You create content for your audience because you want them to grow to know, like and trust you. But not every piece of content is created equal. Some content is specifically designed to raise awareness of your brand while other content is meant to persuade audience members to buy or to remain on your client roster. But all of your content is important in your digital marketing funnel.
The client journey map is an important one to understand, and one that can be different for every stage in their journey.
6 Steps Through the Client Journey Marketing Funnel Stages
You can’t simply create blog posts and expect an audience to come flocking to you. Sure, that’s where brand awareness starts but if that’s all you do then you’ll have a difficult time converting prospects into customers.
Instead, you need to take followers on a complete journey through the 6 marketing funnel stages in order to turn readers into clients. Once there, you need to continue to serve them–both with your product or service and with additional free and paid content.
The graphic above illustrates what content you need at each stage of the journey as part of your digital marketing funnel; below you’ll find a little more information about each stage. Know that in a digital marketing funnel, like in a traditional sales funnel, not everyone will make it the whole way through to Step 6. And others will make it, but it might take twice as long as the next person. That’s okay. Everyone is on their own timeline and has their own needs.
Marketing Funnel Stage 1 – Brand Awareness
This is where your audience starts to get to know you. It requires you create free content so those interested in what you do and sell can learn from you. This is where you woo new followers and encourage them to sign up for your list.
Consider this content “top of the funnel” because you’re trying to reach the broadest audience to share your message. Brand awareness content includes YouTube videos, blog posts, Facebook group challenges, guest blogs, infographics and podcast interviews.
Marketing Funnel Stage 2 – Educate & Inform
Once followers get to know you, they’re going to want more. They’ve signed up for your list through a webinar, free course or challenge, so it’s time to nurture them with more free content. This is also a great time to remind them of the content that drew them to you in the first place.
Educating your audience is what sets you apart from others in your industry and often encourages them to join your email list. This content includes ebooks, whitepapers, opt-in freebies, free courses, webinars, slideshares, nurturing emails and more. Notice that some of the content here is for audience members who have already started following you while others are just getting to know you. There are different layers in every stage of your digital marketing funnel.
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Marketing Funnel Stage 3 – Demonstration of Expertise
It’s time to elevate your relationship with your audience a bit; they’re warmed up and ready to buy, if they haven’t bought a low-level offer already. Convince them you’re the person for the job by offering a free discovery call, testimonials or even videos that show you walking through a process.
Marketing Funnel Stage 4 – Convert to Customer
Your sales pages, proposals and free trial offers can put followers over the edge to become customers, if done right. This information can get in front of your prospects in the form of auto-responders when they consume another piece of content, as a follow-up from a discovery call or even as static pages on your website, depending on your offers.
The content you produce at this stage includes sales pages, work with me pages, your pricing guide, free trial offers, proposals, fact sheets and even hands-on demonstrations of your products or services.
Marketing Funnel Stage 5 – Expand Offerings
Once someone becomes a customer, you still need to nurture them if you want them to become lifelong fans. If they’re not on your email list, you can send additional value related to what they purchased from you. Added bonuses, how-to videos and add-on services or products are a great way to do this.
Marketing Funnel Stage 6 – Retain Relationship
It’s easier to retain a current customer than it is to find a new one, so it’s vital that you maintain the relationship with everyone you’ve worked with–even if it might not make sense for you to continue working together. That relationship could turn into referrals for you down the road.
How to Repurpose Your Content to Align With Your Customer Journey
In short, your content has a purpose. And every piece of content has a different purpose. A variety of content helps you to move people along their journey with you, so you need to step outside the blog (or YouTube) bubble and start sharing content in different places.
That’s not to say that you need to do everything, everywhere. Trust me. You’ll go batty. But you do need to expand your horizons so you can continually nurture new audience members as they continue their journey with you and your brand. That means repurposing content for different stages of your audience’s journey with your brand.
Content Marketing in the Brand Awareness Stage
At this stage in your content marketing funnel, your audience is just becoming aware of you and your brand. Your content needs to provide big-picture ideas and information, something that will draw them in and make them want to learn more about you and what you can do for them.
Content Marketing in the Educate & Inform Stage
Your audience has started following you more consistently and they’re looking to learn from you. Maybe they’ve opted into your email list to grab a freebie from you, or maybe they’ve attended one of your free courses. Your content needs to educate your subscribers and followers to get them ready to buy from you.
Content Marketing in the Demonstration of Expertise Stage
Now that your followers know more about you, they’re digging into your offerings more. They’re looking at specific products and service offerings and possibly making their first direct contact with you. Make sure your content demonstrates what it’s like to work with you and showcase successes and customer feedback through those testimonials and case studies.
Content Marketing in the Convert to Customer Stage
Your marketing has done its job and that follower is ready to buy. Pay close attention to your onboarding content in this stage as a way to validate your new customers’ purchasing decision. Having great content at this stage is vital to kick off your relationship on the right foot.
Content Marketing in the Expanding Relationship Stage
When you’ve really “wow’d” your customers, it’s easier to keep them on board. And even better, they’ll often start looking for ways to further their knowledge with your content. Your content should continue to provide value to customers, often in the form of customized content just for them.
Content Marketing in the Retain Relationship Stage
Keep on working with those unicorn clients and make sure they know about your additional products and services that they may not know about. Your content at this stage should continue to nurture your relationships, provide exclusive products and allow opportunities to expand and grow your relationship.
Of course, you do not need to do everything, everywhere. Trust me. You’ll go batty. But you do need to expand your horizons so you can continually nurture new audience members as they continue their journey with you and your brand.