Updated: Oct 12, 2021
So, you’ve made a bunch of posts and published them online, now what?
Well, that’s really it if you didn’t start with a content strategy at all.
This is why I always tell people to stop wasting their time!
Stop creating posts for the sake of creating them, and stop creating posts because you see that your competitors are creating them. Apart from having your target audience persona and your own key messaging platform, you will need to have your content funnel to make any of your posts worthwhile.
You need to think about this much like meeting a new friend.
Treat your target audiences like a new friend
What is your conversation starter with this stranger?
What is the next thing you’d wish for them to do with you if the conversation went well?
What is the best way to ask them to go somewhere with you?
The easiest way in is to tell them some neat facts that perhaps not a lot of people know, and get them to become interested in you. And, logically speaking, you would want to appear relevant, nice, and with a unique character. The worst way would be to flaunt your abilities and appear cocky and egoistic.
Don’t leave them hanging once you get past the first stage, follow up with something they can do, watch, or interact with. It’s kind of like texting them after the first night out. Let them know that you remember them and value them as a new friend. Until there is a good mutual understanding can you ask them to meet again. Online triggers are very similar to the ones offline. It’s particularly effective, say, you’re going out of town soon so you’d want to meet before you leave (urgency). Or, there is this special gig going on and you want them to go with you (promotion). Better yet, it’s simply because you can help them in ways no one else can, so they want to meet you (solution).
Once you get into this mindset, it all becomes very clear. Each stage requires specific content, and each stage is aiming for a different goal. Not to mention, each stage works better on different platforms with different tools.
Understanding the content funnel
i) Awareness Stage
Your main goal here should be reach. You want more new people to know about your brand. With that said, the platforms most appropriate are the platforms that have the most people on them. You wouldn’t put your website here unless you already have millions of traffic, you would focus on social media. The objectives and metrics you should be aiming for is reach.
Metrics you should set yourself: Reach
Benchmark: You should see growth in reach on each post!
ii) Interest Stage
Your main goal here should be engagement. You want those who you have reached to become interested in you. This is where retargeting tools are very helpful. Expand from those who you have reached and create content that they are likely to engage with. Not to mention, your interest stage doesn’t have to be on social media. Interest stage-appropriate platforms include email marketing and other forms of subscription. Apart from likes and comments, look out for link clicks and followings too.
Metrics you should set yourself: Cost per click/ action/ engagement, followers growth, engagement rate
Benchmark: Cost per click/ action/ engagement at < USD$1, Engagement rate of >1%
iii) Consideration Stage
Your main goal here should be action. You want those who have a good understanding of you to take some sort of action, may it be an appointment booking, a messenger inbox message, an email, or an actual purchase.
Metrics you should set yourself: Cost per acquisition/ lead, Customer lifetime value, Average order value
Benchmark: All of these costs should be less than your profit so you are still earning money.
Another overall benchmark here is that you wish to achieve a 3% conversion rate from awareness to consideration, meaning 3% of your reach ends up taking an action on your brand. Not to mention, all of the mentioned traffic is not only good for measuring organic content, but also paid.
Busting content myths
What most brands fail at is they think they can simply get away with one piece of content. Or, they’re just saying what they want to say instead of listening to their target audiences. There’s also a lot of false understandings of how a content funnel and content strategy work.
The first myth buster is that people think it takes ages for a potential lead to travel down the funnel.
That is not true. Take yourself as an example, and think about the last time you were fed an ad on Facebook. Or, the last time you went to a website and clicked accept for cookies. How long did it take for the brand to appear again? It can be a matter of minutes if retargeting is done right. Even if you did not end up buying the product, it took the brand as short as a day to figure out that you’re not ready yet, and have automation divert their ad money to another person who has engaged.
The second myth buster is that people think what they need is just one viral post.
Can you gain brand awareness with just one post and no content strategy? Yes, but it will not convert. Unless you have a funnel to help those attracted to you travel down to becoming a customer, all the traffic in the world does not benefit you. The fellow below is a great example.
The third myth buster is that people think the most important thing is down funnel content.
Can you just create a bunch of amazing down funnel content and boost them? Yes, but you are only converting low hanging fruits. This means only the people who are actively looking to buy, will. But this pool of people is tiny, in comparison to the rest of your target audiences who are still in the awareness or consideration phase.
What I can guarantee you is once you understand these ideas and create your content based on a content funnel, you will see change. I personally am a fanatic about these things, hence, I offer quality services to clients in building their content marketing strategy. Interested? Check out my other blogs where I have written explanations of different online strategies and get your hands on the free downloadables I have created for you to try and kickstart your own content.