You Ask, I Answer: Content Strategy and Marketing Funnel?

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You Ask, I Answer: Content Strategy and Marketing Funnel?

Oksana asks, “How important is it to build your content strategy around a marketing funnel? Why do you think so?”

Recall that the marketing funnel is an operations-focused framework to delineate roles and responsibilities. It’s not the customer journey, not the customer experience. It is vital to have useful content all along the customer experience.

You Ask, I Answer: Content Strategy and Marketing Funnel?

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In today’s episode, Oksana asks, How important is it to build your content strategy around the marketing funnel? Why do you think so? So, first, recall that the marketing funnel is an operations focused framework, its purpose is to delineate roles and responsibilities, because you can’t just have a marketing team, like you have 20 people all standing around trying to figure out who should be doing what they the operations funnel is to help you manage things like coordination, communications, assets and things so that people aren’t stepping on each other’s toes.

Remember, though, that that’s not the customer experience, a marketing funnel, people don’t move linearly from stage to stage in a nice orderly fashion, for the most part in customer journeys, because these days, we have these lovely devices, right, that allow us to be in multiple parts of the funnel at the same time, that allow us to be moving forward and backwards in the customer journey, right? You may have purchase intent, you go to the e commerce providers website, you read the reviews, and suddenly you don’t have purchase intent anymore, right? You’ve moved backwards.

And so trying to force somebody into a linear path isn’t a good idea.

So marketing funnels are not the customer journey, but not the customer experience.

But the concept of the question is absolutely correct, you should have content at each stage in the customer experience in each of the intense that a customer has along the way.

So the classic model that Gartner and Forrester, although consulting firms uses awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase, ownership, loyalty, evangelism, right, that’s generally the customer experience.

And you absolutely need content at each of those phases of the customer experience where somebody is going to be doing something interacting with you.

There’s a bunch of different things that content does, but we can boil it down to three basic things, right.

From YouTube’s content framework, it’s a hero how to help hero content is content that answers the question why why should I be even thinking about this thing? What is the the big picture the big concept? What content is the middle? Right? The Hub content? You know, what is the thing? Explain it to me? Tell me what its purpose is.

And then help content is the third.

And it’s the how, how do you do the thing, and that’s where marketers don’t spend a lot of time, particularly in the second half of the customer journey, where document ownership that is typically relegated to, you know, the customer service department, instead of being an integrated communication strategy, which means that the help content that you really need is not necessarily available or optimized or working for you.

And it could be it should be, here’s the thing.

We have a tendency in marketing, we think that the customer journey, because of our funnel centric thinking, should follow that that framework, like all your awareness, and consideration, content should be you know, that big, those big picture Why? And then your evaluation, and purchase content should be the what and the how, and sort of this linear idea that content should get more frequent and smaller, more tactical, the further down the funnel, you go.

That’s not necessarily true.

Right? There are big picture questions.

At every stage of the customer journey, there are things that people want to know how to do at every stage of the customer journey.

When you think about awareness Content Aware of helping someone become aware of a problem, something that is diagnostic that helps them understand how they might have a problem how to tell if they have a problem would be very valuable content.

So instead of thinking that this is a one to one overlay between hero hub help and the customer journey, think of the hero how belt model at each stage of the customer journey, what is your hero content to drive purchase, right? What is your hero content for loyalty? What is your hero content for evangelism? What is the big idea that you want people who are loyal to your company to be spreading when you approach content strategy, from that perspective, you’re now creating stuff that fits every one of the major intents for the customer throughout the customer journey because yeah, evangelism for example, you may be thinking of all you need to to give content to people to share.

They may not know how to write they may not know how to in a way that is better.

offical to you.

So providing even helpful content on evangelism could be one of those things that is essential and is missing from your content strategy.

So what you should do is map out your customer journey, because remember, it’s a big circle.

And then inventory, the content you have available in those three buckets, Hero hub help at each phase of whatever your customer journey is, whatever your customer experiences, they don’t have to use the Gartner model, you can make up your own.

But make sure that you have something that fits in each of those slots.

So that you can tell, you know, based on on the content, what isn’t, is not there.

Now, here’s the hack for this, here’s the the the next level tip, if you have it all tagged, properly, Hero hub helping what stage of the customer journey it is using whatever choice technology you want to use, use the data layer in Google Analytics and, and or in URL structure, it doesn’t matter.

You can tell what content is in most demand at each stage of the customer experience, right? If you have a hero hub and help piece available, say at evaluation in the customer journey, and it’s the hero piece that’s getting hit the most, you know, then that you have a deficiency there, in in your regular marketing, if people are trying to fit why they even need thing advocate at the evaluation phase, right? That tells you that there’s something going on in the customers mindset that is problematic, and that you need to address more.

And you create more content around that particular y concept.

If you have customer satisfaction content that is all about the what right? Typically, you’d think it’d be about the hot like how do I how do I you know, make my AirPods sync back up to my phone.

But there’s questions about what like what do I use this thing for? What other things can I use it for? That tells you that your product marketing might not be robust enough if people have bought the thing, and they’ve used it for the one intended purpose? And then I’m trying to figure out like, do I even still want the thing, you’re going to have an evangelism problem, right, you’re gonna have a problem, getting people to be excited about sharing it if they can’t figure out what to do with the thing after they bought it.

So there’s an opportunity there to have more what content if you see that the what content becomes really popular at that phase of the customer journey, mapping this all out.

And building content for each of these phases will take you some time, it will take you some time.

And you can probably reclassify some of the content you already have into those slots, but you’re gonna have gaps, fill those gaps, then wait, however long it takes to if you’re depending on the traffic of your website, you know, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and then you will see what the most popular pieces are at each stage and where your gaps are, and then fill those gaps in product marketing content and ownership content and loyalty and service content so that your customers are happy.

That will obviously reduce your air service costs or reduce your overall marketing costs.

It will bring more search traffic to you.

But most importantly, it satisfies the customer’s needs at each stage of the customer journey and that’s really what the goal is here.

So no funnels, use the customer journey and use the hero hub help model at each stage of the customer journey to create your overall content strategy.

Yeah, follow up questions leave them in the comments box below.

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