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How building a successful marketing funnel can increase your ROI

These days, marketing is a living, breathing beast that encompasses a range of marketing funnels. But perhaps the biggest drawcard in the past decade has been the success of content marketing.

Put it this way: content marketing generates more than 3x as many leads as outbound marketing and costs a whopping 62% less – that’s return on investment (ROI) you can bank on. So how do you build the perfect content marketing funnel?

Just what is a content marketing funnel?

 Essentially, it’s a system that ‘herds’ as many potential leads through three separate stages. The ultimate goal is to convert those leads into actual paying customers. As you might expect, the top of the funnel is massive, and it tapers as leads move through the stages and drop off.

The bottom line: you’ll never convert all your leads into paying customers. The trick is to do enough to make the return on your content marketing investment worth it.

The three phases of the funnel: Top, middle, bottom

If you’ve at any time worked in marketing you’ll already understand the intricacies of a marketing funnel. But now that many small businesses are dipping their toes into content, it’s worth clarifying the three most important stages:

  • Awareness (top): This is when potential customers experience the initial ‘discovery’ of your brand’s products or services. This could be through social media, advertising, word-of-mouth, eDMs or otherwise.
  • Evaluation (middle): A portion of those leads will want to investigate further. They will reach out in some form to learn more, whether that’s checking you out online or contacting the business.
  • Purchase (bottom): Once the leads have all the information they need, some will make a purchase and become customers. This is what every owner is in business for.

 What should you focus on in your funnel?

In the most basic and uninspiring terms, you want potential customers to make a purchase. That’s your goal with any marketing tactic, and content marketing is not exempt.

However, in order to do that you’ll need to use a deft hand with your marketing collateral. Start by offering something attractive. This will get the audience’s attention. Next, you want that lead to ‘convert’ and become a prospect. When the prospect makes a commitment to purchase, they are at the closing phase. This means you get paid – but it’s not the end of your funnel. In order to get exceptional ROI from your marketing, you want to delight your customer so they return time and again – and hopefully become brand ambassadors.

Keep these four focuses in mind when you define your content marketing funnel.

Don’t forget!

While we’ve spent a while discussing the technicalities of a marketing funnel, there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget. The type of content you create and push out to leads depends on where they are in the funnel.

For example, those in the awareness stage (top of funnel) need a light touch. Don’t hit them with the hard sales tactics yet. Something engaging that softly urges them to action – whether that’s clicking on a link or getting in touch with you directly.

Once you’ve actually converted the customer, then you can hit them with the big guns – surveys, white papers, eBooks, special offers for return customers, etc.

Luckily we’ve made life easier for you to get started. Click Here to download our checklist to help you check off the various content types at each phase of the funnel.

 Ready to get your content marketing funnel into gear so you can increase your ROI? Contact us today to find out how we can help you get strategically aligned!

And if you want to learn more about content marketing tactics, check out The Beat.

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