The content marketing sales funnel is probably the most powerful funnel that you will ever create… though it also takes the most work to get right.
Just to clarify… the funnel part is actually pretty easy. It is the content part that takes a while!
The best thing about this funnel is that you can get started on it today, with very little monetary investment.
The difficult part of it is that it may take a while to see a return on your investment.
But if you can stick with it, you can see monumental returns with this funnel system.
We’re talking free leads and sales on an ongoing basis, the closest and most realistic thing there is to so-called “passive income.”
So let’s get into it, and break down exactly how to build this funnel and put it to work for you!
What Is The Purpose Of A Content Marketing Funnel?
The purpose of a content marketing funnel is to convert leads into opt-ins, with the goal of building your email list.
Alternatively, your business goal could be to make sales… but as a general rule, gathering email list members is ultimately more powerful and profitable in the long run.
If you are successful in this mission, then you can direct-market to your email list later on… turning your list-members into actual buyers on the back-end of the funnel.
This is how you monetize your digital marketing business and succeed as a content marketer… eventually working your way up to building a 6-figure business that will give you the financial security and success that you desire.
What Exactly Is A Content Marketing Funnel? And How Do You Make One?
A content marketing funnel is essentially a basic, self-liquidating funnel attached to a content marketing plan.
It is really that simple.
Content marketing is the practice of putting out loads of consistent, optimized, authority niche content that is intended to not only provide value to your audience, but also to draw web-traffic to your blog or YouTube channel.
For the most part, content marketing is achieved through YouTube and/or a Blog posts at first… but eventually, you’ll want to conquer all 3 Pillars of the full content marketing spectrum… YouTube, a Blog, and a Podcast.
[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’1′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-ZhK00OkBE[/responsive_video]
What Does This Content Need To Have In It?
Your content needs to fulfill a few different objectives if you want to succeed in building a successful content marketing funnel, and compete with other companies in your niche.
Your content needs to…
- Be relevant to your target audience
- Be optimized so that it can be found by the search engines
- Deliver incredible value to your readers/viewers/listeners
Content that fits all of these requirements is far more likely to make your content marketing funnel work.
A Content Marketing Strategy Is Not All About Impressions And Clicks
Yes, you absolutely want clicks, impressions, and views on your content.
But with that being said, never lose track of one of the most important elements of how to make a digital marketing business work.
Ultimately, you want your target customer to know, like, and trust you.
And the only way to do that is by developing and nurturing an actual relationship with them.
How do you do this? By delivering awesome, helpful content to your audience that they will actually benefit from.
You also do it by getting them signed up for your email list and sending out broadcast emails every couple of days that are packed full of awesome value… all given out absolutely for free.
But to get them on your email list, you’re going to need to set up your content marketing funnel.
So let’s get started and talk about how you get this process going.
Step 1: Start Creating Content
The first and best way to start your content funnel is to start creating content.
This is what most first-time digital marketing solopreneurs and companies actually fail at, though!
A lot of people in this business end up giving up before they see an ROI, and they stop creating content before they really pick up steam.
Let’s go over this process really quickly.
You Need To Choose A Niche
To start creating content, you’re going to need to choose a niche.
Ideally, you want to choose a topic that you love. This will help you to overcome the ups and downs of starting your own content marketing business.
You should also choose a topic that you have at least some knowledge about.
Ideally, you would want to choose a niche that you have experience with, that has been an integral part of your journey in life.
Why? Because your story will help you to connect with your target customer and reader.
(Learn how Story Powered Marketing can work for you here.)
You Need To Choose A Platform
Choosing a platform is the next step.
You would ideally want to choose between starting a YouTube channel and a Blog for a content marketing funnel, but a podcast could potentially work as well.
The only thing about a podcast is that it does not hold quite as much SEO power as a YouTube channel or a Blog.
But eventually, if you really want to crush it with the content game, you are going to need to delve into all three anyway.
You Need To Start A WordPress Website
This might seem daunting… but rest assured that it is not!
There are some awesome tools out there to help make your authority niche website a reality.
You can actually start a funnel with services like Clickfunnels without ever building a website.
You could, in theory, potentially make this work with just a YouTube channel and a funnel. But if you want to host a blog, you are going to need to start your own WordPress site.
The Best Tools For Building A WordPress Site
The first step to building your site is to secure hosting.
(Note, if you are already creating content and have your own site, this step might not apply to you. But for those who are just starting out, we will go over it briefly).
We recommend A2 Hosting, because they are just the best in the game.
You also need to get yourself a theme. Thrive Themes is the best.
If building your own WordPress site is too daunting, you can grab yourself a pre-built site in a well-researched niche from a company like Human Proof Designs.
Now, Start Creating Content
If you need an awesome keyword research tool, check out KW Finder.
If the idea of planning out a silo and doing keyword research right now is too daunting, then just start creating content… and adopt these other processes as you build-up and start gaining confidence.
Because while building an SEO silo and doing keyword research are both important… they are both pretty useless if you never post any type of content.
Content, in the form of blogs, YouTube videos, or podcast episodes, is absolutely the key to succeeding at content marketing.
Note: Social media platforms do work for your content marketing sales funnel, the reason I prefer blogs, YouTube videos and podcasts is because social media’s post life cycle is very short.
Marketing is hard work, when you invest time on social media or search engine marketing, you want to think about, heavily consider the amount of results you can receive from that time investment.
SEO and SEM win that conversation every time against social media!
You Need To Post A Lot Of Relevant Content… A Lot!!!!
You need to post a lot of content to make content marketing work… and you need to do it consistently.
Some people think that they can publish 5 or 10 blog posts, and then start attracting clients and buyers to their funnel content.
But this is not the case.
You need to get 100 to 150 blog posts up to start really hitting your stride with your audience. You need to have 100-150 YouTube videos up before you break through that hard barrier of being a key, trusted influencer in your niche.
Google isn’t going to pay any attention to you at first. So you have to create a lot of relevant content, and you have to do it on a consistent, regular basis!
Want to really kick your content marketing game into overdrive, and start raising brand awareness while also connecting with new audience members, buyers, and clients?
Then try a 90 day content challenge, and create a piece of content every day for 90 days straight!
Step 2: Get Found By The Google Algorithm
You always need to create content for two audiences.
On one hand, you need to create for your human audience.
And on the other, you also need to create content for the Google Algorithm. This is where SEO comes into play, as well as keywords.
This is a great balancing act, and you need both to win.
You create well researched, relevant content using well-placed keywords, links, diverse content, and competitive metrics to attract Google’s algorithm to your page.
But your content should also be geared to help people… and your titles and meta descriptions need to be formulated to get your target audience to click on your post/video.
(Need an awesome split-testing tool for titles? Check out A/B Rankings!)
Step 3: You Must Start Building Your Content Marketing Funnel
You can easily begin the process of designing your content marketing funnel using Clickfunnels.
But keep in mind that you need to design this funnel (and each stage of the funnel) a certain way.
You can find a step-by-step guide to creating this funnel here.
That post will show you, step by step, how to create a sales funnel from scratch using Clickfunnels and Aweber.
It will also show you how to create each individual stage of the funnel, show you how to make your funnel content, and teach you how to take action to get the process started.
This is the best way to get started building your own funnel, and you can literally have it done in less than an hour.
A Successful Funnel Includes 7 Steps…
The 7 Step Sales Funnel Checklist is an awesome resource for making sure that your funnel content is correct, that you are using the right marketing strategy, and that the type of content you have in your funnel is the right type of content.
Check out this video. It does a great job of explaining this…
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But essentially, it will go like this.
- You will have a funnel landing/opt-in page with a lead magnet, where your audience will enter their email address to get your free thing (an ebook, a video course, etc.)
- This will sign them up automatically for your email autoresponder sequence
- Then, they will be taken to a one-time-offer page, where they will be asked to take action and become a customer and buy one of your products at an incredible discount
- If they choose to buy this product, they will also be taken to a one-click-upsell page, where they will be offered an additional product to enhance the one-time-offer
- They check-out, and their items are delivered
You can also check out a more comprehensive look at all of the funnel steps here.
Once you have your funnel put together, it will be time to start sending traffic to it.
Step 4: Start Sending Your Traffic Down Your Funnel
Now, the difference between a content marketing funnel and a regular self-liquidating funnel is that your traffic is coming from different places.
Normally, with a self-liquidating funnel, people will leverage social media (Facebook ads, or even Pinterest) to send traffic to their landing page.
But in a content funnel, you use your own organic search engine results, produced by your content, to send traffic to your landing page.
How do you get your traffic from your blog or YouTube channel to your landing page?
That is a great question, and there are a few different ways to do it.
Sending Traffic To Your Landing Page
Sending Traffic To Your Landing Page
There are actually a lot of different ways to start a potential customer, buyer, and/or audience member down your funnel.
But the number one best way to do this is through a popup.
They visit your blog because they searched for something they were interested in, and found your site.
And then, once they visit your page, about 10 seconds later, a popup appears, saying something like this.
“Interested in learning more about this thing? Download my free ebook to learn my 10 secrets to success!”
All they have to do is fill in their email address to sign up.
And that’s it. As far as metrics go, you have just achieved the primary objective… you’ve attracted a lead with your content, and signed that lead up for your email list.
Now you can direct-market to that customer using your broadcast list… which is where the majority of your money as a content marketer will be made.
There are obviously more steps to your funnel. After this, you can send them to your one-time-offer page. And then, you can send them to your one-click-upsell page.
This is one method for turning a lead into a buyer or a customer on the front end.
But… let’s talk about some other ways that you can use to get your customers onto your landing page.
You can also accomplish this with a ribbon along the top of the page, or with what they call a welcome gate… which is sort of like a popup that takes over the screen at the beginning, but that allows them to scroll down past it.
You can use text in links. You can do this by saying “if you want to get my 10 secrets to succeeding at this, click here,” and that can start them on the journey to your landing page.
You can use image ads, such as a 3D image of your ebook or video course.
On YouTube, you can link to your landing page in your description. You could even have a button pop up on the screen on YouTube that people could click on to go to your offer!
The Core Idea Behind The Content Funnel Is To Stay Relevant!
There are many ways to get your customers to start going down this funnel.
But the main thing to remember is that relevance and value are essential keys to success.
If your blog is about brisket, and your big authority post is about ‘barbecuing brisket,’ then you want to design your lead-magnet appropriately.
Create an ebook titled “The 10 Secrets To Cooking The Perfect Brisket On Your Grill.”
You can have a pretty good idea that this will be relevant for this page, because your entire post is about Brisket!
You want your lead magnet to be relevant, so that your audience will actually want what you have to offer.
And once they get on your email list, you will be able to crush it by building a closer relationship with them by offering up a ton of free value, and then marketing your products to them.
Step 5: Scale, Grow, And Adapt As You Collect Your Data
When you first create a content marketing funnel, you will probably have one lead magnet that is sort of generic, and use it on all of your posts.
This will be your first funnel.
That works well at first. But over time, you can get more specific with it.
Let’s say that your authority site is all about Brisket. Well, let’s say that, after publishing 200 blog posts on everything to do with brisket, you come to find that barbecuing brisket over hickory is your most popular blog post!
Well, knowing this, you can start creating more content based on that topic… but you can also create a special lead-magnet specifically formulated to appeal to people who are interested in cooking brisket over hickory.
Instead of offering a more generic “10 Secrets to Great Brisket” ebook, maybe you develop a more specialized, focused video training course where you demonstrate exactly how to cook the perfect brisket over hickory, every time!
You can also obviously scale this by getting even more in-depth with your topic, and building an entire new collection of blog posts, YouTube videos, and/or podcast episodes more specifically dedicated to this.
As your site grows, and as your channels get more content on them, you will start to see data about how many people are consuming your content.
And you’ll be able to figure out which posts and topics are your most popular posts!
This can give you a lot of insight into how to create the type of content that your audience actually wants to see, which will make your odds of success even greater.
Hopefully, this post has helped you to understand exactly how a content marketing funnel works, how it can get you opt-ins and sales, and how you can use it to build your email list, enhance your brand awareness, sell products to buyers, earn more customer traffic, and continue to take action in your journey toward digital-marketing dominance!
If you have any further questions, please feel free to leave us a comment and let us know! We love to keep the conversation going, and are here to help.
See you on the next one!