by Sarah & Kevin Arrow

The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing: Mapping Your Content Funnel.

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Today's content marketing challenge involves something quite fascinating: mapping your content funnel. It's like plotting a course across uncharted waters, and we'll be guiding your audience through various stages of their journey. Let's set sail on this exciting adventure and explore the key aspects of “Mapping Your Content Funnel.”

1. Identify Your Target Audience: Know Your Crew

Before you set sail, you need to know who you're sailing with. Understand your audience's interests, pain points, and desires.

  • Example: If you're in the travel industry, focus on adventurers, explorers, or those seeking relaxation.

2. Craft Content that Shimmers like a Distant Shore: Attract the Eye

Create content that resonates with your target audience and makes them want to explore further.

  • For Travel Industry: Write breathtaking articles about exotic destinations or share handy travel tips.
  • For Tech Startups: Share insights about the latest industry trends or innovations in technology.

3. Amplify Your Signal: Raise Your Flag

Share your content through channels where your target audience resides. This might include social media, email marketing, or collaborations.

  • Example: Share travel articles on Instagram using captivating images, or send out tech insights through a targeted LinkedIn campaign.

4. Engage with the Explorers: Respond to Signals

Build relationships by engaging with your audience. Respond to their comments, answer questions, and show appreciation for their interest.

  • Example: Reply to comments on your exotic destination blog post, asking readers about their dream travel spots.

5. Monitor Your Course: Keep an Eye on the Stars

Set up tracking for essential metrics that indicate success at this stage.

  • Visitor Traffic: Use tools like Google Analytics to see how many visitors your content is attracting.
  • Subscriber Growth: Track how many new subscribers you gain through sign-up forms or newsletters.
  • Social Reach: Monitor how many people are sharing and engaging with your content on social platforms.

6. Adjust Your Sails: Make Necessary Corrections

Evaluate your performance, learn from it, and tweak your strategy as needed.

  • Example: If the tech trends article isn't engaging enough, consider adding visual infographics or interactive elements.

Concluding the Awareness Stage:

The Awareness stage is like spotting a new land full of opportunities. By understanding your audience, creating resonant content, engaging effectively, and tracking your course, you can attract potential customers like a skilled captain luring explorers to a thrilling adventure.

Stage 2: Consideration – Navigating the Archipelago

Goal: Provide Value to Researching Prospects

Imagine your prospects as intrepid explorers navigating an archipelago, each island offering different treasures. Your job? Guide them with the right map and show them why your island is the place to drop anchor. Ready to embark on this part of the adventure? Here's how to navigate the Consideration stage, step by step!

1. Understand Your Explorer's Needs: What Do They Seek?

First, get to know what your prospects are actively seeking and researching.

  • Example for Car Dealerships: Are they looking for family-friendly vehicles, fuel efficiency, or luxury models?
  • Example for E-Learning Platforms: Are they interested in professional development, hobby learning, or academic support?

2. Provide Maps to Your Islands: Create Comparative Content

Develop content that helps prospects compare and contrast options.

  • For Car Dealerships: Write comparative reviews of different car models, detailing features, pros, cons, and pricing.
  • For E-Learning Platforms: Offer in-depth tutorials or free demo lessons, showcasing the quality of your courses.

3. Light the Beacons: Promote Your Content

Ensure that your content reaches your audience through effective promotion.

  • Example: Share your car comparison reviews on automotive forums, or promote e-learning demo lessons through targeted Facebook ads.

4. Offer Guided Tours: Engage with Your Explorers

Engage with your audience, answer their questions, and offer additional insights.

  • Example: Host a Q&A session on X (Twitter) about the cars you reviewed, or provide a live webinar for e-learning prospects.

5. Set Up Lookout Points: Monitor Your Metrics

Keep track of the metrics that matter at this stage.

  • Lead Generation: How many prospects are showing interest? Use tools like CRM systems to track.
  • Email Signups: Monitor how many sign up for more information or download your guides. Tools like Mailchimp can help here.

6. Adjust Your Route: Optimize as Needed

Analyze your performance and make necessary adjustments.

  • Example: If your car reviews are getting views but not generating leads, consider adding a clear call-to-action or offer a downloadable buying guide.

7. Provide Safe Harbours: Build Trust

Build trust by providing transparent information and showcasing social proof.

  • Example: Share customer testimonials or third-party certifications to validate your car dealership's credibility or e-learning platform's effectiveness.

Concluding the Consideration Stage:

Navigating the Consideration stage is like guiding your prospects through a complex archipelago. By understanding their needs, offering comparative insights, engaging effectively, monitoring your path, and building trust, you'll lead them to the island they seek.

Stage 3: Decision – Anchoring in the Perfect Spot

The journey continues, and we've arrived at Stage 3: Decision. Picture this: your prospects are on the cusp of making a choice, hovering over the map and trying to select the ideal island to drop anchor. The waters here can be tricky, but with the right guidance, you can ensure they choose your spot.

So, how do we convince them that they've indeed found the perfect place? Let's break it down step by step, shall we?

1. Display the Treasures: Showcase What You Offer

Your prospects are looking for specifics now, so give them the details that matter.

  • For Software Companies: Provide ROI calculators that show the potential return on investment for using your software.
  • For Fashion Brands: Create video showcases of outfits, displaying how the clothing looks in real life.

2. Share the Stories of Past Explorers: Leverage Customer Testimonials

There's nothing like hearing from those who've been there before.

  • Example for Software Companies: Share video testimonials from satisfied clients who have benefited from your product.
  • Example for Fashion Brands: Highlight customer reviews, including photos of happy customers wearing your brand.

3. Offer a Guided Tour: Schedule Demos

Sometimes, prospects need a hands-on experience to make that final decision.

  • For Software Companies: Offer live demos that guide potential clients through your software's key features.
  • For Fashion Brands: Consider virtual try-ons or personal stylist sessions online.

4. Roll Out the Red Carpet: Make the Buying Process Seamless

Make it as easy as possible for them to make the purchase.

  • Example: Provide clear pricing information, easy-to-navigate checkout processes, and assistance through chat support if needed.

5. Hoist the Flags: Promote Exclusive Offers

Give them that final nudge with special deals or exclusivity.

  • Example for Software Companies: A limited-time discount for new subscribers.
  • Example for Fashion Brands: An exclusive accessory with the first purchase.

6. Keep Watch: Monitor Your Metrics

In this stage, the focus is on metrics like:

  • Sales Qualified Leads: Are your leads translating into potential sales? Use tools like Salesforce to track this.
  • Demos Scheduled: How many are engaging with your demo sessions? This can indicate interest at a deeper level.

7. Adjust Your Anchors: Iterate and Improve

Don't be afraid to make adjustments based on what the metrics and feedback are telling you.

  • Example: If your ROI calculator isn’t being used, maybe it needs to be more prominent or user-friendly.

8. Welcome Them Ashore: Send a Personalised Thank You

Once they've made the decision, thank them in a way that feels personal.

  • Example: A thank-you email from the CEO or a hand-written note with their first purchase.

Concluding the Decision Stage:

Anchoring in the perfect spot requires a blend of showcasing, storytelling, engagement, ease, exclusivity, monitoring, iteration, and a warm welcome. It's about making your prospects feel confident that they've made the right choice.

Congratulations, Captain! You've guided your explorers to the ideal island. Now it's time to ensure they enjoy their stay. Ready for the next part of the journey – the Retention stage? The adventure continues, and I'm here with you every step of the way!

Stage 4: Retention – Building a Prosperous Colony

Ah, Captain, we've reached the final stage of our voyage! The customers have anchored in your port and settled into your colony. But the journey doesn't end here. Now, it's all about nurturing and growing the colony, turning these new settlers into loyal and prosperous citizens.

So, how do you continue engaging your current customers and make them thrive? Allow me to guide you through this bustling market of opportunities, step by step.

1. Provide Ongoing Support: Offer Troubleshooting Guides

Navigating new territories can be challenging; offer a helping hand.

  • For Healthcare Providers: Create easily accessible troubleshooting guides for common health concerns.
  • For Food Delivery Services: Offer online guides or videos on how to prepare meals with the delivered ingredients.

2. Celebrate Success: Share Success Stories

Show that others are thriving in your colony and that newcomers can too.

  • For Healthcare Providers: Share stories from patients who have overcome health challenges with your care.
  • For Food Delivery Services: Showcase customer testimonials about enjoying delightful meals with family.

3. Entice with Fresh Offerings: Share New Recipes and Offers

Keep things exciting by regularly introducing new attractions.

  • For Healthcare Providers: Roll out new wellness programmes or health screenings.
  • For Food Delivery Services: Share new recipes and exclusive member offers to keep them excited about your service.

4. Open Communication Channels: Encourage Feedback and Questions

Building a colony is a joint venture; involve your citizens.

  • Example: Regularly survey your customers for feedback and provide responsive customer service.

5. Loyalty Deserves Rewards: Create a Loyalty Programme

Reward those who contribute to the colony's prosperity.

  • Example for Healthcare Providers: Offer discounts for referrals or for consistent appointments.
  • Example for Food Delivery Services: Build a point system for repeat orders, redeemable for free dishes.

6. Watch the Horizon: Monitor Metrics

Track the success of your retention efforts with specific metrics.

  • Renewals: Keep track of how many customers continue with your service after the initial period.
  • Repeat Purchases: Measure how often they return for more, using tools like Google Analytics.
  • Churn Rate: Monitor how many customers leave your service, and seek to understand why.

7. Don't Rest on Your Laurels: Continuously Innovate

The seas are ever-changing; adapt and innovate your offerings.

  • Example for Healthcare Providers: Regularly update your health and wellness programmes based on emerging trends and feedback.
  • Example for Food Delivery Services: Continuously refresh your menu based on seasons, customer preferences, and culinary trends.

8. Farewell but Not Goodbye: Graciously Handle Departures

If a citizen decides to leave, ensure they depart on good terms.

  • Example: A heartfelt email thanking them for their time with you, and a feedback form to understand why they're leaving.

Concluding the Retention Stage:

Building a prosperous colony means maintaining a continuous relationship with your customers. It's about celebrating successes, adapting to needs, encouraging loyalty, listening, innovating, rewarding, and even handling goodbyes with grace.

Congratulations on guiding your ship through all stages of the content funnel! The seas of marketing can be challenging, but with the right navigation, your colony will thrive.

Alright, my fellow navigator! Grab your map, compass, and telescope. We're about to embark on a thrilling adventure of mapping your content funnel, a crucial step in charting the course of your marketing strategy. But fret not; I'm here to guide you through the treacherous waters with best practices that will make the voyage a breeze. 🌊⛵

1. Audit Your Current Content by Stage: The Treasure Map

What to do: Take stock of the content you already have. Know where each piece fits in your customer's journey, like pinpointing the islands on a treasure map.

  • For example: If you have a blog post about beginner's photography tips, it might fit in the ‘Awareness' stage, introducing new prospects to your expertise.

2. Identify Stage-Specific Gaps: Spot the Missing Islands

What to do: Just as a sailor spots uncharted islands, identify where your content might be lacking for each stage of the journey.

  • For example: Maybe you have ample content for the ‘Consideration' stage but are lacking in the ‘Decision' stage. Time to craft compelling case studies or testimonials!

3. Set Metrics for Each Stage: The Compass of Success

What to do: Define what success looks like at each stage of the journey. These metrics are your compass, guiding you in the right direction.

  • For example: In the ‘Awareness' stage, you might focus on metrics like visitor traffic or social reach, while in the ‘Decision' stage, you may hone in on sales-qualified leads.

4. Report on Metrics by Stage: The Captain's Log

What to do: Keep a detailed log of how well you're progressing at each stage. It's like the captain's log on a ship, allowing you to track your journey's success.

  • For example: Use tools like Google Analytics to regularly review how each piece of content is performing in attracting leads, generating sales, or retaining customers.

5. Optimise Over Time: Navigating the Ever-Changing Sea

What to do: The seas are ever-changing, and so are the needs of your audience. Regularly revisit and refine your content to ensure it aligns with their evolving needs.

  • For example: If you notice that your ‘Consideration' stage content isn't generating enough email signups, perhaps it's time to enhance those pieces with more engaging CTAs or richer insights.

Final Thoughts: Hoisting the Sails of Success

Mapping your content funnel isn't a one-time venture; it's an ongoing navigation through the fascinating seas of marketing. By auditing, identifying gaps, setting and monitoring metrics, and continually optimising, you're not just setting sail; you're ensuring a prosperous voyage.

And remember, if you ever feel lost at sea, I'm here with a lantern and a friendly wave to guide you back on course.

Concluding Your Voyage:

By expertly mapping your content funnel, you ensure alignment with your audience's needs throughout their expedition. It's like being the captain of a grand voyage, navigating through uncharted territories, and ensuring every passenger arrives at their desired destination.

Do you have any other tips or questions for developing your content funnel? Ready to anchor in the prosperous harbour of Day 17? Let's navigate this together! 🧭🗺️🚢

About the author, Sarah & Kevin Arrow

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Sarah and Kevin Arrow have been in the thick of the online marketing world since 2006, and they're buzzing to share their know-how right here with you! If you're keen to get noticed, they're the experts you'll want to talk to. Why not schedule a call or send them a quick message? They're all ears and can't wait to hear from you!

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