Content marketing funnels are something startups and companies need to take more seriously if they are serious about building a long-term business. The main problem that most business owners face when it comes to content marketing is that they cannot attribute their revenue towards it right away. 

In fact when you are scaling a marketing team for your business, it’s natural to focus on short term revenue if you are bootstrapped. However, that does not mean that you should neglect content marketing completely. 

The truth is that content marketing is not a short term strategy (though it can be, more on that later). In order to reap the benefits of a successful content marketing and inbound funnel you need to invest for months so that your website starts getting traction. 

On top of that there are costs to hire writers, SEO socialists to build backlinks and more. It can easily be overwhelming and frankly quite discouraging for small business owners to justly investing in content marketing.

In this guide we will explore 5 content marketing funnels that work for almost all businesses looking to systematically generate new clients online.

Content Marketing Funnel #1: Value-First Webinars That Generate Authority and Sales For Your Startup

One of the best content marketing strategy in order to build your brand as well as generate sales is to host live webinars. Webinars allow you to get the maximum attention span from prospects at scale. 

Think about it, a sales rep only do a single demo of your product at any given time slot. With webinars, you can talk to 20, 50 100, even 1000 prospects at the same time allowing you to scale your sales rapidly. 

However, with webinars you need to follow a blueprint otherwise your webinar funnel will not convert as well. 

So, if you are reading this, congrats! Because I will share a webinar blueprint that generated over $500k for various business owners that I worked with. 

Step 1: Come Up With A Webinar Topic That Everybody Wants To Register

Your webinar topic selection is the first step in ensuring that your webinar content marketing funnel is a success. 

Use SEMRush For Researching Your Competitors

Here are 4 quick tips to select a topic for a webinar

  • Do a quick research and find out the biggest pain points in your industry. Then note down some of the ways your company is solving those problems. The final topic should include the following formula – How to overcome (problem) using (closely related strategy of your product or course). For example: Asana is a work management tool, a good webinar topic would be, 5 strategies to improve workforce efficiency without management oversight.
  • If you cannot come up with a perfect topic for your webinar, the second best option is to send an email to your database and ask them some of the topics they would like to learn more about. Create your webinar based on the feedback.
  • Look at other companies in your niche who are hosting webinar. List the topics, and find out gaps in their webinar. Can you create something better, do you want to pick up on 1 or 2 points that they mentioned and cover that for your webinar.
  • If the first 3 points are not enough for your to select a webinar topic, the last tip would be to do a keyword research and select a topic based on the top keywords in your niche.

Step 2: Create The Perfect Webinar Marketing Plan & Execute It

Webinars convert better when the presentation follows a particular blueprint. In order to create the perfect webinar one of the most important component is your value stack. Your value stack determines how compelling your offer stands in front of all your attendees. Anything above a 4% is a great conversion for your webinars. A webinar converting over 10% means that your offer and the targeting is really really well. 

Here are some rough averages from some of our real webinars that we hosted on behalf of our clients. 

  • Webinar Signup Rate – 20% to 54%
  • Attendee Rate- 45% to 72%
  • Webinar To Client Conversion Rate: 3.6% to 14.4% (depending on offer and industry)

When the content for your webinar is ready you need to create a plan that involves getting the most amount of signups possible for your webinar. Signups usually come organically (from your blog, database etc.) or you can invest in paid ads to generate webinar registrants for your upcoming webinar. 

Here’s a quick 14 day blueprint for promoting and reminding about your webinar to your database:

  • Launch all ads at least 14 days before the live webinar
  • Send 4 email reminders to your main prospecting database. The first reminder around 10 days, the next one to those who did not yet register around 5 days away and a final reminder the day before and on the day of the webinar.
  • Retarget your prospects and everyone who visited the landing page
  • Most importantly track all of your metrics and show up to close rate.

Content Marketing Funnel #2: A 3rd Party Qualifier Website That Acts As A SDR For All Incoming Leads

Have you ever heard of a Pay Per Lead Agency? A Pay Per Lead Agency charges you per qualified lead rather than a fixed monthly retainer. These agencies are basically running campaigns towards a 3rd party qualifier website.

Instead of paying a pay per lead agency (a premium for every new lead) you can invest the time and money to create a 3rd party funnel on a separate domain name and buy all the leads at the cost you pay directly to Facebook, Google or LinkedIn Ads. 

So, you must be wondering, how does a 3rd party website work and what kind of lead magnets should I use to generate leads for my business?

Well, there is no hard and fast rule regarding the kind of lead magnet that you should use. 

Let me share an example of a 3rd party qualifier site in the real estate niche that I built for one of my client.

  • First we select a domain name and launch a WordPress blog
  • The blog will cover topics in the real estate space and also feature guides, ebooks, etc. for agents and brokers
  • After posting the first 10 – 15 articles you can expect some organic traction. You can also invest in paid ads to buy traffic if you are looking for results faster.
  • Every page needs to have a call to action (CTA) associated with the content so that your visitors go to a landing page and fill out the form.
  • You can use plugins like OptinMonster to trigger call to actions on various pages and optimize accordingly.
  • After investing in a content marketing funnel for around 10 months or so, we started getting 150+ real estate leads every single month purely from organic traffic. Assuming someone would have charged around $60 bucks a lead that’s a saving of $9000 per month from organic leads plus a better CAC (customer acquisition cost on them).

Content Marketing Funnel #3: A Pillar Post Article Plus Retargeting All Visitors Who Land There

Pillar posts are large form content (like this article that you are reading), which covers a specific topic extensively. Pillar posts help you rank for multiple keywords and search terms. Moreover, pillar posts and guides are perfect for projecting authority in your niche. 

You can use a tool like SEMRush where you can search the topics to write about in your specific industry. 

Here are 3 basic rules to follow when writing a pillar content and driving traffic to it:

  • The topic should focus on a core problem your prospect is facing and how to solve it.
  • The pillar post should clearly project that you know what you are talking about in your industry.
  • Make sure that you have your Facebook Pixel and Google tracking code installed on the pillar post page so that you can create audiences for retargeting.

Steps for launching the pillar post retargeting content marketing funnel

The objective is to deliver value to your prospects using a good blog post and then retarget everyone who read the article with an offer on Facebook and YouTube.

  • Create a custom audience on Facebook for anyone who visits your blog post page. Do the same for Google so that you can use these audiences later when running ads.
  • Both the platforms have minimum number of visitors or tags they need before ads can run. So, instead of waiting for organic traffic run some PPC campaigns and drive traffic to these pillar posts.
  • Once you have enough traffic launch the retargeting ad offering a service that closely relates to the topic you are talking about in your pillar post. Send traffic from the retargeting ad to a separate landing page and then you can either capture their information or go for a funnel-based direct sales method.

The good thing about this marketing strategy is that it works in almost any industry. This content marketing funnel also allows you to build brand authority while driving sales for your business. 

Content Marketing Funnel #4: Retargeting Video Viewers With Value Offer

Retargeting is one of the most effective ways in which you can target your video viewers on Facebook depending on how much of your video they have seen.

This feature can be used to create an inbound content marketing funnel that involves targeting only those prospects that have watched a video.

This content marketing funnel is actually quite similar to the 3rd funnel we discussed in this guide. In fact, there are several ways you can lead with a value video while retargeting those who watched it.

What Topic should You Select For The Initial Video

The initial video that your prospects will see is crucial for this content marketing funnel to work properly. The video should target their pain points and you can even use a call to action right within the video to get all prospects to go to the offer page (even without retargeting).

Here’s how your video should be structured:

  • Start by addressing your target audience and a question that talks about their problem.
  • Then introduce yourself and why someone should be watching your videos in the first place.
  • Talk about the topic extensively, offer a few strategies and tips to combat the burning question you introduced at the start of the video and make sure that you ask them to take some kind of an action at the end of the video.

In Facebook follow these steps to create a custom audience for everyone who watched your videos:

  1. Go To Audiences And under custom audiences select video

2. Select the video you are looking to create an audience for and make sure the duration is at least 50% with total viewers in the past 180 days.

3. Give the Facebook audience a name and use it in your retargeting campaign as an audience to convert them into highly qualified leads.

Retargeting The Facebook Video Viewers To Show My Landing Page

Once your audience is ready (usually takes up to 100 video viewers to start triggering), your new campaign retargeting 50% video viewers should start delivering.

You can run a campaign with a follow up video or simply a straight book a demo type approach following up on your video. Just remember that at this point they have interacted with your brand, so if you can use a face to your company’s message that converts even better.

Content Marketing Funnel #5: Interactive Content Funnels (Quizzes, Calculators etc.) For Your niche

We saved the best content marketing funnel for the last. The reason why I say it’s the best is because it’s a creative way to generate an enormous amount of good leads but you have to invest a bit of money first in order to create this content marketing strategy.

Why Interactive Content Performs Better Than Videos or Text?

Interactive content performs better because the prospect is directly interacting with the content presented on their screen thereby creating a heightened level of engagement.

What Types Of Interactive Content Should You Focus On For Your Business?

The only two types of interactive content that you should be focussing on are quizzes(use Typeform or Tryinteract to create engaging quizzes) and calculators.

Neil Patel uses this keyword research tool to drive leads for his digital marketing business

However, if you can invest the time and money to create tools (calculators, projectors, etc.) for your industry then that would perform even better.

Check out this case study of a content writer who generated 55.8% conversion rate on their quiz funnel.

How to generate leads from these interactive content?

There are two ways to generate leads. Either you can ask for their information before letting them use the tool, or even partial information or you can ask for their information before giving them their result.

The second approach works better in our experience. When you interactive tool is ready make sure you add your tracking codes and start driving paid and other types of traffic to it.

How do I promote the interactive content funnel?

One quick way to generate tons of engagement is to buy traffic to your interactive content. However, you can also try reaching out to other blogs and influencers in your space and ask them if they would feature your quiz with their audience. Finally, tools tend to rank for multiple keywords on Google and other search engines. Make sure that you are referencing your quiz or tool from multiple pages and you should start getting some decent organic traffic within 3 to 4 months.

Summing Up The 5 Content Marketing Funnels

The 5 content marketing funnels that we explained in this guide will definitely help you generate leads that convert into customers. In fact we used these funnels to generate over $2million in revenue for our own clients.

We hope you found this guide useful and if you have any questions please reach out to us. Always happy to help. 

If you are interested in finding out how we can use the power of content marketing to generate leads and clients for your business please to book a consultation call with us.