The Online Marketing Funnel
The marketing funnel is something long since used by marketing and sales departments to ensure that they are maximising every opportunity to promote their products and services, generate leads and convert any leads to sales. In this digital age, a large amount of marketing is carried out online and is ‘fed’ into the funnel alongside offline advertising, and it is then the job of the sales team to nurture leads created by this marketing, and convert them into sales.
Content marketing is a fast growing form of digital marketing, where you distribute interesting and relevant content to online readers with a view to raising your business’s online profile, increase traffic to your site and reach out to potential customers. Many companies are seeing the advantages of content marketing, which is why research from the Content Marketing Institute stated that 55% of all businesses are planning on increasing the amount they spend on it this year. Content marketing in the form of a blog on your site can improve your search engine ranking; by updating your site with fresh new content and incorporating relevant keywords. 57% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead generation, making a high search engine ranking very desirable to generate the highest number of leads.
You can use social media to promote any content. The main general social networks are Twitter and Facebook, but companies that provide products and services that lend themselves to content using visuals are also using Pinterest and Instagram; an advisable move as visuals and videos give a 65% increase in engagement.
Content marketing, as with any form of marketing, can only reel people in, and once people are aware of your product, it is down to your strategic marketing activity i.e., your website, hard copy sales materials and your sales team, to develop awareness into interest and get a customer to actively want something that you provide. You can monitor how your content marketing activity is converting leads to sales; using web analytics will show you how a visitor found your website, which pages were looked at leading up to an online sale and the revenue produced. Visitor level call tracking will give you a similar amount of data about people that visit your website and complete their purchase by phone. The latter can be integrated into your web analytics tools so you can view all your data in one place.
By using these analytics you can monitor the effectiveness of your content marketing. If any traffic you are bringing to your website is not resulting in a sale, it is possible that your content is not appealing to your target audience; those who will be in a position to buy from you. If this is the case then you can look at aspects of your content marketing that you could change, including topics, tone and where you are publishing it, and adapt it to attract your target audience.