Funnels are appealing marketing tactics, but it’s dangerous to go it on your own. Their value is easy to understand — you guide someone from not knowing you exist to being a paid customer.
Who wouldn’t want that?
So, why are they dangerous?
There is an information overload out there from gurus, funnel software providers and agencies. Business owners like you get advice that’s all over the spectrum and not designed for your company, your customers, and your goals.
When we’re working with our customers to build out funnels, it’s an intense process.
- We build company and target customer profiles.
- We look at how much time you have to invest in helping produce the content needed for a successful funnel.
- We consider your services and sales process —
- How much research does your audience typically do before buying?
- Is there a sense of urgency to buying from you?
- What roadblocks do you typically have to overcome?
- What misinformation exists for your customers that you have to address?
That’s why we wanted to write this article - to help B2B business owners like you understand how to build a content funnel the right way. So let’s dig in…
How to Map Out Your Buyer’s Journey
The first step to creating an effective marketing strategy for your business is to understand the journey your buyer needs to take with your brand to transform into a happy client who is satisfied with your services.
The buyer’s journey can be summed up into three different phases, as follows:
- Awareness: a potential buyer discovers your brand and realizes that you exist.
- Evaluation: they research your brand and examine your content to determine if you are the right person to solve their problem or answer their questions. In this phase, they are reading your social media and blog posts, skimming your website pages, downloading useful resources, or requesting quotes.
- Conversion: after examining enough of your content to make an informed decision, they take the next step by purchasing your service.
So, why is it so important that you familiarize yourself with these 3 phases?
Because it helps you understand the mind of your potential buyer.
Now that we’ve covered the 3 phases of the Buyer’s Journey, let's talk about how to align your content with the 3 stages of your Sales Funnel — top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel.
This graphic shows the relationship between the Buyer's Journey and your the Sales Funnel.
If it's designed correctly, your sales funnel will help identify the right-fit prospects and nurture them from not being aware that you exist through to being a profitable customer.
Not In Your orbit... Yet
Your Sales Funnel
Goal = Move to
Awareness Buyer's Journey Stage
Your Sales Funnel
Goal = Move to
Evaluation Buyer's Journey Stage
Your Sales Funnel
Goal = Move to
Conversion Buyer's Journey Stage $$
Top of the Funnel (ToFu) Content to Attract New People and Create Awareness Stage Contacts
ToFu, or top-of-the-funnel content, is content that you create for potential buyers who aren’t aware of the services you provide — or that might not realize they have a problem that they need to fix.
ToFu content is designed to get someone to start their Buyer's Journey with you. This content should bring them from being unaware that you exist into the Awareness Stage.
Prospects in the ToFu stage are passively performing research around a question they have or a problem they’re trying to solve.
You can offer them content to through email newsletters and downloadable lead magnets (like eBooks or free guides) to help them start their buyer's journey.
With the right content, you’ll be able to collect their contact information.
Remember, when you create ToFu content that you are using it to make potential buyers aware that you exist. You also want to encourage them to engage with your business further by exchanging their contact information for free content.
Read our detailed deep-dive into ToFu Content for more info.
Middle of the Funnel (MoFu) Content to Create Evaluation Stage Prospects
Mofu, or Middle-of-the-Funnel content, is created for potential buyers that are aware of their problem and are actively seeking a solution.
In this stage, these potential buyers have an increased sense of urgency, but they aren’t quite ready to buy just yet.
A potential buyer in this stage has a choice to make. He can either:
- Do nothing.
- Do enough research to fix the problem by himself.
- Hire someone else to fix the problem for him. (Leads that choose this option will either delegate the work to an internal or contract employee or hire a business, like yours.)
Your goal at this stage is to provide them with the information they need to make a more informed decision, which ultimately leads to them making one of the choices mentioned above.
A word of caution — don’t create random “fluff” content that doesn’t answer the questions of your ideal clients. Because, if you do, you’ll likely wind up attracting a bunch of no good leads. You need to create MoFu content that attracts your ideal clients vs. trying to target anyone who will read it.
Read our detailed deep-dive into MoFu Content for more info.
Bottom-of-the-Funnel (BoFu) Content to Create Conversion Stage Customers
BoFu, or Bottom-of-the-funnel, content is created for the leads who are warmed up, they know what they need, and are ready to pay for it, but they haven’t chosen a company to work with yet.
They need a little more convincing that you’re the right company to offer them the right solution for their problem—and for the right price.
Typical questions your leads have at this stage include:
- “How much does it cost?”
- “What is included?”
- “How do I know your solution is the right one for me?”
- “How do I know I can trust your company to fulfill its promise?”
- “How do I know this will work for me and will result in my problem getting solved?”
BoFu content is aimed at answering these crucial questions and building confidence that they'll get the results they are looking for.
Read our detailed deep-dive into BoFu Content for more info.
Now that we’ve covered the buyer’s journey and the different content types in detail, let’s recap what you learned.
The Buyer’s Journey is made up of three phases:
- Awareness: they learn your brand exists.
- Evaluation: they research their problem to make a more informed choice.
- Conversion: they pull the trigger and purchase your service.
The Sales Funnel is made of up on three stages that align with the Buyer's Journey:
- ToFu (Top-of-the-Funnel) Content: the content you create at this stage is meant for collecting contact information so you can nurture those contacts into leads.
- MoFu (Middle-of-the-Funnel) Content: content created at this stage helps your buyer make a more informed decision about whether they want to try and solve their problem themselves, or hire someone else to do it.
- BoFu (Bottom-of-the-Funnel) Content: the content you create at this stage should answer the specific questions your legitimate hot leads are going to have about pricing, services included in the price, and if you’re the right company to help them.
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, let’s put what you learned into action by creating your new marketing strategy.
Create Your New Marketing Strategy Today
Merely knowing about the buyer’s journey and the types of content you need to create won’t magically bring in more revenue for your business.
You need to take what you just learned and put it into action.
You need to create a new customer-focused marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy needs to provide potential buyers with the information they need to make an informed decision and influence them to hire you to solve their problem.
At Sparkitive, our marketing gurus understand how complicated the process can be for someone who isn’t an expert on marketing tactics and strategies.
That’s why we created a free guide that tells you exactly what you need to do in 5 easy-to-follow steps.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level and land more clients than you ever thought possible?
Get your free guide and create your marketing strategy today: Fast Track Your Business: The 5-Step Marketing Plan for Professional Service Firms.
As a professional services provider, your billable time is valuable. You don't want to waste it on bad marketing tactics that won't yield the results you're looking for.