How to adjust content to the marketing funnel

Did you enjoy reading our article about the marketing funnel? As you know from that post, each funnel has at least three major stages – TOFU (top of the funnel), MOFU (middle of the funnel), and BOFU (bottom of the funnel). Each stage is important as it helps you acquire a new customer or client. If you want to improve your content marketing strategy, you should tailor it to the sales funnel in your company. In other words, every stage of your funnel should have content written specifically with it in mind. And here’s how it can be done.

It’s always good to explain how the marketing funnel works on real-life examples, so for the sake of this post, we’ll use three examples of companies that want to enhance their content marketing strategies.

Company 1: Ski shop with a ski school

Company 2: Online store selling smartphones and accessories for them

Company 3: A SaaS B2B company offering marketing automation

Let’s see how these three companies can adjust their content to their sales activities.

TOFU – the beginning of every sales process

It doesn’t matter whether we talk about a B2C or B2B company; there is always a sales process that has a clear beginning and end. In the case of companies 1 and 2, everything starts when a potential customer enters the shop, opens the website, or sees another piece of content, e.g., an ad or a social media post. Ski schools frequently get more customers from word of mouth, so that can also be a starting point for some of your customers. In the case of company 3, we move to the B2B world, but not much changes here. The process can start with a visit to the website or a recommendation from a business partner, or a post on LinkedIn or another platform.

Customers/clients that are in the TOFU stage are generally interested in what each of our three companies does. A person who enters the website of a ski school is likely thinking about learning this sport or has kids who want to learn how to ski. A person visiting an e-commerce website with smartphones may be thinking about buying a new phone or getting some additional accessories for their current model. The list of potential scenarios can be very long.

Of course, you won’t be able to list all the possibilities, but you can make a list of the most probable ones. Use your knowledge and experience to come up with ideas about what customers at this stage might be looking for. You can also use tools like AnswerThePublic that will generate a whole list of ideas based on real searches on Google.

Let’s use this tool right now and see what we can get for the “marketing automation” query:

You now have a ready-made list of questions people ask about marketing automation. Which of them are suitable for TOFU? A few ideas:

  • Who uses marketing automation?
  • Where is marketing automation used?
  • Will marketing be automated?

These are questions that generally revolve around our main topic. A ski company could go with topics like:

  • Is skiing healthy?
  • How to teach your kids skiing
  • Skiing or snowboarding – which sport is better?

And an electronic store could go with:

  • When should I buy a new smartphone?
  • How to select the best smartphone
  • What accessories do I need for my new smartphone?

These topics are not too specific; they trigger interest and encourage readers to find out more. That’s what you need at the TOFU stage. At the end of each such post, you can direct your potential customer to the next one that’s more specific – we move to the MOFU stage.

MOFU – time to be specific

The middle of the funnel is where all the questions and doubts come out. It’s where customers are looking for additional information so that they can make an informed decision. That’s what your content should be about at this stage. Let’s go back to our list from AnswerThePublic. A few ideas for the MOFU stage:

  • Which marketing automation software is the best?
  • Is marketing automation expensive?
  • What are marketing automation features?

What can ski shop write about?

  • How to pick a ski boot size
  • How to adjust ski bindings
  • How to pick your first snowboard

And the store offering smartphones could write about:

  • Android or iOS – which operating system is best?
  • Do I need a smartwatch with my smartphone?
  • Where is the best place to buy a smartphone?

Texts at this stage should be focused on a specific question, typically one of the 5W ones: who, where, when, what, why. They shouldn’t sound too salesy; on the contrary – they should equip your customers with valuable knowledge. If you have anything to support what you are saying, maybe a piece of research or real customer opinions, include them in your MOFU posts.

BOFU – help your customers make a final decision

The customer that’s at the BOFU stage is almost ready to place an order. They just need a final trigger. Here, you need texts that will help you close the deal. Again, let’s use some examples.

Ski school:

  • Why our ski training is good for your kids?
  • Our current promotions on new skis and snowboards
  • Get ready for the 2022/2023 skiing season

Smartphone store:

  • The 5 best smartphones to consider in 2022
  • iPhone 14 pro or mini?
  • How to secure your brand-new smartphone 

Marketing automation company:

  • How to start using marketing automation
  • How can our marketing automation software help you work more effectively
  • How do we help new users get everything up and running

At the end of each post should be a clear CTA, with a link to what you want your customers/users to do next. A ski school could include a link to their application form. A smartphone store should add some links to smartphones worth buying (or specific product categories). And a marketing automation company could offer a free trial, just like we do right now.

The role of content in the sales process

Lastly, let’s address the elephant in the corner. No, content marketing is not a direct sales tool. You can’t count on that people will become your customers just after reading one blog post. That happens rather rarely (although it is possible). But what you should do is use content in your company to guide your customers towards the expected outcome. This way, you help them make a decision. And that’s the role of content marketing – it SUPPORTS (not replaces) your sales efforts. 

If you appropriately design your content to support sales, you will find out that getting new customers is easier and takes less time. And that’s worth giving a shot, isn’t it?

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