How to Build and Use a B2B Content Marketing Funnel

Shiyam Sunder
|
April 19, 2024
How to Build and Use a B2B Content Marketing Funnel

Contents

As a B2B marketer, do you often feel like you're shooting in the dark when producing and publishing content for your business? It's because you probably don't have a B2B content marketing funnel to work as a guiding light for your content marketing efforts.

Creating a content marketing funnel helps you put your B2B content into a strategic action plan that lets you generate qualified leads and conversions.

With a funnel-based strategy, you're not simply creating valuable content that suits your fascination but ideating and publishing content that aligns with your customer journey.

This way, you can align your sales process with your B2B SaaS content marketing, making it easy to see how you achieve your business goals with each new content piece.

So, in this guide, let's take a closer look into a B2B content marketing funnel and how to create one to get outstanding business results.

What is a B2B Content Marketing Funnel?

A B2B content marketing funnel is a strategic framework that helps you create content that aligns with your customer journey and business goals.

In simple terms, it is designed to nurture business relationships and convert prospects into loyal customers.

The stages of a B2B content marketing funnel include Awareness, Consideration, Conversion and Retention.

At each stage, you must publish tailored content that meets your target audience's specific needs to ensure a smooth transition towards a sale.

b2b content marketing funnel

(Source)

What are the Advantages of a B2B Content Marketing Funnel?

According to studies, The top three content marketing objectives are driving sales or leads, engaging customers, and increasing brand awareness. (Source)

That's the reason a B2B content marketing funnel is such an essential ingredient in content marketing success. Let's look at the advantages of a content marketing funnel in greater detail:

1. Enhanced Understanding of Customer Needs

By tracking interactions, a B2B content marketing funnel provides insights into the content needs of a potential customer. Therefore, it helps you to publish and plan content that's helpful to your target audience. And if you create value for your audience, you're going one step ahead in strengthening your relationship with them.

2. Measurable Performance

A B2B content marketing funnel provides a clear, structured way to measure content's impact on business goals, making it an invaluable tool in the B2B marketer's arsenal.

3. Improved Organic Search Traffic

It's evident that funnel-based content makes potential customers engage with it for longer. Hence, it improves the time a user spends on your website, helping you generate more relevant web traffic.

4. Better Content Marketing ROI

By tailoring content to each stage, businesses can engage with prospects more effectively, leading to increased goal conversions and a better content ROI.

5. Increased Brand Awareness

By investing in educational content ideas that matter to your audience, you can build a positive online reputation for your business. Such brand awareness goes a long way in attracting relevant customers to your business.

6. Lesser Dependence on Paid Advertisements

Building a well-defined content marketing funnel is a fool-proof way to attract organic traffic to your website. And having access to a cost-effective channel to reach your audience naturally means less reliance on paid ad campaigns.

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What are the Stages in a B2B Content Marketing Funnel?

There are four key stages in your B2B content marketing funnel. Let's understand each in this section.

1. Awareness Stage

In the awareness stage of the customer journey, a prospective customer isn't aware of your products and services. At this stage, they know about the challenges they're facing, and they're looking for possible solutions.

You should not know that at this stage, your prospect isn't ready to buy a product or service; they're simply looking for the relevant information.

In this phase, it's ideal for you to publish blog posts, social media posts, videos, and other educational marketing resources that get you visibility among potential customers.

In the awareness stage of the buyer's journey, a marketer's primary goal is to achieve brand awareness and get more and more prospects to know about their offerings.

Here's a simple example of top-of-the-funnel content from Sendgrid, a popular email marketing tool.

awareness stage in b2b content marketing funnel

(Source)

2. Consideration Stage

When a prospect starts learning about a topic, she sees various solutions, including your product or service. Now they get on to a boat which will take them to their destination. To put it simply, they start browsing through different solutions.

But even at this stage of your marketing funnel, they haven't reached the point where they're ready for a transaction. The best way to meet the needs of such prospects is to offer them deeper insights into a topic or your niche. Share advanced knowledge related to the problems they're facing.

The strategy helps showcase your B2B business as a thought leader in your industry, thus pushing it higher up in their consideration set.

At this stage, you need to create in-depth e-books, original research, free tools, templates, and white papers to solidify your B2B brand's reputation in the minds of your target customers.

Send these pieces to your prospects in a newsletter or post them on social media platforms—let your subscribers and followers engage with your content.

It's the stage when you have to nurture your potential customers so they can eventually turn into buyers. Here's a classic middle-of-the-funnel or MoFu content example from Mailmodo, another popular email marketing tool:

Consideration stage in b2b content marketing funnel

(Source)

3. Decision Stage

There will come a time in your buyer's journey when they're absolutely ready to make a purchase. In a marketing funnel, we call it the decision stage. In this phase, your audience's need is more transactional than informational.

Hence, you need to offer your target audience content that proves that your products and services fit their business requirements.

Create valuable content in the form of comparative blog posts, your brand story, customer testimonials, case studies, and product demos to display reasons that they should buy your services. Here's an excellent example of a case study post from FreshBooks, a popular invoicing and billing software:

Decision stage in b2b content marketing funnel

(Source)

Remember to be absolutely authentic with your decision stage content because it's what converts prospects into paying customers.

4. Retention Stage

The last stage in a B2B content marketing funnel is the retention stage. This is a stage when your target audience is your existing customers—people who are already using your products and services.

What informational needs do these people have? In this phase, it's best to build a community around your product by publishing content on help topics, FAQ pages, and product-related how-to videos.

Retention stage in b2b content marketing funnel

Also, you can feature your existing customers and show them how they benefited from using your product. By putting out customer success stories, you can foster loyalty among your existing customers.

Finally, you can also send your customers exciting offers and loyalty rewards. Such content is excellent for retaining customers.

As you can see, the retention stage allows you to improve customer lifetime value and create more revenue opportunities for your business.

How to Create a B2B Content Marketing Funnel

The right way to approach a marketing funnel for B2B content is first to understand that you're creating content not for search engines but for your target audience. Remember that search engine optimization is vital for content success but is not the end goal.

You must align your content marketing strategy to create relevant content for your potential and existing customers.

1. Create Audience Personas

A vital element of a B2B marketing funnel is audience persona development. A buyer persona is a documented version of your ideal customer's key characteristics. By creating accurate buyer personas, you can delve deep into the challenges, needs, and preferences of your target customers.

Furthermore, a buyer persona helps you understand the journey stage of a typical buyer.

These details allow a B2B marketer like you to create content that aligns with the marketing funnel.

What should you include in your buyer persona study?

A comprehensive B2B buyer persona study should include key elements such as job title, years in the role, department, seniority, company size, and industry.

It's also important to delve into the qualitative aspects, like the buyer's key responsibilities, behaviours, pain points, motivators, and concerns.

A good way to get detailed insights about your audience personas is to speak to your sales team.

Creating buyer persona

(Source)

2. Align Your Keyword Research to Your Marketing Funnel

Building your content marketing funnel won't feel daunting if you infuse it into the foundation of the strategic content creation process.

  • Make sure you segment all your keywords according to the respective stages of your content marketing funnel. Separate keywords into categories like awareness, consideration, decision, and retention.
  • This way, you can divide your content calendar into funnel-based topics.

Now, give weight to different topic segments based on your business goals. If your key objective is to create awareness, you can publish more awareness-stage content.

On the other hand, if your primary goal is customer retention, you can focus more on publishing content for the retention stage. Similarly, if you want more leads, you need to publish more consideration-stage content, and so on.

3. Measure Your Content Marketing Funnel Performance

Like any other strategy, your B2B marketing funnel should be measurable. Hence, the final step in building a content marketing funnel is to create a system of key performance indicators and a way to measure them.

Here are the key metrics that you must measure at each stage of the marketing funnel:

a. Awareness

At this stage, you need to track organic traffic, user-dwell time, and the CTR of your content pages.

b. Consideration

In this stage of the marketing funnel, you're mainly tracking the leads you're getting from B2B content. Consider tracking metrics like new subscribers to your newsletter, free trial signups, and number of free consultations booked, etc.

c. Decision

Measure metrics like sales, revenue, and content ROI.

d. Retention

For retention stage content, look at metrics like the rate of customer satisfaction and customer lifecycle value.

How to Make The Most of Your B2B Content Marketing Funnel

Don't forget that a winning B2B content marketing funnel is holistic. It integrates with your overall B2B content marketing and SEO strategy. Here are some ways to squeeze the most out of your B2B marketing funnel:

1. Use Compelling CTAs

Increasing the rate of conversions from any marketing campaign is about getting your potential customers to take action. A well-crafted CTA helps you to achieve the relevant goal from each content piece you publish.

2. Align it With Internal-Linking

An excellent way to convert potential customers and push them down your marketing funnel is to offer them a great user experience. By linking content from different stages of your content marketing funnel, you can allow them to find and consume helpful content with ease and simplicity.

Hence, besides helping you improve organic search traffic, internal linking is an effective way to get more out of your B2B content marketing funnel.

3. Create High-Quality Content

Driving leads from your content marketing funnel becomes simple when you focus on creating really high-quality content. Make sure you offer in-depth, informative, and entertaining content pieces to your target audience. The best way to do this is to stay inspired by the best and latest B2B content marketing examples. Also, partnering with a professional B2B content marketing agency can go a long way in creating such high-quality content.

Final Thoughts

A well-defined B2B content marketing funnel blueprint is a surefire way to B2B marketing success. It ensures you're creating helpful content that matters to your potential customers. A funnel helps you create value at each step and nurture potential customers to build lasting relationships.

It lets you go beyond search engine optimization and infuse empathy in your marketing process, an element vital to content marketing success in today's brutally competitive landscape.

Are you seeking experts to drive your B2B content marketing funnel and get consistent results? Book a call with our experts at TripleDart—we're here to help you.

Shiyam Sunder
Shiyam Sunder
Co- Founder | Tripledart - Growth Startups

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