Content Marketing Can’t Just Be a Top-Funnel Activity

Content Marketing Can’t Just Be a Top-Funnel Activity

It worked. Our inbound lead machine via The Content Strategist helped make us a top 100 company on the Inc 5000. Chase’s News and Stories answers important finance questions, earning the trust of readers who then apply for credit cards and loans. It’s impossible to be successful at content marketing without helping your audience. The best content marketers have gotten pretty comfortable mastering the top of the funnel. That’s a mistake I made at first—build an audience, earn trust, drive leads. That was my job, and whatever happened after wasn’t my responsibility. Over the past few years, I’ve seen the harsh limits of a top-of-funnel mindset. You need to understand the unique challenge of each prospect and how your company’s offering can fit in as a solution. This challenge of mastering content throughout the customer journey is something I’ll be writing about all year—and talking about in a few weeks.

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Good journalists and good marketers have something in common: They’re obsessed with understanding their audience so they can help people learn something new.

That was the first thing I realized when I left the journalism world to become Contently’s editor-in-chief six years ago. We constantly surveyed our audience in hopes of answering their biggest content marketing questions.

The formula was simple: If we could show people how to create better content and succeed at their jobs, they’d trust us and want to partner with Contently. It worked. Our inbound lead machine via The Content Strategist helped make us a top 100 company on the Inc 5000.

You see the same pattern with every content marketing success story. Marriott Bonvoy Traveler helps people travel and drives tons of bookings as a result. Chase’s News and Stories answers important finance questions, earning the trust of readers who then apply for credit cards and loans. Cardinal Health’s Essential Insights is a go-to resource for healthcare administrators. (Full disclosure: These are Contently clients.) It’s impossible to be successful at content marketing without helping your audience.

The best content marketers have gotten pretty comfortable mastering the top of the funnel. But if we really want to serve our audience, we need to go past it.

The Limits of a Top-Funnel Mindset

One of the…

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