One of the trickiest parts of content marketing is brainstorming fresh ideas for relevant content. Instead of racking your brain trying to come up with dozens of separate ideas, use the conversion funnel to turn one idea into many pieces of connected content.
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We’ve made the process as painless as possible. We’ll guide you through effective types of content for each stage of the conversion funnel, provide sample questions to ask yourself about the content your audience wants, and help you create better content with the answers.
Top of Funnel | Building Awareness and Interest
People at the top of the conversion funnel aren’t interested in making a purchase yet, and they may not even know the product you’re promoting exists. So how do you get them to your bottom-of-funnel content? By creating other new content that will introduce them to your products at a higher level.
Get top-of-funnel customers to your bottom-of-funnel content by creating content that will introduce them to your product at a higher level.
Top-of-funnel content is often what comes to mind when we talk about “content marketing.” These formats provide a quick intro to your business and its benefits.
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Educational content
- Guest posts
- How-to videos
Now that you know what types of content to focus on, use these questions as a guide to help you generate new ideas for top-of-funnel content pieces:
- What problems can you solve for your customers?
- Where does your target audience spend their time online?
1. What problems can you solve for your customers?
The product or service you’re promoting might have some obvious benefits you’ve already talked about, but what are the smaller issues it can solve? How might someone use it in a new way? Come up with multiple answers and build out high-funnel content for each one.
If your core product is smart lights, for example, think about all the ways they come in handy. For starters, they help people save energy, host parties, and wake up naturally.
Now you’ve got at least three more content ideas you can use for blog posts, social media infographics, or guest posting.
- 10 Ways to Reduce Your Impact on the Environment: Suggest using smart lights to cut back energy use.
- 6 Ideas to Make Your New Year’s Eve Party the Coolest One on the Block: Include an idea for syncing smart lights to music.
- 7 Products That Will Make Your Mornings Better: Mention using smart lights to wake up gradually.
2. Where does your target audience spend their time online?
We caution against putting too much stock in demographics—you don’t want to make assumptions or shut out potential audience members. But knowing at least a bit about your target audience will help you decide where to reach out to them.
For example, people between ages 18 and 29 are more likely to be on YouTube than those 65 and older. If you’re trying to reach a specific group, adapt your content idea to the appropriate platform. This is a great way to think about how you can repurpose existing content as well. Try turning a blog post into a review video for YouTube or a how-to video into an infographic for Pinterest.
Mid-Funnel | Evaluating Options and Narrowing Down Choices
People in the middle of the funnel haven’t made a decision yet, but they’re getting more serious. They know they have a problem to solve and they’re looking for solutions. They want to explore options, get answers, eliminate concerns, and narrow down their choices.
Mid-funnel content meets those users where they’re at by answering specific questions and diving deeper into data.
- Email newsletters
- FAQ and how-to content
- Educational content
- Data pieces
- Quizzes and surveys
- Hands-on product demonstrations
Use these questions to guide your brainstorming sessions for mid-funnel content pieces:
- What would someone want to know before they purchase?
- What is your competition doing and why are you better?
- Can you tie your product or service to a holiday or seasonal occasion?
1. What would someone want to know before they purchase?
Anticipate your customers’ questions and concerns—use your keyword research and on-site activity data as a guide—and create better content to provide specific answers and solutions. Are they likely to be concerned with the appearance of the product or its compatibility with other products? Will they need to know how much your service costs or how hard it is to set up?
Based on the questions your potential customers may be asking, create new content that answers those questions in interesting ways: try an unboxing video, a step-by-step illustrated installation guide, or a blog post listing cool devices that are compatible with the product you recommend.
2. What is your competition doing and why are you better?
When customers are mid-funnel, they are likely aware of your brand as well as your competition. You need to convince these potential purchasers that your product or service is right for them. Build out content that compares options to help reassure your audience. For example, write a comparison post showing why you recommend a certain product over another or create a data piece that demonstrates the reasons why your product can help them better than others.
Anticipate your customers’ questions and concerns and create better content that provides specific answers and solutions.
Keep in mind, however, that it won’t do you any favors to bad-mouth your competition, so stick to the facts and stay professional while keeping your brand voice alive.
3. Can you tie your product or service to a holiday or seasonal occasion?
Holidays and other seasonal occasions are great opportunities to pitch your products to interested customers when they’re more likely to spend extra cash. Maybe your product will be on sale on Black Friday or your services can help someone foster a festive mood at their Halloween party. Take advantage of the association and send out an email newsletter about holiday deals or promote a blog post about those holiday connections.
Bottom of Funnel | Taking Action and Making a Purchase
People near the bottom of the funnel are close to a decision. At this point, they’ve likely decided they want to buy and they’re looking for help picking the best option. Or they’ve settled on what they think is best and they’re looking for info that confirms their choice. You can help them turn their decision into action by answering any remaining questions, eliminating concerns, and making the actual purchase process simple.
Help bottom-of-funnel customers turn their decision into action by answering their questions, eliminating their concerns, and making their purchase as easy as possible.
Bottom-of-funnel content is all about making a purchase decision as easy as possible.
- Free trials and email deals
- Customer reviews
- Comparison posts and best-of lists
- Buyers guides
- Case studies
- Landing pages
- Product descriptions
Use these questions to generate new ideas for your bottom-of-funnel content pieces:
- What can you do to help customers confirm their decision?
- How will people find your content?
1. What can you do to help customers confirm their decision?
A customer at the bottom of the funnel knows what they want—or they are very close to that point. Build content to help them finalize their decision. Collect customer reviews, create a best-of list with your recommendation at the top, or send out an email reminding them of a promotional deal.
Your calls to action are especially important at this stage, so don’t neglect them in your bottom-of-funnel content. Can you offer a free trial, a template, or a customizable offer? Make your CTAs relevant and clear to get the most out of them.
2. How will people find your content?
Think about what someone would search if they were looking for your product. You might need separate content for different search terms, which means you’ve got several content pieces to build out. Try a best list, a brand review, and a case study that goes into detail about a process or product.
Post-Conversion | Retaining and Retargeting
Don’t forget about your audience once they’ve made a purchase. There are still ways you can help them and still things you can sell them. Create more content to keep customers happy—and hopefully sell them more products.
Post-conversion content should offer support and expand on similar offerings.
- Customer support
- How-to content
- Reviews of similar products
Use these questions to generate new ideas for post-conversion content pieces:
- What will someone need after they’ve purchased from you?
- What other topics would be interesting to a customer?
1. What will someone need after they’ve purchased from you?
Positive experiences with your brand make customers more likely to try new offerings from you. Create positive experiences by thinking about the kind of help your audience may need post-sale. If they’ve purchased a product, they might have questions about installing it or using its special features, for example. Social listening tools and service calls can help you identify questions your customers have about your offerings.
Don’t forget about your customers after they’ve converted. Create positive customer service experiences and cross-selling opportunities with additional content.
Create content that answers these questions. A range of customer care content is essential for keeping customers satisfied and more likely to continue interacting with your brand.
2. What other topics would be interesting to a customer?
Retargeting and cross-selling are key to keeping a business viable. Existing customers are much easier to sell to than new ones: you have a 60%–70% chance of selling to an existing customer compared to the 5%–20% chance of selling to a new customer. That means there’s a good chance someone interested in one of your products will also be interested in other things you have to offer.
Start at the top of the funnel and build out new content about your other offerings or products that pair well with each other. Once you’ve built new content, use email newsletters, social media posts, and display ads to retarget customers who already purchased.
Create Better Content with the Conversion Funnel
Thinking about the sales funnel as you’re brainstorming new content ideas is one of the most effective ways to come up with better content for your audience. Whether you’re targeting or retargeting, get started today. And if you need more help with your customer acquisition strategies, check out our series on customer acquisition best practices.