Public Relations and the Content Marketing Funnel
In this blog post, I will address two issues: what does a successful content marketing funnel look like, and what role does digital PR play in making a content marketing funnel successful?
First, let me address what a content marketing funnel is. According to analyst firm Forrester, on average, a person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision. In many cases, these potential buyers are at the very early stages of buying. And particularly the bigger the sale item is, such as a car or a camera, the longer the time it will take for the sale and the more research a prospective buyer is likely to do.
The content marketing funnel identifies the customer journey part of the buying process from start to finish. It’s a systematic way to introduce and nurture new leads and prospects through the buying process, ultimately resulting in buying your product or service.
When it comes to identifying the core components of the content marketing funnel, I’m going to focus on three basic components. These are the Top of the Funnel, Middle of the Funnel, and Bottom of the Funnel. I’m going to spend most of the time talking about the Top of the Funnel in this blog post, but before doing that I’ll give a brief description of what each component is.
Top of the Content Marketing Funnel
The Top of the Funnel is the early-stage part of the buying process where the goal is to capture your audience’s attention. In this stage you typically want to make an impression via some type of value-added content that can answer questions or address specific problems a buyer might have, while helping position your brand or product as a leader in the category. The driving factor behind the Top of the Funnel stage is building brand awareness.
Middle of the Content Marketing Funnel
The Middle of the Funnel stage is where you convert prospects and visitors to potential sales leads. This is the stage where prospective buyers have done their initial research and are beginning to make some sort of soft commitment to your brand. Most often this is in the form of an email address or a phone number. Or some sort of communication channel that bridges the gap between the potential buyer and you.