Following the customer journey is a fundamental task for the company to keep an eye on the stage where each consumer is to approach at the ideal moment to close a transaction. The concept of the sales funnel, widely used by Sales teams, however, should be applied in other areas as well.
When we talk about content production, for example, one way to make your offer more attractive to the reader is to identify the most suitable formats for each stage of their journey. Therefore, knowing and understanding the concept of the B2B Content Marketing funnel is a true competitive advantage for your strategy.
After all, it is also necessary to understand that the behavior of the B2B reader is different, for example, from the B2C audience. Inside this funnel, therefore, even more planning is necessary for your Content Marketing strategy to be effective. Continue reading to learn more.
What is a B2B sales funnel?
Before we get into the particularities, characteristics, and importance of the B2B Content Marketing funnel, we must understand how a sales funnel works. Created in 1898, this concept shows the whole relationship and stages of the process of convincing the lead until they become a consumer.
The concept serves to present the entire customer journey and thus facilitate the visualization of all steps necessary to close a sale. As a consequence, it is possible to understand the most suitable actions for each stage of lead awareness, reducing the waste of resources by investing in more strategic responses.
To facilitate the visualization of the stages, the B2B sales funnel is divided into four stages:
The salesperson has more relevant information about what the customer’s level of knowledge about the product or service is, making the whole approach and communication more efficient. After all, what is the point of presenting your company if you don’t even know you’re facing a problem and need to solve it?
This idea is, therefore, a way to better understand the consumer’s buying journey and know what stage each one is. Usually, it is more used by the companies’ sales teams, who will have more information about the potential customer and, as a consequence, will be able to adopt a more precise approach.
What are the benefits of this concept?
With so much competition among companies for the attention and resources of consumers, it is necessary to prepare and, as a consequence, enhance their communication. The concept of the funnel will, therefore, guide all strategies that your company should adopt in search of more conversions.
The good news is that this idea is not limited to the salesperson and can be explored by Marketing and Sales, increasing the potential of the actions and delivering more useful and efficient solutions and approaches to the consumer. Working together between the teams makes it easier to explore the benefits of Digital Marketing and other strategies, for example.
The productivity of your entire team tends to increase, with the professionals dedicating themselves to, for example, produce the right content at the right time, without wasting time and resources on actions that are not so effective. In this way, your company does not go beyond any stage and can create a closer relationship with the potential customer.
How Content Marketing relates to the sales funnel?
The entire concept of Content Marketing is based on creating a closer relationship with the consumer and a message that is of interest to the reader. The relationship of this strategy to the sales funnel is therefore vital. After all, it is this structure that indicates the best way to ensure that the material delivered is relevant.
In this way, your team will not waste resources on producing materials that do not impact the user. With so much competition in the market, it is necessary to differentiate yourself from the others and be able to hold the reader’s attention, which will not be so useful if the content delivered to the lead that does not even know its brand is deeper.
In short, there is no point in producing great content if, in practice, it will not result in more people interested in your company, solution, or service, for example. Therefore, it is necessary to be precise: study the pains and objectives of your buyer persona to understand better what should be delivered at each of these stages.
How each step of the B2B Content Marketing funnel works
But, in practice, how does each step of the B2B Content Marketing funnel work? That’s why we’ve separated the four topics and detailed the most suitable content to approach the user, in fact, efficient, increasing your chances of speeding up the customer journey and, in the end, achieving a conversion.
The first stage is aimed at awareness, i.e., making your brand known to users. After all, it will not help to produce relevant materials, offer discounts or deliver the best service if, in practice, nobody knows your work. The challenge at this stage is, therefore, to make your brand better known among the users you want to impact.
How to do that? By standing out in the main channels used by them. Google, for example, receives 75 thousand searches per second, how not to be present? Therefore, an SEO strategy can be very efficient, making your pages and content stand out in searches for a specific keyword, for example. Social media are also essential channels.
At the next stage, it’s time to make the user interested in your company, so you can present your products and solutions to the reader, showing how you can help him solve a particular problem. Now that he knows your brand, he needs to know exactly what you offer and preferably show interest.
The main goal of this step is to get the lead to leave their information in exchange for some relevant content. This way, you can create a closer bond with him, sending a series of emails, for example, establishing a more substantial relationship. All this so that you understand precisely how to approach it in the best possible way.
Now that he knows that your has the solution to his problem, it is up to you, then, to deliver materials that facilitate the decision process. Show, in practice, what your company can provide differently than other competitors. It is to show that your brand has already helped other customers and will not be different from it.
Like the previous step, the action phase is part of the bottom of the sales funnel, i.e. it is a customer who is already more educated and determined to make a decision. The work of Content Marketing is, therefore, to encourage you to make a choice. At this stage, it is essential to do everything to show the consumer what you can do differently so that they are converted.
Which interactive and static content fits best in each of those steps?
As much as the B2B Content Marketing funnel has four stages and content can be adapted, it is essential to know which formats are best for each of them. How about, then, check out our tips for offering the right content for your buyer persona?
Focus on materials aimed at those who do not yet know your company and do not even know that you can offer the solution to some of your problems. Articles on your blog page, webinars, podcasts and also paid search to increase the traffic on your landing page. The formula for this step is simple: exciting content on a simple subject and in formats that are easier to capture the users’ attention.
In this stage, deliver rich and educational content that presents a problem and that you may have the ideal solution. Do you want something better to capture someone’s attention than to show how your company can help the reader? Interactive infographics, which can be done with ion Interactive, can be handy to capture the user’s attention.
With a more qualified lead in hand, it is the ideal time to deliver deeper materials, with more specific content and requiring a higher level of knowledge to understand them. A beneficial alternative is more extensive eBooks. Also, interactive calculators are very efficient.
To further encourage the user to make a decision, it’s time to clear up all your doubts about your product or service. Therefore, an alternative is a FAQ (frequently asked questions), which can answer the reader’s central problems. The most suitable for this step, however, are case studies, which show how your solution can improve another company.
Creating a B2B Content Marketing funnel is fundamental for your strategy to be beneficial, generating significant impacts to make the lead as qualified as possible. Moreover, as we have shown, one way to optimize this work can be by focusing your efforts on interactive content versus static ones.
Now that you know the benefits of having a B2B Content Marketing funnel to help you leverage your strategy and how interactivity can be differential, how about learning how to apply it? Discover 3 ways to customize your content with interactivity!