How Content Relates to the Inbound Marketing Funnel

August 30, 2022

The inbound marketing funnel relies on content to be successful. But not just any content – content that is optimized, thoroughly researched, related to your pillars, and aligned to each stage in the inbound funnel. The prospect that just became aware of your brand needs totally different content than the prospect that is about to make their decision. But how do you determine what content goes in which stage of the funnel?

  1. Identify Your Buyer Personas. Who is your buyer? What are their core needs and responsibilities? What is their role in the purchasing process at their company?
  2. Map Your Buyer’s Journey. Understand the process your personas go through when they move through the funnel. What are their needs as they move through the unengaged, awareness, consideration, and decision stages? What questions do they need answers to as they move through each stage? Do the research and interview your current clients. What was their experience purchasing through your company? Map your marketing efforts to each stage in the funnel.
  3. Answer Their Questions. Create content that answers your buyer persona’s questions through each stage in the funnel. Vary your types of content and use different channels to distribute it depending on the stage of the funnel.

Content In The Inbound Funnel - Example

If you are a small payroll firm and your target market includes other small businesses, your channels for the awareness stage in the funnel might include joining small business groups on LinkedIn. From there, you begin to answer questions and provide useful content on small business payroll needs in general. The awareness stage is not the point to promote your specific product or service, you are just making your customer aware of solutions to their problems and establishing yourself or your business as a subject matter expert in the field of payroll for small businesses.  

After reading your blog posts about small business payroll, the previously unengaged person signs up for your newsletter, where they continue to consume your content. As they become aware of how complex small business payroll can be, they begin to realize they may need your services. This is an example of a prospect moving from the awareness phase to the consideration phase. They begin to consider you as an option for their small business payroll needs.

At this point, you begin to provide more in-depth content. Examples include How-To Guides and whitepapers. The more educated the prospect is on their problem, the better decision they can make when it comes to making a purchase (which they’ve now realized they must do to solve their problem).

As the prospect moves to the decision phase of the funnel, they are interested in content like ROI calculators, customer testimonials, and case studies. In our example of a small payroll company, they are ready to make their decision and purchase a payroll product, and they need proof that your solution will work.

The inbound funnel can be complicated. We’re here to help. Contact us if you’d like to map out your content strategy and get started with inbound marketing.