Let’s say you have a website. That’s great! You're publishing a ton of content. It’s all quality and great stuff. You go and check your Google Analytics account. You see your conversion rate is 1%. I am sure you spend time asking yourself why. Well, the most common answer is you are treating all your content as equal. Your content needs to be a map to guide your reader on a customer value journey. I am going to show you how to do this. Let’s get started!

3 Stages of The Content Marketing Funnel

What is a funnel? A funnel is the journey of the customer to purchase from you. It is broken into 3 stages. 

  • Top of the funnel 

People at this stage are just entering your sales funnel. They have zero ties to you or your products and services. They have no idea who you are. They have similar interests to you. This is where your content comes into play. It drives them to your website. This is where you build brand awareness. Your content will help people find you. It builds an attachment to your brand. It also builds recognition. They will know who you are and what you are here for.

  • Middle of the funnel 

This is where you will start to split the people up. Your goal here is to create a group of ideal customers.  They are the ones who have a genuine interest in what you have to offer. They are experiencing problems and are hoping you are there to solve it.

Your content here will be different than what you were doing before. You could use gated content like eBooks. You could use case studies to prove that you can help. You can use interactive content such as quizzes. You can also use comparative guides.

  • Bottom of the funnel 

Once they get to this point, they are ready to buy. They just need that little push. At this point, your content needs to be very intensive. These people are going to need validation that you are the best at what you do and you can solve their problems. Your content here will be testimonials and in-depth case studies. You can demonstrate products and give a review. You can also use customer success stories. Your goal here is sales.

How to Measure: Top Funnel

  • Know Who You are Targeting

At the top of the funnel, You are trying to raise brand awareness. Your goal here is to use light-hearted content. You need to define who your audience is. You also need to determine if the correct audience is responding. You need to tweak this to optimize to your niche. This will get you the visitors that will really understand what you are and what you are there to do.

  • Look at Basic On-Screen Metrics

You will be educating your audience with your content here. You need to make sure everyone can understand your product or services or they won’t buy it. You will want to use Google Analytics. This is where you track page views, track web sessions, and see the percentage of new viewers. The time spent on the page is a big thing to factor in. The more time they spend on your page, it means that your content is doing its job. You can get tools that can measure this.

  • Track Keyword Ranking Positions

You need to have a keyword position tracker to see where your webpage ranks on Google Search. Search rankings are a more reliable source to see how your Top Funnel is doing. Your traffic and conversions fluctuate based on which day of the week it is. This is a steadier metric to see how your page is doing.

  • Analyze Topic

Now you know your audience. You have metrics to measure to see what performs well and what doesn’t. Now you need to ask yourself three questions. Is it getting a good number of shares and reviews? Are the targeted audience sharing and viewing the content part? Is the content converting? This makes sure you are not creating content just for the sake of it. It’s making sure your content is resonating with your audience

How to Measure: Middle Funnel

Now you know how to measure the top funnel. Let’s get started on the middle funnel.

  • Track the Number of Leads Your Content Generates

You want to drive traffic to your content. You want to make sure this traffic is targeted and qualified. A good way to do this is by creating a lead magnet. This could be an ebook, free course, or even a discount on your services or product. 

If you are writing content used to generate leads, you need to know how many leads you are getting. Once you see how many leads your content has generated, compare it to you the leads generated by other sources. This will help you with your content strategy by answering some questions. It will show you what your customers are looking for. It will show you if your content is good enough to have someone exchange their email address. It will also show what content generates the most leads. Google Analytics will show home many people have downloaded your lead magnet.

  • Measure Lead Quality

You should look at the number of leads your content generates here. This shows the content that is generating the most engagement. You should be creating gated content so you are generating quality leads. Quality over quantity is what you should be aiming for here if your Middle Funnel is generating leads.

  • Split Test Your Call to Actions

Your audience in this area of your funnel needs a little convincing to engage. This is what a call to action is for. If you are having low sign up rates, your CTA could be the issue. You need to anticipate their needs and wants here. If your CTA does that you will have a great click-through rate. Remember to build your emails around your CTA. Once you have your CTA, build your email. Then make your subject line have your CTA in it.

How to Measure: Bottom Funnel

This part of the customer journey has one major focus. The goal here is to convert your audience into paying customers. 

  • Track Financial Metrics

When you are at this part of the funnel, you need to measure the metrics that matter. It’s easy to measure the amount of traffic you can get from keywords. If that traffic isn’t converting into sales, then it isn’t having a good impact on your business.

The metrics that matter here are leads, sales, and ad revenue. 

You need to make sure your content is not only bringing in new leads. Your content also needs to end in sales. If you are not producing any sales, then it is pretty much a wasted effort. You will need to figure out a new approach if this is the case.

There you have it. That is the basics of how to create a content funnel and how to measure and track the audience’s journey. I hope you found this helpful. It will take time, but it will pay off in the end. ‘Till next time!