are interested in what you have to offer. Once they’re interested, your content marketing can draw them in as potential lead conversion.
Focus on Mid-Funnel Content to Boost Customer Interest in the Consideration Stage.
Mid-funnel content in the stage that helps to close any gaps you may have with potential customers and add value by educating them.
Mid-funnel design is movement-focused. Prospects want to acquire as much information as possible to take action in solving their problem. The information you provide and the relationship you build with them encourages customers to take the next step, moving them closer to the bottom of the funnel where the purchase or sale happens.
At this stage in the sales funnel, customers are aware of their problem but they’re just not sure what solution is the best fit for them. Customers may have done prior research, but they’re looking for key differentiators to solidify their buying decision. At this point in the funnel design, your content writing must set your company apart from similar ones.
Company Email Newsletter
Company newsletters don’t have to be boring or overly sales-focused. Newsletters help build relationships and keep you top of mind for your customers. Keep your prospective customers in the know by maintaining regular contact with them.
A recent study found that 78% of respondents used company newsletters, and a whopping 90% preferred to be informed via newsletter.
Regular contact is especially important to have with customers and business partners. Share important news and updates with your customers, and other significant information with business partners. If important stakeholders are informed through your content writing, it improves your chances of them wanting to take their brand marketing funnel to the next stage in the buying journey with you.
Newsletters can also help establish your brand expertise authentically. What would make you open an email from a company?
WriteForMe Best Practice: Make your email subject lines short and catchy. There are substantially fewer characters allowed so gaining your audience’s attention must be optimized to help ensure your emails are opened, read, and nurturing the buyer journey.
Ebooks are often used as an incentive for potential customers to subscribe to a company’s blog. It’s a low-stakes investment for the customer to gain a better understanding of how the company can help them more specifically than what they might learn from a blog post.
Ebooks allow your audience to try before buying. When they see the value you have to offer firsthand, they’ll be more likely to trust you and move closer to a purchase.
Ebooks further establish industry authority and expertise. Share how you can apply a product or concept without giving the entire secret away. The goal is to empower readers to seek you out as their solution, not give them the entire solution free of charge.
A typical ebook length is approximately 2,000-3,000 words. But ebooks can be as long or short as needed. It’s just a teaser of what you can offer your target audience.
WriteForMe Best Practice: Keep your ebook front and center on your website. Try using it as a pop-up option to ensure it’s visible on your website and the first teaser prospective customers will see. And ensure you are promoting your ebook in your newsletter and social media posts as well.
Focus on Bottom-of-Funnel Content for the Decision-Making Stage
Content for the bottom-of-funnel design is arguably the most important stage of the buyer journey. The goal is to help your prospect close the decision loop and take action.
Your audience must genuinely trust you by the time they’ve reached this stage. Focus on really letting your authority in the industry shine with high-level content marketing.
At this stage of the buyer journey, your prospective customer is hyper-aware of the solution they need and have narrowed the options of who can help.
Customers desire an emotional connection with your product before making the final decision to buy, but your customer may not have formed this connection yet. So bottom-of-funnel content is the perfect opportunity to connect with your prospects.
Content at the bottom of the funnel should highlight how your solution will make meaningful change for the customer to improve their life or business for the better. Often offering customers a glimpse into what it is like to work with you helps. Whitepapers, testimonials, and case studies are effective in closing the final decision loop.
A white paper is one of the most comprehensive information pieces you can provide to leverage your company’s influence and reliability. Information contained in whitepapers solves complex business problems and has a clear concise voice.
Oftentimes this strategy is beneficial for business-to-business (B2B) content marketing campaigns. These may even compel the business to want to partner with your brand.
Whitepapers are much more research-heavy and data-driven pieces of content. This type of content is meant to convey industry-specific information to your audience, and share original academic-level research.
Solidify your reputation and positive reviews with a case study. Case studies show how and what products, offerings, or processes have been successful and effective with prior customers.
Case studies use authentic data to support your business to build trust. Consumers (88%) trust online ratings and reviews of companies.
Appeal to the logical part of your customer’s brain by including a qualitative aspect of content writing in your funnel design. Subtly push the customer to envision what their experience with your products and services could be like, based on the data. Results and success are motivators that can remove and neutralize customer objections.
Content for case studies can be versatile. Use a mix of written case studies, video testimonials, and Facebook reviews to show your social proof.
Email Marketing Copy
In the final stage of funnel design, you’ve caught the prospective customer’s attention. They’re curious about what you have to offer and they want to learn more. They’re ready to move to the next step.
Content at this stage should reinforce to the customer that they’ve made the right decision. Don’t just tell them—show them—that your products and services are wise purchasing decisions.
Incorporating email marketing into funnel design encourages customer loyalty.
WriteForMe Best Practice: Incorporate automation software to grow your email list and reduce the number of emails you send manually.
Maximize Content Writing For Your Funnel Design—Let WriteForMe Help!
Improve your brand awareness with top-of-funnel blog content. Use a combination of SEO-driven, long-form, and short-form blogs from our writers and editors to keep your audience informed and engaged.
The content marketing experts at WriteForMe are passionate bout alleviating the burden of managing content creation and production for B2B and B2C companies. Partner with us to level up your content marketing strategy.
Contact us to get your FREE customized content marketing playbook today!