Now that you have the requisite tools and tracking in place, you’re ready to run your content engine. In the rest of this course, we will teach you about the content funnel, different funnel stages and their purposes, and how to create a productive content mix.
In general, you should be producing two types of content:
- Content focused on “evergreen” traffic, which ensures predictable traffic generation over time.
- Content focused on “spiky” traffic, which brings in a big spike of traffic during a short time frame to fill up your retargeting audience.
Different types of content fulfill different roles for your content engine. But, next to content types, you will also want to care about which stage of the content funnel a specific piece of content fits into. Among the portfolio of your published content you’ll want to have the right content mix for the specific current stage of your business, also considering the current maturity of your marketing organization. For example, do you have enough resources - team members and/or budget - to commit to a certain amount of produced content for a certain stage?
We will talk about this more in detail in a dedicated course module about the Content Funnel and Content Audits, but following you can find a simple overview.
The content funnel is a concept that can be used to understand the readiness and intent of a reader. It consists of multiple stages.
High up, in the top of the funnel we have readers that are “far away” from your product (in terms of intent). They have yet to become aware of your actual product, they might not even know yet that they are facing a problem that they’d want to resolve. This stage is called the Awareness stage.
In the middle of the funnel your readers have started to understand the fundamentals around your space and product. They are realizing that they might have an inefficiency or a challenge within their business that should be resolved and that there are good ways to actually do that. They start considering the different ways, among those is your product/service. This stage is called the Consideration stage.
In the bottom of the funnel readers realize that your product/service is the best solution to the challenges they are facing and they start to understand how to implement and use your product. This stage is called the Decision stage.
The logical next step after leaving the bottom of the content funnel is to give your product a try, which means the readers are then turning into users of your product starting their journey in the product funnel.
In short: Early on when running your content engine, you want to raise awareness about your product offering. The best way to raise awareness is to produce high quality content, based on keyword research, for the top of the content funnel. This content will attract a wide array of people that don’t have high intent. Yet.
The more people you want to reach, the “more generic” your content pieces will have to be, the reason being that there are more people interested in, for example,
“What is Reverese ETL?”
“How <your product> enables Operational Analytics with Reverse ETL”.
At the beginning, it’s about reeling in as many people as possible into your net. How to nudge them further down the funnel and how to monetize them is a challenge you will tackle later.
First things first: People need to become aware of your product offering. Over time, you will want to build content pieces that nudge people downwards the content funnel towards the product funnel. But, at the beginning you’ll want to have a predictable production of awareness-level content to drive consistent traffic from search engines to your blog.
In the following sections, we’ll offer an overview of content funnel stages and the types of content, how and why you should utilize them, and how you can produce enough of each type of content to predictably generate new leads that drive your business forward.