Content marketing is about producing content to engage and entertain your audience’s personas and convert them into leads and paying customers. This process involves making an informed content creation plan about which content formats to develop to amplify various segments of the customer journey.
Hence, choosing the appropriate content format is critical to achieving your business goal. Your aim could be to build awareness for your brand to convince readers to buy what you’re selling.
These journey stages determine what type of marketing content to create. For instance, among the most prominent content marketing assets are blog post writing, case studies, webinars, and more.
These content marketing assets influence various segments of the sale funnel or consumer journey. While some marketing materials build brand awareness, others convert readers and viewers to leads and provoke them to become customers.
Therefore, what is the best marketing content for each funnel stage? This article will discuss the types of content that get results for the three primary stages of the customer journey.
This article will discuss various content that fits into each of the following stages:
- Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
- Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
- Botton of the Funnel (BOFU)
What is a customer journey?
The customer journey is not a literal travel path but an entire experience a potential customer had while interacting with your website. It represents a customer buying process (the steps users make from discovering your brand to purchasing).
It involves a proper understanding of your target market. That means having knowledge of users’ behavior on your site, how they feel while communicating with your business, and how to improve their experiences.
In other words, it’s a web user experience from awareness to conversion. The best way to know your audience is to develop a customer journey map.
The purpose is to develop a robust inbound marketing strategy that enables you to create marketing content that connects with your readers regardless of the customer’s journey stage.
The best content formats for the buyer journey
Intelligent marketers create and deliver content their readers and prospective customers need at various funnel points to meet consumers’ needs. So, the materials you provide may have a negative or positive impact depending on what you offer the reader.
But your goal is to impact readers positively and meet your target. Consequently, discover what content types to use to strengthen your lead generation goal for better marketing results.
Top of the Funnel (TOFU) content types
The top stage of the funnel requires particular content types that align with the customer journey to help reach your aspiration. At this stage, your goals are to increase online visibility, drive organic traffic, and build awareness for your new business.
Hence, you want to make as many people aware of your brand. That means delivering content that increases your online visibility. For this, the following formats work well at this stage:
SEO-optimized blog posts
Blog article writing is one of the unique content marketing assets for driving long-term organic traffic and building awareness for your business. But for your blog post to get results, you must optimize it for search engines.
That way, you increase your odds to appear in SERPs, thereby improving search or brand visibility. However, you have to optimize your articles for applicable keywords for the best outcome.
Remember that the TOFU or awareness stage has a significant challenge—information overload. According to the Digital Global Overview Report by DataReportal, an internet user spend an average of 3.39mins daily on the internet.
Moreover, over 60% of these users are searching for helpful information. But with more than enough content published per day, how does your content stand out? Think of your blog article as an academic entrance theme. To get the admissions committee’s attention, you must write a unique essay that stands out.
The image shows that businesses and individuals already published and circulated various content overwhelmingly when creating this article.
List of content published, sent to recipients, and circulated today:
- 2.7 million new books published
- 328.5 million newspaper articles circulated
- 195 billion emails sent
- 5.7 million blog posts written and published
- 592.5 million tweets sent
- 5.9 billion Google searches performed already.
Thus, with over 6-billion people searching the internet for information, intelligent marketers and brands use this opportunity to strengthen their content creation strategy, resulting in information strain.
With these volumes of data, online users will struggle to make better decisions. Therefore, optimizing your blog content for SEO is critical to get users’ attention and ensure your content gets found online. It allows your target audience find your content and enhance user experience (UX).
Guest post contributions
Another unique way to increase awareness and visibility for your brand at this stage is to prioritize guest blogging. This form of content production is ideal for the top funnel stage. Why? Because influencers and seasoned marketers in your niche have already accumulated the audience, you’re striving to get.
So, guest posting on their blogs allows you to borrow their readers and bring them to your blog via backlinks to your site. And as the influencers share the content across channels, they help increase your brand reputation, build your following, and improve your SEO effort.
But you have to establish business relationships with web owners and editors to help you find guest blogging opportunities. Start sharing and commenting on their post on all platforms. Interact with them to get noticed before pitching them for guest post possibilities.
Create videos for social media
Videos content works well on social media since more people love videos. Social media videos are great digital content that keeps visitors and users entertained and engaged. You may have realized that is the next big thing across social media platforms.
Sites like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and others, including LinkedIn and Facebook, are striving with videos—not to mention YouTube. And social media algorithms also help boost your exposure by pushing your video to the top of users’ streams.
But your video must be entertaining and valuable to get the boost. As a result, you might expect to get more views and clicks. To better understand the effectiveness of video, please, consider these video content marketing statistics.
Research indicates that:
- 85% of online users want to see more video content from businesses
- Almost 90% of marketers revealed satisfactory ROI from video marketing.
- 80% of brands reported that videos enable them to maximize sales.
- Over 8o% of companies affirm that video content marketing positively impacts lead generation.
- Nearly 90% of marketers who use videos in their marketing mix saw a significant increase in website traffic. (It shows that adding social media videos to your content marketing strategy will help you gain popularity and scale your business).
Expert roundups and interviews
Expert roundups and interviews are incredible in driving results because these content formats attract more readers, get more social shares, and increase click-through rate (CTRs). The reason is that the roundup or interview post involves influencers with a target following in your industry.
These influencers are people your audience looks up to for valuable information. So when you collaborate with them in content and mention their names in the title, you’re up for more engagement. Please, read this article to learn how to create expert roundups.
And since they’re part of the content creation process, they’d gladly promote the piece of content. And guess what? It will result in more social shares and clicks to your site—increasing your online visibility and brand recognition.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) content formats
The middle of the funnel (consideration stage) is where the excitement occurs. Here, you want to keep in touch with potential customers, build relationships, and generate quality leads. So, the content to produce should be instructional, entertaining, and valuable to the reader.
The materials should inspire your ideal readers to make decisions that correspond with your business objectives, such as signup to your list. From there, you can start connecting and building bonds with subscribers on your email list.
To make this content strategy work for you, position your business (products or services) as the best solution to users’ problems. Show them how you can help by publishing the following content types.
How-to blog content and original research
How-to marketing content and others I will mention below are perfect for the consideration stage of the customer journey. That’s because they show readers how to execute a project or solve their problems.
As a result, publishing how-to blog posts will attract more people who want to learn how to do (DIY) things by themselves. And if you consistently give them what they need via these forms of content, you become their go-to resource for information.
They will become loyal readers, signup to your email to receive newsletters and your latest blog articles. Such interaction with your site can lead to referrals and conversions. Remember, the how-to blog content mentioned in the subtitle also implies creating how-to videos.
As stated earlier above, consumers want to see more videos from marketers. They find video content more memorable and practical, which helps establish brand trust.
Besides how-to materials, also prioritize publishing original research reports. These types of content attract inbound links because they are valuable information that makes you an expert authority in your industry.
Other content creators will quickly link to it and mention you or your brand, thereby making your site their primary source of information.
Use email marketing sequence
Another type of content that works effectively for the MOFU stage is email marketing content. Those who entered their emails to be on your list find your materials engaging and helpful to them.
Consequently, they willingly gave you their contact details to enable them to receive more value from you frequently without missing anything. Thus, after your welcome email, start sending a series of emails campaigns with links to your blog where they will find more helpful content.
Your welcome email will trigger a marketing email sequence that aligns with your goal and supports the first campaign. The follow-up emails will help you build rapport with recipients, drive traffic back to your site, and ultimately convert subscribers to paying customers.
Employ live events and webinars
Why are live events and webinars so critical at this buyer journey stage? Because they drive incredible results. According to data, over 80% of millennials participated in live events, and they’re never satisfied. Why? Because 72% of these young consumers affirmed that they’d spend more money on such occasions.
The research further revealed that almost 80% of millennials confirmed that their best experiences came from attending live events. And 70% of these said being part of such live events and experiences make them more connected.
That’s not all. The report also indicates that the fear of missing out (FOMO) encourages the young generation to attend an event, share and engage with users’ content. But these results are not typical to only millennials as the need for experiencing live events is taking place throughout the generational circle.
For example, consumer spending on experiences and live events increased 70% since 1987. It shows that clients are willing to spend more on events.
The takeaway from the report:
- Millennials thirst for more experiences
- Live events and experiences help shape create life-long memories and build connections
- The fear of missing out (FOMO) drives millennials’ hunger for live events and other engagements
- When it comes to money, ‘experiences’ trump ‘things.’
- People are spending more money on experiences and events
Thus, using webinars and live events in your marketing mix will help you meet the desires of your target market at the MOFU customer journey.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) content types
The bottom funnel of the customer journey is the decision point—to commit to your offer or not. It means that you recognized the issues and provided the proper solution. And after examining other available options, consumers must decide on the way forward.
So, while considering his options, you need to give him content pieces that will delight them. Remember that the objectives at this stage of the funnel are to build trust, stimulate users to take action, and convert leads into customers.
For this, you need to create and publish the following content formats.
Why is your brand story crucial at this point? Because your leads are in a challenging situation—to make a purchasing decision. They have other similar options to choose from; will they buy from you or your competitors?
So, you see that prospects are not sure what to do at this point. It means that they need a little more push in the right direction. Consequently, when they visit your ‘About Page,’ they’re looking for narratives and clues that will make them believe in you.
Therefore, brand storytelling enables you to delight consumers with stories of why you’re in business and why they should trust and care about your offer. Moreover, telling your story establishes connections and builds credibility.
Here’s what to do:
- Share your history and your business’ values
- Offer limited free trials
- Nurture them with free consultations
- Provide free demos
- Give them discounts and more
These pointers will make them more connected to your brand. And once they feel the connection, they will be more likely to commit. Hence, tell your brand story to get people to invest in your offer.
Use testimonials to increase conversions
Customer testimonials are unique content formats that make your brand appear more credible to site users and those exploring your products or services. Testimonials effectively improve conversion rates because they come as social proof and satisfied customer endorsements.
They’re not sales pitches. Instead, they’re unbiased confirmations from happy clients and influencers who used the products or services and found them valuable. Such open-minded content typically displays the product effect by comparing the before and after statistics to show improvements.
Note that you can create various types of customer testimony, including video testimonials. With testimonials in your content marketing strategy, you’re leveraging the testimonies of former and current clients as evidence to show eventual customers how your offer can help them.
Thus, it would help convince prospects to switch products and become loyal customers, increasing conversions. Therefore, while creating a page for customers’ testimonies is wonderful, prioritize adding them within your blog articles, emails, and more. Use “quotation” marks to make them stand out and boost their effectiveness.
Use case studies
Similar to a customer testimony is a case study content. Whereas testimonials show evidence that the product or service is helpful, case studies display real-world examples. Case study content formats examine all features of a product or service to find what makes it unique.
It identifies a problem and comprehensively describes how your brand solved it. Think of case study content as a dispute with a solution. And to make it more powerful, inject original stats into the material.
You can read this case study example of how Uber used webdew’s explainer video to maximize email signups. This type of content can strengthen your brand values and convert more customers.
Although the content formats highlighted above drive results, it also pays to evaluate content already performing well. Look at your competition and learn from their successes. What format and content length are working for them.
Study them and produce similar materials for your blog. Then test your content performance to define what’s working for you and replicate that to increase interaction. If a particular blog article generates results, consider repurposing it to other content formats. It helps you produce consistent ROIs.