How To Optimize Your B2B Content Marketing Funnel And Generate More Qualified Leads

You’re not generating any interest in your business. Your product page views are low. You can’t seem to land new customers, much less keep them.

Things are starting to feel a bit hopeless.

  • What’s the problem? Well, this might be hard to hear, but it could be your content funnel.
  • What are you doing wrong, though?
  • How do you fix your content funnel problems?

These are great questions to ask. The short answer is: it depends.

See, each stage of the content funnel has a specific goal. These goals correspond with the buyer’s journey. That means each goal has to do with where your audience is in the path to a purchase.

You can’t create content hoping your audience will click through and buy from you. Instead, you need to provide the right content depending on where your audience is in the funnel. That way, you can gain their trust and continued business.

An unreliable customer base means you need to keep churning out more money to land new customers. It’s an endless cycle of losing money.

That’s what this article is for — to help you check and fix your content funnel problems. Knowing how to optimize your B2B content marketing funnel will let you get your audience’s attention and loyalty. Keep reading if that sounds like something your business could use.


Content Funnel Basics And The Buyer’s Journey

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

Your first step is to understand how your content funnel relates to your customer’s journey.

You need to create the right kinds of content and reveal them at the right time. That’s the best way to lead your customers further down your sales funnel.

If you’re not creating content with each stage in mind, you run the risk of alienating your audience. That means you could lose their interest, push them away, or drive them off to your competitors. The last thing you want is to give your customers a negative experience. 

So, be mindful of the stages in your content funnel and your customer’s journey. The alternative could mean losing customers for good.

Here’s a basic breakdown of a typical content funnel. Pay attention to the goals of each stage.

  • Top of Funnel: Awareness
    • Grab the audience’s attention
    • Make them aware of the problem.
    • Introduce them to your brand
  • Middle of Funnel: Consideration
    • Generate leads
    • Nurture leads
    • Educate them about solutions
  • Bottom of Funnel: Decision
    • Drive Sales
    • Make it easy for the customer to buy from you.
    • Support customers

You can see that each stage has a specific purpose. That’s why certain kinds of content are more relevant to the audience depending on where they are in the funnel.

Your goals are to increase product page visibility and build a loyal customer base. Each stage of your content funnel influences those outcomes.

That means your content should lead customers from awareness to sales and retention. The tricky part is figuring out which stage a customer is in.

In the next sections, I’ll break down the top, middle, and bottom of the content funnel in more detail. You’ll learn more about what your content needs to do for your audience at each stage. This will help you recognize problems within your own content funnel and how to address them.

These points will help you reach your goals and develop an optimized content funnel. Once you optimize your funnel, you can shoot for your long-term goals.

Learn how to improve your sales funnel conversions with copywriting here.


Problems At The Top Of The Content Funnel

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

The purpose of your content at the top of the funnel is to generate awareness from your audience. This could mean awareness of a problem, product, or your brand.

Regardless of what you bring awareness to, your audience isn’t always ready to buy your product. In fact, they aren’t ready to buy in most cases. In other words, they’re cold prospects.

So don’t spam potential customers with links to your product page. Your content should introduce them to your brand and answer their questions. 

Start building their trust in you as a reliable source that helps improve their business.

You can start by educating them about specific challenges or pain points they may face. You might even start suggesting your business as a solution. But you can’t suggest it in an obvious way, you have to be subtle.

Let’s use an example to show what your content should do at this stage:

Let’s say your business creates an app called Banana Therapy for small businesses. The app tracks users’ vitals through smart devices and notifies them when they need to eat a banana. 

The notifications will also provide a reason, i.e. needing to lower their blood pressure. Banana Therapy will help users track their condition and help them perform.

In B2B, there are a few ways to increase awareness of your product. The best are SEO, social media, LinkedIn ads, Facebook ads, and YouTube videos. 

You can use these mediums to inform your target audience about how you can solve their problem. These methods will grab the right audience’s attention.

This reaches prospects who wouldn’t have otherwise learned about your offer. They’ll also be more likely to learn more about the problem and start seeking solutions. 

That could lead to a more organic interest in your business and views on your product page. For any business, organic growth and interest are essential.

Blog posts, how-to videos, infographics, podcasts, and reports lead your audience to the next stage.

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

To figure out if you’re having problems at the top of the funnel, try:

  • Measuring monthly traffic rate
    • When does your traffic increase and decrease?
    • Is there any correlation with anything you change?
    • What’s your expected traffic and what’s your actual traffic?
  • Checking website and social media engagement
    • Do visitors check out other parts of your website?
    • Are you getting likes, followers, and comments on social media?
    • Do people share your content?
  • Tracking the amount of time visitors spend on your site.
    • Do visitors leave the site within minutes? Seconds?
    • Do you have any measures in place to keep visitors from leaving?
    • If so, are visitors responsive to those measures?
  • Monitoring your audience’s return visits to your site.
    • How many visitors return at some point?
    • How much time passes before they return?
    • What do they engage with if they return?
  • Re-evaluating your SEO strategy 
    • Are you using the right keywords to rank high in search engines?
    • Do your SEO keywords overlap?
    • Do you use vague or specific keywords?

You can use those points to generate awareness of your product with your audience.

But it’s about more than answering these questions. You need to understand what the answers mean for your business. 

If someone leaves your site within seconds, why? What can you do to prevent that in the future? There’s not a single correct answer, but you can find out by experimenting with different methods.


Problems In The Middle Of The Content Funnel

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

This type of content educates your audience about solutions to their problems. The goal is to turn them into leads.

At this point, your audience is warmer. They’re now aware of their business problems and are researching how to solve them. And they’re more willing to consider your product as a potential answer.

This is the stage where they’re more likely to visit your product page. But it’s important to note that they’re still not ready to buy yet. 

Your content should instead focus on your product’s value to your audience. What can it do for them? What types of benefits do the features provide?

You should provide useful content that shows how your product helps solve problems. The goal is to make them want to find out more about your product.

But remember, one of the goals in the middle of the funnel is to get new leads. Your audience may not be ready to buy from you yet, but they may be more willing to take action. Have your audience fill out a lead form with their email address to access more details. 

Let’s go back to the Banana Therapy example from above. Imagine the CEO of a small business reads your company’s blog posts about the benefits of bananas. Now, this CEO wants to learn more about your app and will visit your product page. 

Your product seems interesting. But that CEO can’t quite imagine what it would be like for all the employees to use Banana Therapy. So they submit their email address through a lead generating form to watch a demo video about your app. 

Congratulations! Now you’ve got a new lead.

After converting your audience into leads, you can contact them through email marketing. You can also use targeted FB ads, retargeted LinkedIn Ads, retargeted Google ads, and SEO.

Once you have leads on your mailing list, you can start building a relationship. You can send them content with more helpful information about your product. You might share reports, white papers, case studies, webinars, video demos, product samples, or a free trial

This is also a great opportunity for your lead to learn about your solution and why it’s best for them. Your lead wants to know why your solution is better than the competition.

To figure out if you’re having troubles at this stage, you can try a few things:

Remember, customers view your product page when they’re in the middle of the funnel. You need to keep them interested in your product. Show how it helps solve their problems better than others. 


Problems At The Bottom Of The Content Funnel

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

The bottom of the funnel focuses on converting your audience into paying customers.  This is after nurturing your leads and building a trusting relationship. Every stage is important, but the bottom of the funnel is where all your hard work can pay off. It’s also where you can lose a lead for good.

Here, your audience is hot. That means they’ve done all their research. They’ve compared solutions and are almost ready to make a decision. Your content at this stage should focus on convincing them to buy from you.

Purchasing is a much bigger commitment than signing up for a mailing list. So make sure your offer eases whatever objections your leads may have. To do so, think about what their concerns could be and how your offer can address them.

Are they worried about the cost? Show them how your offer has helped others make their money back in no time. Do they think it’ll be difficult? Walk them through the steps and show how easy it is.

It’s also important to encourage your audience to take immediate action to buy your product. Allowing them more time to deliberate means they could choose your competitors. Entice them to buy right away.

Let’s see how this works with the Banana Therapy example. Imagine the CEO has narrowed it down to your product and another.

They believe your app can help them improve their business. But they’re still worried about whether the investment is worth it. They might still have one of many reasons to hesitate. Since you’ve already addressed these reasons, you can try something else.

To make your offer more enticing at this stage, try adding in a discount that expires soon. Anything that implies scarcity can push a prospect to take action. The scarcity doesn’t even have to be real.

It’ll also help your case to show what kind of after-purchase support they’ll get. You can use free trials, live demos, consultations, training, and testimonials. 

To figure out if you’re having troubles at this stage, try:

  • Seeing the rate at which you’re not closing sales.
  • Checking if your rate of repeat buyers is low.
  • Customer testimonials and reviews about your product.

Bottom line, your customer worries about what will happen after they buy from you. Provide content that reassures them that they’re making the right choice. Think of any doubt they might have and address it before they can bring it up.

This also shows that you understand your audience. That strengthens their trust in you and your relationship with them.


Loyalty And Advocacy Beyond The Funnel

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

Customer loyalty and advocacy aren’t part of the traditional sales funnel. But they’re important in an optimized content funnel.

Customer loyalty saves you time and money by selling to existing customers. It costs your business more money to generate interest and attract new customers.

You can upsell, cross-sell, and continue selling to existing customers. They provide a more consistent and reliable source of revenue.

Also, it’s a free form of advertising. 

People are more willing to take recommendations from people they trust. If your current customers are happy with the product, they’ll advocate for your business. Word of mouth marketing has always been important. It’s as important, if not more important, in today’s market.

You can use testimonials that support your business. These encourage other prospects to buy from you. Cold prospects can also bypass your sales funnel and buy based on a recommendation.

Maintaining happy loyal customers is an easy way for you to generate more business.

Email marketing, white papers, blog posts, social media posts, videos, and podcasts are the best types of content here.

Loyal customers and their referrals can help save money on generating new customers. So don’t neglect them.

Think about how much you trust a business compared to how much you trust a friend. Some businesses will tell you whatever you want to hear. Friends will tell you the truth and recommend products and services they believe in.

That’s what loyal customers and positive testimonials do. They speak for your business from an unbiased standpoint.


Maintain Your Sales Funnel

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

Now that you know how to figure out where to improve your content funnel, keep checking your progress. Look at every possible angle of each stage and figure out what works.

To do this, determine the right kinds of KPIs for each stage of the sales funnel. This helps you get a better, quantitative view of your progress. That makes it easier to see where to improve and where you’re doing a good job.

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

Here are some examples of KPIs you can use for the top middle, and bottom of your sales funnel:

  • Top of the Funnel
    • Website traffic
    • Organic click-through rate
    • Social shares and engagement
  • Middle of the Funnel
    • Conversions per activity
    • Landing page conversion rate
    • Conversions by content
    • Form conversion rate
    • Visitor to lead conversion by source
    • Email sign-ups
    • Lead conversion rate
    • Source of leads
  • Bottom of the funnel
    • Performance of qualified leads
    • Sales pipeline velocity
    • Sales close rate
    • Return on investment
  • Loyalty and Advocacy
    • Monthly recurring revenue
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Customer acquisition cost
    • Customer lifetime value

Track whether you’re hitting your targets. Then you can see if your content is leading your audience down the sales funnel.

If not, you can narrow down where you need to fix your content with the KPIs you chose from above. Then, you can adjust your content and observe the results.

Repeat this process to keep up with the latest industry and digital marketing trends. Figuring out your KPIs and adopting a standard process is key. It helps you down the road and makes less work for you.

Learn effective B2B content strategies here.


Make A Product Page Customers Want To See

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

Let’s say your sales funnel is good at driving customers to your product page. But what if it isn’t optimized?

That is, what if your product page itself is putting off your customers? It might be hard to tell, but there are ways to tell if that’s the problem.

Try answering: does your product page contain enough information for businesses to make the right decision? 

Are you sure? 

This is important because businesses are already 60% through the buyer’s journey before they decide to contact another business.

So make sure your product page makes it easier for businesses to buy your product. Every prospect wants every step of the journey to be easy. You’re here to help them, not make more problems.

To test the information on your product page, think about what a business wants to know before buying. A well-optimized product page should answer the following questions:

  1. What’s offered?
  2. How will it help my business?
    • What are the benefits?
    • What are the features?
  3. How’s it different from other products?
  4. How much is it?
  5. How do I know it works?
  6. What do users say about it?

Your product page should also make the decision-making process easier for your customers. Make sure it includes:

  • Details, demos, and examples of what it’s like to experience your product.
  • Customer ratings and comments about their experience with the product
  • Useful after-purchase information like instructions, best practices, and product care.

Remember, a good product page can convince the audience to buy and land your business more sales. It should focus on showing an irresistible offer. And it should be easy for customers to take action and buy from your site.

Learn how to write high-converting homepages here.


Resolve Your Content Funnel Problems

How to optimize your b2b content marketing funnel and generate more qualified leads

Now you understand the goals of each content funnel stage and how to detect problems within them. You can use what you’ve learned above to fix those problems. 

The thing is, these strategies don’t only increase your visibility and create loyal customers. They can do much more for your business in the long run. An optimized content funnel will also save time, money, and effort. 

All the content you create should contribute to a cohesive effort that leads customers through your sales funnel. An optimized content funnel will help you attract the right audience. Then you can build their trust in your business and turn them into paying customers. 

Now that you can resolve your content funnel problems, you can generate more reliable revenue. After all, that’s the point of running a business.


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