By Shauna Ward
What is the purpose of content marketing?
I recently posed this question to a few small business owners and e-commerce marketers, and most of their responses were along these lines:
- Brand building
- Connecting with our audience
These are all great answers, and I completely agree. But unfortunately, “connecting with your audience” doesn’t pay the bills.
So, how can we think about content as a tool to help you grow your business while building your brand? How does storytelling drive tangible outcomes at every stage of the funnel? That’s what we’re going to cover in this article.
Blogging is the #1 content marketing tactic for small teams
Content can mean a lot of different things: blog posts, videos, eBooks, social media posts, and on and on. Sometimes, it feels like everything is content. So how do you decide which types you need?
As a small team with limited resources, you need to put your energy toward the most efficient content—low cost, high impact. For most growing brands, this means building a blog. Blog posts are more affordable than videos, more engaging than eBooks, and better at driving traffic than organic social media.
For those reasons, we’re going to focus on blog posts in this article, but you can just as easily apply this advice to any type of content.
The 4 stages of the sales funnel
Content marketing helps attract new customers and move them through the sales funnel, from awareness to purchase to retention. But no single blog post can do it all.
Every piece of content you publish has a job to do. What works to bring someone to your website won’t necessarily motivate them to make a purchase. That’s why creating content for every stage of the funnel is so important.
The basic sales funnel is made up of four stages.
- Awareness: Attract the right audiences and build brand awareness.
- Consideration: Build a relationship, create trust, and get your audience interested in your products.
- Conversion: Deliver a winning offer to convert your audience from visitor to customer.
- Retention: Continue nurturing customer relationships to retain customers and increase their lifetime value.
As a marketer, your goal is to move people down the funnel, keeping them interested until they’re ready to make a purchase, and then keep them coming back for more.
This is how the top consumer brands approach content marketing, and the strategy is just as effective for small businesses. Recently, the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs partnered to publish B2C Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, and their findings validate the power of full-funnel content marketing. Among survey respondents, they found that:
- 56% create content based on the stages of the sales funnel.
- 79% use content to successfully build brand awareness.
- 52% use content to generate revenue.
- 81% use content to build customer loyalty and increase retention.
The bottom line? If you’re not publishing content for every stage of the funnel, your competitors have a clear advantage.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what kind of content you should be publishing for each stage.
Content at each stage of the funnel
You know what duties your content needs to …read more
Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider