Have You Fed Your Funnel Lately? A Year of Content That Works.

by: KMartin

When you work in content marketing, you hear a lot about funnels. But sometimes it can be confusing to know just how to properly feed and nurture prospects through yours.

A recent report published by Eccolo Media explains just what types of content have been found to be most useful, and most often engaged with, throughout the entire sales cycle.

We recommend checking out the full report but below we review some of the basics to help you plan for your own marketing effort in the coming year.

What does that funnel look like again?

The funnel can be described using a variety of catchy terminology, but basically boils down to four phases. For each of these, the content needs of the audience will often vary a great deal.

Pre-Sales is where a lot of marketers focus. That’s because we get pretty excited every time we think about pulling new leads into the funnel for further nurturing. Marketers are natural nurturers!. Once content marketing efforts in Pre-Sales have helped build general awareness, we can move the audience into Phase 2, or the Initial Sales stage. At this point, we get to work on helping people really understand the problem. This is where the prospect begins to fill in their blanks with more detailed information. They now begin to understand what once they did not know at all…

Stage 3, Mid-Sales, is where our audiences start real evaluation, identifying solutions and researching options available to them. Time to showcase the many benefits your customers can receive from you and your products!

Stage 4, Final Sale. Stage 4 is where things get exciting. Your audience has weighed the pros and cons, evaluating all of their options, and is ready to make a purchase decision.

In general, the report suggests, short-form and general pieces like blog posts are more effective in the early stages, while more in-depth content like white papers, technical guides, and videos can be useful a little later on.

Here’s the unfortunate truth everyone hates to admit.

We all have limitations on our resources. So where does it make the most sense to concentrate?

The answer to that is, of course, it depends. Here at Outlier, we see clients experiencing challenges in a variety of different ways within their individual sales funnels. Some know that, while they have trouble attracting new leads, they are already adept at building from within, nurturing their current relationships to create new business opportunities.

Others may experience challenges when it comes to post-purchase touchpoints, and ensuring current customers know about new opportunities on the horizon. Both of these will require a slightly different approach.

These are challenges every business experiences, but how they experience them will vary widely. Focusing in on the areas that need improvement while continuing to value your business’ strengths is key. Your marketing agency can help, working with you to determine the areas that require immediate attention so you can strategically focus your content marketing resources throughout 2015 for full and happy sales funnel support.

Want to find out where to focus your marketing dollars for 2015? Contact Outlier for a consultation to review your business goals and get help setting your sights for the year ahead.


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