Content Marketing Funnel

How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Funnel

How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Funnel

87% of marketers create content with the aim of helping customers through different stages of the buying journey online. Knowing which format works best at each stage will help you create more valuable content for your audience, and develop a more effective content marketing strategy for your organization.

350 marketers from around the world will share their thoughts and experiences.

This survey will help businesses understand how they use content throughout the funnel, what channels work best for them, and what metrics they use to track results. We hope that these findings will help you identify areas for improvement in your funnel and generate new ideas for testing or improving your content marketing strategy.

What Exactly Is a Content Marketing Funnel ?

A content marketing funnel begins with identifying and understanding the customer’s needs. Once you know what they want, you need to create content that meets their needs and encourages them to take action.

This content must be persuasive, engaging, and useful so that the customer will want to continue down the funnel and convert to a paying customer. There are a number of different elements that make up a content marketing funnel, but the most important part is creating a system that helps you track your progress and adjust your strategy as needed.

By following a funnel, you can ensure that your brand is reaching its target audience and converting them into customers.

We define the 3 main stages of the funnel as:

  • TOFU (top of the funnel) attracts attention,
  • MOFU (middle of the funnel) generates leads
  • BOFU (bottom of the funnel) drives payments.

The user’s intent at each stage can be different, which means that your content will have different goals and be measured by different values. The question you have to answer as a business owner is “What content do you need to produce in order to target potential customers at a specific step in the buying process?

How to Create a Content Funnel That Works, Based on the Results of a Survey

This survey found that most surveyed marketers that create content for all stages of the customer journey, with most creating top-of-the-funnel (TOFU), middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU), and bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content. The goal of content marketing is to attract and engage customers to create a mutually beneficial relationship in which customers are driven to take profitable actions.

We hope that these insights will guide you in spotting weaknesses in your funnel and providing fresh ideas for testing or enhancing it.

The Study’s Major Findings

  • Create content that is specifically tailored to each funnel stage to help support your overall strategy.

The full-funnel content marketing approach involves creating and delivering content throughout the entire customer journey, rather than just at the beginning. Creating and implementing content for each stage of the buyer’s journey can help your audience convert into buyers. 87% of our respondents use content to guide their prospects through various stages of the buyer journey.

  • Publish how-to guides, landing pages, and infographics to attract traffic.

According to 72% of marketers polled, how-to’ guides are the most effective traffic generators. To attract attention to your brand, learn from their mistakes and focus on solving the prospects’ problems first. Fewer marketers use other types of content to drive traffic.

35% percent of respondents found landing pages helpful for understanding products or services, while 28% found infographics helpful for easy understanding about products or services.

  • Publish overviews of your products, success stories from customers, and reviews from customers to drive purchases.

According to a poll of marketers, 49% of them believe that product overviews, customer reviews, and success stories work best at the bottom of the marketing funnel.

The content your customers generate will help you attract even more customers in this area. It’s true that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about something.

  • Use emails and related content to move your prospects through the funnel.

According to 50% of marketers surveyed, one of the most challenging tasks when building a funnel is encouraging users to move through it. 71% of our respondents use email follow-ups to achieve this goal, while 67% improve internal links, and 56% suggest related content to ensure descent through the funnel.

The first approach shows how important personalization is, while the other two help to improve users’ content experience and provide more valuable information on a topic.

  • Promote your products to people who are likely to be interested in them to increase sales.

Encourage customers who are not yet familiar with your product to purchase it by reaching out to them and providing information about what your product does and how it can benefit them. Email marketing was also voted the most effective medium for driving sales (73%), followed by organic search (61%), and paid to advertise (47%).

The omni-channel approach can help you convince your prospects to make a purchase by answering their queries, highlighting your strengths, and sending personalized messages. Marketing automation can help you optimize your outreach and discover new audience segments.

  • Create new content that is based on keyword research and competitor analysis.

When creating new pieces of content, use a broader analytical approach that includes competitor analysis, content audits, and audience research. This will help you to better understand what content is resonating with your audience and what content you need to create to stay ahead of the competition.

  • 88% of the survey participants used mostly keyword research to decide on what content to create.
  • 73% relied on competitor analysis.
  • 49% on content audit.


  • Measure the effectiveness of your content funnel by calculating the conversion rate.

According to the survey, 36% of respondents believe that conversion rate is the most important metric for the effectiveness of a funnel, followed by the number of purchases (23%) and ROI/ROMI (15%). What is a good example of the persuasive power of content?

This was a survey with some highlights, but more detailed stats are coming. We’re now going to look in-depth at each stage of the content marketing funnel and see how they are connected.

Top of the Funnel: Sparking an Interest

The TOFU is the most important stage of the buyer journey because it’s where the majority of people are at. Most people in this area are not ready to buy and have likely never heard of your company. Your goal is to capture the attention of buyers who are in the early stages of their journey and then, introduce them to your brand.

According to the survey, 72% of marketers believe that how-to guides are the most effective type of content for attracting attention at the top of the funnel. Guides are effective because they show your prospects that you are an expert in the field and leave them wanting more information.

The types of content that are most effective in driving traffic are also educational โ€” infographics (28%), checklists (27%), and ebooks (26%). Attracting your audience’s attention by providing value helps to keep them interested in your website.

Organic search is the most effective channel for bringing traffic (70%) and the number of visitors is the main metric to measure TOFU content effectiveness (73%). This is logical because the more popular a problem is and the more detailed the answer, the more interest it arouses.

60% of people say that social media is an effective way to communicate with potential clients, while 54% say the same about email marketing. Expanding your touchpoints with potential clients is also very effective at this stage.

Content that uses the expertise of your internal SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) is most effective when it is used at the top of the funnel.

Middle of the funnel MOF

Middle of the Funnel: Guiding and Educating

At the MOFU stage, the number of people interacting with your content grows smaller but they are much more likely to interact if you encourage them to do so. In order to increase engagement at the MOFU stage, you should encourage your audience to comment and share your content.

Your goal is to help the prospect understand how your solution can help them from start to finish. According to 44% of marketers surveyed, a how-to guide is the best way to generate leads. This makes it a versatile tool for winning both the TOFU and BOFU stages. Content that is product-oriented can also be useful – for example, product overviews (40%), case studies (34%), and landing pages (31%) proved to be effective in generating leads.

Product-oriented content also comes in handy โ€” product overviews (40%), case studies (34%), and landing pages (31%) proved to be effective method in generating leads. The goal of lead nurturing is to keep people engaged with your brand. Marketers mostly switch to email marketing to achieve this goal.

Content related to nurturing customers is mostly dominated by product-related content, such as success stories (43%) and product overviews (38%). As motivation varies a lot at this stage, you should offer a variety of convincing materials that show how to use your product in different ways, including how to solve common problems. This will help keep your customers motivated and interested in your product.

The overall success of MOFU content conversion rate (75%) and the number of leads (54%) were both measured.

Bottom of the Funnel: Propelling Conversions

The BOFU stage is the end of the funnel, where content can help you stand out from your competitors, build trust, and speed up the purchase process. The content you create should answer specific questions about your product or service (e.g. how it actually works or what skills are required to use it), and be designed to help people take the next step in the buying process.

We found that customer-generated and case-oriented content is effective at convincing people to make a purchase.

The majority of marketers surveyed use product overviews (51%), customer reviews (49%), success stories (43%), use cases (30%), and case studies (25%). Do your best to provide all the information customers need to make an informed purchase decision, including product descriptions, pricing, shipping information, and return policies.

Email marketing was effective in keeping the purchase moving forward, according to the vast majority of respondents (73 percent).

The most efficient channels for bringing payments are organic search (61%) and paid to advertise (47%). Optimizing your content can help you not only drive a bigger audience to your website but also convince them to buy.

The majority of survey participants (73%) named the conversion rate as the main success metric at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) stage, while a smaller percentage (53%) chose the number of payments, and an even smaller percentage (43%) chose return on investment/return on marketing investment (ROI/ROMI), which are the final goals of your marketing efforts.

Connecting Content Through the Funnel

We wanted to know how to make the content marketing funnel work together as a whole, in addition to analyzing each stage. We also wanted to find the answers, What are the most important factors and challenges when it comes to content creation? How can they be overcome?

The main challenge for marketers when creating a funnel is creating content that generates leads, according to the survey results (52%). This is followed by attracting traffic (48%).

The top content marketing challenges, according to our previous survey, are getting these leads to move down the funnel (50%). Another issue is getting these leads to convert (50%).

The reason why you may be experiencing a decrease in conversions could be due to content saturation. Content saturation is when your audience is bombarded with numerous marketing messages from various brands. Making your content stand out and keeping the user engaged takes a lot of hard work.

The importance of SEO is highlighted by the fact that a majority of people polled base their content creation decisions on keyword research and competitive research.

connecting through funnel

People polled
  • Content creation decisions on keyword research 88%
  • Content creation decisions on competitive research 73%

49% of respondents say they rely on in-house knowledge and experience to decide on future content, conducting content audits and interviews with sales and customer support teams.

When it comes to tactics for moving audiences to the next funnel stage, email follow-ups are favored by most marketers polled (72%).

This is where the concept of personalization enters the picture. Offering relevant content is another effective way to ensure visitors stay on your website longer โ€” 67% of marketers improve internal linking and 56 percent suggest related content.

Final Notes

We hope that the conclusions of this study will provide you with suggestions for improving the performance of your content funnel and creating content that will attract and convert your audience.

If you are interested in getting a content strategy built and implemented for your business, please reach out for a no-obligation chat. ย

If you are interested in digital marketing , check out our other blogs:

Simple Strategies for Taking Your Social Media Marketing to the Next Level
How to Attract Customers Using These Top 5 Video Marketing Techniques
How to Attract Customers Using These Top 5 Video Marketing Techniques
Simple Strategies for Taking Your Social Media Marketing to the Next Level
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