As a B2B business, you need a well-structured marketing funnel to attract new prospects, nurture leads and boost sales.
However, the road across the B2B buyer’s journey can be a long and arduous one, including multiple touchpoints and marketing channels.
Long B2B sales cycles often require nurturing prospects for months or even years before they turn into sales opportunities or paying customers.
The purchase funnel is a consumer-focused marketing model that illustrates the journey your buyers take. Most leads are not instant customers; they travel down the funnel researching, comparing, and evaluating before making a purchase decision.
Understanding the steps prospective buyers go through will help you market the right way and skyrocket conversions.
What is Purchase Funnel ?
The Purchase Funnel, or purchasing funnel, is a consumer-focused marketing model that illustrates the theoretical journey a customer takes toward the purchase of a product or service.
How Does it Matter ?
The Purchase Funnel analyzes your customer acquisition process to help you understand how potential customers discover your product or brand and, more importantly, how they eventually become a loyal customer.
The purchase funnel (alternatively called the marketing funnel) is typically broken down into five stages: awareness, interest, consideration, preference, and purchase. From a measurement point of view, this may map to a variety of sales and marketing channels from social media and web visits to mailing lists and sales contacts.
How to build Content Based on Purchase Funnels
To create a content marketing funnel that works, you must understand the stages that your audience is in. For an ideal B2B content marketing funnel, there are three stages that form the customer journey.
Let’s go through what each stage entails, how prospects in each stage behave, and the kind of content that fits in perfectly for each stage.
This is where you’d define your B2B buyer’s persona. This helps you to know the type of buyers that are relevant for your product and the kind of information they are actively searching for.
Your understanding of your target company, the roles of employers you’re targeting, their pains, priorities, and drive to purchase will help you communicate better to achieve your goals.
Truth is, if people don’t know what problems they are facing, they won’t see the need in finding a solution. That means they won’t make a purchase. You need to help your prospects realize they have a problem that needs a solution.
For instance, if your business is a virtual assistant service, you have to make your clients aware that their pain point is an unorganized workflow. To solve this, they need to focus on the key part of their business and outsource it to you. Persuading leads to reach out to you works perfectly well here.
The content formats that work well at this stage include blog posts, downloadable offers, SEO, whitepapers, online ads, videos, direct email, and social media.
Your buyers now understand their challenges and they’re committed to addressing it. They’re researching different approaches to fix the problem and assessing their options to know if it’ll fit into their budget and their company situations.
At this stage, you’ll show your prospects why your product or service is the best solution they can get in the market to solve the problem. You’ll use their pain points to create the unique value that your content will speak.
This stage is critical in your buyer journey. This is because, for most businesses out there, they want to understand your brand better before making a purchase. Not only that, they want to confirm if your product/service is something that will add value to their business.
The best content formats to use at this stage include case studies, guides, webinars, newsletters, retargeting ads, templates, podcasts, emails, checklists, whitepapers, and videos.
With case studies, for example, your prospects can see the buyer’s journey from start to finish. To do this, you can show your prospects the exact steps you use in your business to help clients get excellent results from using your products or services.
This is the most important stage in your B2B content marketing funnel. At this stage, the prospects decide if they’re buying from you or not. This stage is also delicate because only a fraction of your prospects makes it here. But those who do are usually your ideal prospects. Hence, a slight miscommunication and inadequate use of words can make you lose them.
So your prospect is on the verge of negotiating business terms with you. They’re convinced that your offering is just what they want. They’ve examined the pros and cons and are ready to pass it on to the decision-makers—the company’s high-level individual or group that’ll request contract approval and confirm the purchase of your product.
What you’ll do for your prospects at this stage is to eliminate other options that might prevent them from buying. This should include assisting them to scale through the organizational barriers they may have.
For instance, you can explain to your contacts how to introduce your product to the board. Also, you can show them how to make a case for the purchase, and help them develop an accurate implementation plan.
The content types that work well at this stage are trials, demos, professional consultations, case studies, reviews/testimonials, and events/tradeshows.
A B2B content marketing funnel will help you create, if practiced diligently, strong B2B personas for each stage in the buyer’s journey. Understanding your customers is the first step to developing content that resonates well with them.
With the strategies shared in this blog post, you can create an effective B2B content marketing funnel that helps your company grow and scale.