This question, “How to balance the investment between content and lower-funnel activities?” assumes that content is only for the top of the sales funnel. Not true!
Marketers use content marketing all through the sales funnel
The 2019 Content Marketing Institute (CMI)/Marketing Profs research offers insights into how B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) marketers use content marketing all through the sales funnel.
Build top-of-funnel content
Consumer marketers create content to build the top of the funnel first, says the 2019 CMI research:
- 4 out of 5 marketers use content to build awareness.
- 2 out of 3 use content to build credibility and trust.
Add mid-funnel and lower-funnel content
In mid-funnel, marketers create content to educate audiences and build a subscriber audience – primarily with email and educational content.
More than half of B2C marketers insert clear calls to action, plus offers and incentives, to prompt buyers to move through the funnel.
In short, consumer marketers successfully use content marketing all through the sales funnel. Here are the content marketing techniques marketers use most often to nurture their audiences down the funnel.
B2B marketers use content marketing all through the sales funnel
B2B marketers also create content for the top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel.
- At the top of the funnel, more than half of B2B marketers are using blog posts, eBooks, podcasts and videos.
- In the middle of the funnel, B2B marketers use webinars, interactive content and case studies the most.
- At the bottom of the funnel, content focuses on case studies and in-person events.
Here are the types of content B2B marketers use by stage in the funnel:
Using content marketing all through the sales funnel works, both for business and consumer marketers.
B2B buyers need different types of content for each step in the journey
B2B marketers use different types of content marketing all through the sales funnel.
More than half use email, educational content, clear calls to action and in-person events. But they vary the medium to keep customers interested in content. Here’s how:
By creating different types of content for the top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel, you’re in synch with best practices in content marketing.
To get the best results, use content marketing all the way through the sales funnel.
Create different types of content for each of the 4 steps in a carefully considered purchase (both B2C or B2B). Buyers recognize a need, evaluate options, and get social proof before making a purchase.
Here’s a blog on how to create content for each step in a carefully considered purchase journey — for example, a consumer buying a house or retirement plan, or a business investing in infrastructure and capital facilities.
Create content for users too
Generate content not only for buyers, but also for users to help them get the most out of your product. Great user content prompts customers to come back to you when it’s time to buy again.
“How to balance the investment between content and lower-funnel activities?” is one of marketers’ Top 100 Questions on content marketing. Here are the answers.
As a marketing change agent, I consult with clients, lead content marketing workshops for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and write the weekly Simplify Marketing blog.
With experience from Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, RR Donnelley and Tellabs, I've been named:
- Content Marketer of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute.
- Best Marketer by BtoB magazine.
- A B-to-B CMO to watch by Fierce CMO.