How to Create Better Content for Any Point in the Funnel
Here’s the real question:
How do I create content with a purpose?
We talk about the funnel a lot on the Simply Measured blog. Why? Because it is the common concept that binds all marketers together. Even if you’re one of those people that insists, “The buyer’s journey isn’t linear, so the funnel doesn’t work,” you’re basically just saying people bounce from one area of the funnel to another. If it helps, I agree, but it doesn’t debunk the foundational principle of the funnel:
As it pertains to your organization, every human on earth is always in some state.
To bring structure (and sanity) to this reality, we create categories of activities and put them in a logical order, like the image below.
As marketers, it is our job to get the right unaware people into the funnel and move them forward (or down) in this process.
Determining how many people are in each of these states can be difficult. To solve for this, we look at different types of actions people take and associate those actions with a given area of the funnel. Here are some social metrics paired with different states in the funnel.
If you walk away from this blog with nothing else, take this:
Each piece of content you produce and promote must have a purpose.
Defining purpose isn’t hard—just look to the funnel. When you sit down to create content, are you…
- Trying to make more people aware of your brand?
- Trying to get people who already know about you to start seriously considering what you offer?
- Shifting the people who are considering toward taking those final steps?
- Trying to get those folks teetering on the point of purchase to become customers?
You Should Be Creating Content Intended for Each Point in the Funnel
There isn’t a golden ratio, so I’d suggest you start by measuring each point to determine which areas of your funnel need the most help, as well as which your content is already having the greatest impact. Test your ratios and measure the outcomes to determine the optimal mix for your organization.
After you’ve decided the purpose for a piece of content, you’re left with one question:
What should my content be about?
Again, the principle here is pretty straightforward. Your content is constantly pitching itself to people. A winning pitch is going to be one that’s worth your audience’s time, so it has to be relevant (pure genius, I know). Here’s how you do that with Simply Measured.
When deciding what content should be created to increase awareness, you’ll want to use Listening. These are people who are already talking about your category and/or competitors. They are prime candidates to be exposed to your brand.
- Use the word cloud to determine what else people say when they mention terms in your industry.
- Themes will also help you breakdown the macro-level conversation into bite-size chunks, so you can determine the underlying, well, themes, of the conversation.
How do we get all these people who know about your brand to start considering what you have to offer? Turn to Social Analytics. Some people also call this stage “education” because you are teaching your audience more about your brand and products. In social, engagement on your content is the best indicator of people considering your brand. Determine what content is receiving the most engagement, and make more content like it (another genius idea, I know).
- Filter by media type to filter to posts containing links to your content. Then, click into spikes in engagement to see which posts with your content received the most engagement.
- Use the text filter to search for titles within your posts to see how much engagement happened on posts featuring specific pieces of content.
Now we’re getting serious. This is the part where we get people on your website to actually consume your content and check out what your brand offers. For intent, use Content Share Tracking.
While listening products, such as Simply Measured Listening, look at top-of-funnel earned media, Content Share Tracking looks at bottom-of-funnel earned media—word-of-mouth sharing of your content through social networks and private messaging (dark social) so you can create content that is share-able and drives site traffic. Plus, it also looks at how your content drives traffic, pageviews, and time-on-site from your owned social posts.
- Compare top shared URLs through dark social to see which products and pieces of content your audience is compared to friends, family, and colleagues.
- Sort your content by pageviews and time-on-site to see which blogs, white papers, etc. are generating the most onsite activity.
We made it! We’re getting more people aware of our brand, increasing their consideration, driving some intent, and now it’s time to drive some conversion. Depending on your business-type, that could be a purchase, donation, form submission, etc. To create content purpose-built for conversion, use Conversion Tracking. Conversion Tracking adds the ability to track onsite actions and ascribes monetary values to purchases, form submissions, and more.
- Segment conversions by title to see which pieces of content are driving the most conversion when posted by your brand.
- Compare URLs by business value and craft more content like your top drivers of business value.
Your content has an impact at every point in your marketing funnel. You can either be intentional and data-informed, or you can fire content out into the ether and hope your audience comes trickling back. I like option #1.
If you’d like to learn more about the Simply Measured full-funnel solution, fill out the form below!