How to “funnel” endless awareness content ideas

You’re pumped up for a new quarter of content creation, ideas, and execution.

But then, writer’s block hits you as inevitably as a market correction.

That’s when the help of a solid content model comes into play.

If you struggle with planning content with a purpose or creating a more efficient content strategy, this post is for you.

Top o’ the funnel to ye!

The content funnel is a way to envision and strategize what content you will write and how you deploy it at certain stages along your customers’ journey through your website, marketing, or sales process.

But analysis of the stages in the content funnel can also help you create ongoing content ideas for your editorial calendar according to what needs to be said at every stage.

To keep things simple, we’ll work with a funnel having three key top-level steps: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion, and one “post-funnel” step, which is Retention.

Funnel me this

No alt text provided for this imageThe funnel is not a new concept. And there are other models (the hub-and-spoke, the pillar model, and while not a great model, the “spray and pray”). As we mentioned, the stages could be easily applied to other marketing or sales cycles. But in the case of content, we can look to each stage to guide us in what to write about so we engage our customers properly at every stage of their journey.

So let’s dive into the top of the funnel.

Awareness phase

What are the ways you want your target audience to notice you? These may be the timely, current, and quick-answer blog posts that you want your audience to notice right away. These early posts attract buyers and filter out non-buyers. They may educate, entertain, or encourage a subscription, following, or some form of relationship.

Awareness has mostly one goal, website traffic. When people visit your website, they’ve entered your sales funnel and you want to attract them to stick around for a while.

At this point, says Hubspot, a buyer is trying to solve problems, get an answer, or meet a need. They’re looking for top-level educational content to help direct them to a solution, like blog posts, social content, ebooks, or whitepapers.

Their value as a prospect lead is low because there’s no guarantee they’ll buy anything yet. But those who find your content helpful and interesting may journey down the funnel step by step until they become paying customers.

Examples of Awareness content topics include

  • Who you are as a business/owner/team
  • What you do for your customers
  • Why your product/service matters
  • How the product works
  • How to sign up
  • Features and Benefits of you or your product

Types of Awareness content can include:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Integrated social media campaigns

According to Moz, your goals might include nudging a few potential customers toward conversion, but the way we go about that is rarely by talking about yourself. Instead, it’s about figuring out what the audience wants and needs to learn about and teaching them those things. If you’re doing that well, you’re associating feelings of gratitude and respect with your brand—not to mention authority. All the while, you’re raising the competence of your readers to a point where the products or services you have to offer are more useful to them.

Taking time to review all the stages of the content funnel can help you beat writer’s block for new topic development, or clarify your content marketing strategy in order to optimize the content you already have.

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