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Content Marketing KPIs

Content Marketing KPIs: Which Ones Do I Track to Identify Real Success? (& How to Track Them)

How do you track your content marketing successes (or failures, to learn from and improve next time)?

It all boils down to tracking the right content marketing KPIs.

Note that we didn’t say all the content marketing KPIs – just the right ones.

You aren’t alone if you’re wondering why some content marketers succeed and others fail.

What makes the difference between the two? 🤔

Is it the volume of website traffic? The number of likes, comments, and shares? Revenue from unequivocal quality content?

All those are examples of content marketing KPIs (key performance indicators). Some matter more than others. If you want success, you need to know which content marketing KPIs to track.

Here are the top twelve that should be at the top of your list. Let’s dive in!

Content Marketing KPIs: Which Ones to Track & How to Track Them Correctly

Why Track Content Marketing KPIs?

The Top 12 Content Marketing KPIs to Track

Content Marketing KPIs for User Behavior

1. Bounce Rate

2. Scroll Depth

3. Time on Page

Content Marketing KPIs for User Engagement

4. Shares

5. Comments

6. Conversations

Content Marketing KPIs for SEO

7. Backlinks

8. Organic Traffic from Search Engines

9. Keyword Rankings

Content Marketing KPIs for Company Revenue

10. Leads

11. Conversion Rates

12. ROI

How Do You Track Content Marketing KPIs? Use These 6 Handy Tools

Content Marketing KPIs Measure Your Success

How do you define real success in the world of content marketing? 🗝️ @JuliaEMcCoy lists down the top 12 content marketing KPIs that you should keep track of to identify if your efforts are producing great results. ☝️ Click To Tweet

Why Track Content Marketing KPIs?

In sports, it’s easy to track success. For example, think of soccer. In soccer, your aim is to get the ball through the goal. One goal equals one point. The team with the most goals wins the match.

But content marketing isn’t that simple. It’s like playing soccer with a hundred goals instead of two. What’s more, when you shoot the ball into the goal, you aren’t sure what score you’ll get. Some goals give you a hundred points while others give you two points.

The key with this type of soccer is first to find out which goals give you the highest points. Then you start putting energy into shooting the ball into them.

This is what tracking content marketing KPIs is all about.

You need to find out which content marketing KPIs are important and give you the highest improvements (scores). Then, you set out to outperform yourself on them.

When you track the right content marketing KPIs, you’ll start winning in content marketing.

Why bother tracking content marketing KPIs? 🕵️ Getting to know which KPIs perform well gives you an idea of how you can further boost them. It's also good to know which ones badly need a strategy makeover. 🔨 Click To Tweet

The Top 12 Content Marketing KPIs to Track

These 12 content marketing KPIs are your safety net and formula for success. Let’s dive in!

Content Marketing KPIs for User Behavior

First of all, let’s look closely at content marketing KPIs that show you how users interact with your content.

1. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the number of visitors who view only one page of your site. It’s one of the top content marketing KPIs because it tells you what visitors feel about your content.

Here are 5 reasons visitors click on your site, scan it, and immediately click the back button.

  • Your content is boring.
  • Your paragraphs are too long.
  • Visitors can’t find what they’re looking for.
  • Your site isn’t user-friendly.
  • Your writing style doesn’t fit user needs.

For example, if you’re a user and you find this as the opening paragraph of a blog?

Source: Grammarly

You’ll most likely run for the hills with your go-to back button.

The more visitors click the back button without visiting any other pages on your site, the higher your bounce rate will be.

So what’s a good bounce rate? According to The Daily Egg, it depends on what industry you’re in. However, a good rule of thumb is to keep your bounce rate below 70%.

2. Scroll Depth

Scroll depth is one of the content marketing KPIs that’s closely related to bounce rate. Scroll depth indicates how far down the page your reader goes before leaving.

What causes a reader to leave your page halfway through reading it? Mostly, it’s when you don’t follow through with the promises you made in your headline.

For example, maybe your headline looks like this.

Source: Have The Relationship You Want from Rori Raye

This headline makes one promise: After you read the article, you’ll know the secret to winning the man of your dreams. Forever.

Now, what if you’ve reached the halfway mark and you’re nowhere near discovering this secret? You guessed it. You’re going to click back.

The point where you stopped reading is your scroll depth.

Keeping track of your readers’ scroll depth will help you figure out exactly where your content stops working. This is one of the content marketing KPIs you can rely on because it helps you measure the success of your content.

3. Time on Page

As the name suggests, time on page refers to how long users spend on your page. Using this valuable content marketing KPI, you can tell what your readers feel about your words.

According to Capitalize My Title, it takes an average of 1 minute to read 300 words.

Now, if your blog has 1,500 words and your reader spent only 2 minutes on it? That’s right. He didn’t read everything.

What you need to track is reader time on page corresponding to how many words your post has. If readers are clicking back after less than a minute but scrolling to the end of the page? They’re scanning your headings but not devouring your content.

As a valuable KPI for content marketing, time on page shows you if readers are loving your content or not.

Content marketing KPIs for user behavior include 🔙 bounce rate, 🖱️ scroll depth, and ⌛ time on page. Know what each KPIs are in this post by @JuliaEMcCoy 📝 Click To Tweet

Content Marketing KPIs for User Engagement

When anything is inspiring, controversial, or new, it will be talked about. This is why user engagement is one of the huge content marketing KPIs to keep track of.

4. Shares

You need to keep track of how often your content gets shared on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Shared content is one of the biggest content marketing KPIs in 2019 because of how big social media is.

To give you an idea, take a look at how popular social media is today.

You need to track this content marketing KPI religiously because, in social media, it’s plain difficult to stand out.

For example, take Facebook. Facebook users are bombarded daily with distractions. There’s instant messaging. Inspiring quotes from friends. Posts from an ex. Photos of a rival’s latest vacation. If your content can compete with all of these and get shares? That’s right. Your content is beyond juicy and delicious.

Here’s an example from Bright Side called 10 Things We Don’t Appreciate Until Life Slaps Us on the Face.

It’s easy to see why this post got 1,700 shares on Facebook. It’s innately human, relatable, and despite being sad, strangely hopeful.

Want to learn the 11 top skills for becoming a top-notch content marketer? Download our Profitable Content Marketer Cheat Sheet here!

5. Comments

Comments on your posts are huge content marketing KPIs because they show that users consider you worth their time.

Let’s take a look at this example from English Literature’s Facebook page.

Source: Facebook

As you can see, the post has only 381 comments compared with 27,000 reacts and 9,900 shares. Why is that?

It’s simple. Composing, editing, and posting a comment takes more time and energy than liking and sharing combined.

So if people are commenting on your posts, sharing their insights, and asking advice? You’ve nailed it with this huge content marketing KPI.

6. Conversations

In content marketing, conversations refer to how you talk to your prospective clients. This includes live calls, chat, discount coupons, and more.

Conversations are important content marketing KPIs because the buying process has drastically changed over time. Buyers are now more informed, skeptical, and careful. They can no longer be bullied into the traditional 4-stage sales funnel that worked wonders in the 20s.

Instead, they go through the marketing lifecycle. Part of this lifecycle is finding value in products and services, asking questions, and getting the right information. When you have experts standing by to talk to prospective clients, you can get a 60%-80% conversion rate!

If you carefully take care of your conversations as vital content marketing KPIs, you’ll win over brands still relying on the outdated sales funnel strategy.

Content marketing KPIs for user engagement include 📨 shares, 🗭 comments, and 🗣️ conversations. Know what each KPIs are in this post by @JuliaEMcCoy 📝 Click To Tweet

Content Marketing KPIs for SEO

7. Backlinks

Backlinks are essential content marketing KPIs.

To understand this, let’s look at what backlinks do. Check out this image from Moz.

As you can see, website A has a link to website B. There are a number of reasons why one website links to another.

  • It makes a site more valuable as a resource.
  • It encourages engagement with other sites.
  • It sends out trackable traffic.

So if other sites are linking to you, what does it mean? Simply, it means they trust you. You have vouch-worthy, high-quality content and a good standing online.

Backlinks are essential content marketing KPIs, but make sure yours are high-quality and not black hat SEO links.

8. Organic Traffic from Search Engines

Another great content marketing KPIs to watch is organic traffic. When you get a ton of traffic from search engines, you’re doing something right with your content.

Take a look at this pie chart from Conductor Spotlight.

Since 64% of traffic comes from organic search, it’s a good idea to keep your Google ranking high.

However, even if your content is good, it won’t obtain a high ranking on search engines if it isn’t optimized correctly. To pull traffic into your site from search engines, you need quality content plus cutting-edge search engine optimization (SEO) practices.

Want to learn how to rank highly on Google through stellar SEO writing? Download our SEO content writer cheat sheet here!

9. Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings are content marketing KPIs closely related to organic traffic. What to look for is how many keywords your content is ranking for on Google. To do this, you can use great software like Google Analytics.

Content marketing KPIs for SEO include 🖇️ backlinks, ⛖ organic traffic, and 🏎️ keyword rankings. Know what each KPIs are in this post by @JuliaEMcCoy 📝 Click To Tweet

Content Marketing KPIs for Company Revenue

10. Leads

Leads are potential clients who come to you via a lead magnet. In short, users exchange their personal information and e-mail addresses for a freebie you offer.

Here’s a popular lead magnet from International Living.

Want to know the world’s top 10 havens for retirement? All you need to give is your e-mail address. Sounds like a good exchange! This magnet provides International Living with leads and a growing e-mail list.

The more leads you have, the bigger your chance of growing your brand. This is why you should track your leads as essential content marketing KPIs.

11. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is one of the best KPIs for content marketing because it shows how compelling your content is. Conversion happens when you tell users what to do and how they do it.

Take a look at Great Escape Publishing’s homepage.

Source: Great Escape Publishing

Who doesn’t want to travel the world while creating a full-time income? Users are curious and click find out more. A percentage of them will buy a photography or travel program. This percentage is the conversion rate to watch out for when tracking content marketing KPIs.

12. ROI (Return on Investment) 

ROI refers to the revenue you get minus your total investment. For content marketing, it’s how much you earn minus writer pay, the cost of hosting your website, and other expenses you incur in business.

Source: Business 2 Community

When tracking ROI, take into account the required expenses to get quality content. Then, note how such content is performing. Does it bring in higher revenue than expense?

For example, take a look at this chart.

Stellar content works like this. It builds momentum. As can be seen in the chart, the cost per lead dropped 80% in five months because of the high revenue the content brought in.

Content marketing KPIs for company revenue include 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 leads, 🛒 conversion rate, and 💰 return on investment. Know what each KPIs are in this post by @JuliaEMcCoy 📝 Click To Tweet

How Do You Track Content Marketing KPIs? Use These 6 Handy Tools

After learning about the essential content marketing KPIs that you need to keep track of, the question now is: how do you exactly find these?

It’s easy. You can rely on the tools already provided for free by Google and the social media platforms you’re using. You can also go for paid tools if you need some extra help to easily track and understand these data.

Here are six practical tools you can use:

1. Google Analytics

Checking Google Analytics is the fastest way to get an overview of your site’s performance – the blog posts that are getting the most traffic, page views, bounce rates, traffic sources, and more.

2. Facebook Page Insights

If you’re curious about the shares, likes, clicks, reactions, and comments your posts receive on Facebook, you can simply use its free Facebook analytics tool.

Besides measuring your Facebook page’s performance, you can use this tool to know more about your audience’s demographic data, which is important if you’re trying to build a new buyer persona for your content strategy.

3. Twitter Analytics

For those who are actively sharing content through Twitter, checking the social media channel’s analytics page is a must. Access Twitter’s activity dashboard, and you can find the detailed number of retweets, follows, replies, and link clicks on your Twitter page.

You can also easily check your page’s performance through mobile.

4. SEMrush

You may have already read about SEMrush several times in our blog as a highly recommended SEO tool for keyword research.

However, its usefulness doesn’t stop there. With SEMrush, you get to see updated metrics such as your site’s visits, unique visitors, bounce rate, visit duration (time on page), backlinks, traffic sources, traffic cost, top pages, keyword rankings, and more. Get to see most of the important content marketing KPIs in an instant – all in one place.

5. BuzzSumo

BtuzzSumo can monitor engagement across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit. With BuzzSumo’s Content Analyzer, you can get a list of your best-performing content in a certain period of time just by typing in your domain in the search box. It also lets you know the number of engagements for every major social media platform.

Moreover, BuzzSumo’s Monitoring feature is something you shouldn’t ignore. It can search for your brand’s linked and unlinked mentions, which shows you the brands and influencers that you should build relationships with.

6. The Content Marketing Trifecta Equation

If you are dealing with clients, executives, stakeholders, and business partners, you’ll know that sometimes it’s best to go straight to the point and provide them what matters most in the content marketing KPIs of company revenue: ROI. In this case, you’ll need to look for the average rates of earned traffic, leads, and sales. These three will serve as the benchmark numbers needed to compute the ROI associated with conversions from content marketing.

The Content Marketing Trifecta Equation helps you estimate how many leads and sales you can expect to see per month using content marketing. We actually used this equation in our own blogging ROI case study.

  • Monthly Visitors x 16% Organic Traffic to Lead Conversion Rate = X Leads/Month
  • X Leads/Month x 14% Lead to Sale Conversion Rate = X Sales/Month

Take note that the “16% Organic Traffic to Lead Conversion Rate” is the current average rate for converting organic traffic to leads across industries, based on a MarketingSherpa’s 2013 SEO Marketing Benchmark Survey. Moreover, studies show that leads generated from SEO have an average close rate of 14%, thus “14% Lead to Sale Conversion Rate” is used in the equation.

Learn more about how you can compute and explain the ROI of content marketing in this infographic.

How do you track content marketing KPIs? 🕵️‍♀️ Some of the most practical paid tools you can use include SEMrush and BuzzSumo. But there's also free to use tools like Google Analytics and your favorite social platform's analytics page! 🧮 Click To Tweet

Content Marketing KPIs Measure Your Success

Keeping track of these 12 KPIs will show you if you’re succeeding or failing in content marketing. Not getting good results from one or more indicates serious trouble for your brand.

On the other hand, if all 12 are performing well, you can sit back, relax, and celebrate a little. But don’t forget to get back to work tracking them once the party’s over.

You need content that converts to take your KPIs to the next level. Visit our content shop to get it.

content marketing and sales funnel

How to Connect Your Content Marketing to the Sales Funnel (Without Being Sleazy & Turning Off Your Audience)

Here’s a truth for all content marketers: connecting your content marketing to the sales funnel is easy to ignore, but important to do.

You need a sales strategy for your content if you’re trying to generate brand awareness, increase engagement, or sell more products or services from the content you publish.

Have you heard about my all-NEW writing course? We’re about to open enrollment! See more here.

And now, to continue my habit of staying brutally honest with you, here’s a second truth when it comes to content marketing and a typical sales funnel…

  • Written online content, when done well, is valuable, relevant, and attractive to your leads (a.k.a real humans)
  • Many “sales funnels” are sleazy, downright annoying, and sometimes paint a false picture just to gain your money

So, today, we’re not talking about the sleazy kind of funnel built inside of software with a surrounding campaign of 15 annoying emails and a “timer” on your money. (See my vlog on the Content Strategy & Marketing Course site to learn just how anti- sleazy sales funnel I am.)

We’re talking about the physical strategies behind attaching your content marketing to sales.

This sales funnel is critical. Having a low or zero connection from your content to sales can mean low or no sales. And that’s something you (or/and your boss) definitely don’t want to experience after investing in and publishing content.

Never fear, we’ve got you covered today with a new, engaging way of looking at how content marketing drives sales, sure to help you achieve your marketing goals.

Ready for the big reveal?

content marketing and sales funnel guide

The Bucket List: 3 Way to Stronger Sales Through Content

Who doesn’t love a bucket? Buckets are fun!

You can fill them with sand at the beach to build a sand castle, use them to carry your shampoo into the shower, plant them with flowers, or use them in any number of creative ways to enhance your life.

But in content marketing and sales conversion, buckets are critical.

Using our unique three-bucket strategy to fill in your online strategy and built a well-developed intricate castle of content will help supercharge your sales and boost your content’s ROI. Read my full post explaining the three-bucket topic strategy.

Each bucket represents a goal you need to achieve for outstanding keyword research and online content success.

Three-bucket topic strategy

As the image shows, you’ll want to work on filling your buckets with strong content for three main goals:

  • SEO rankings
  • Sales and connections
  • Brand awareness

This is the step that most brand strategists gloss over in a hurry to get out there and start creating content.

But skipping the bucket step would be a mistake.

This is the foundation for your content marketing sales process and the one that’s going to make sure your return on investment (ROI) is sky-high.

Let’s look at it this way.

According to Wolfgang Digital’s 2017 report on e-commerce, the average conversion rate was 1.56%.

That means in order to get high ROI content out there, you must assist your visitors at every lifecycle stage — even the one that comes before the funnel!

So, let’s see what we should put in each of our buckets.

Discover a new, engaging way of looking at how content marketing drives sales that is sure to help you achieve your marketing goals in today's blog via @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Bucket #1: SEO Rankings

At this stage, you’ll want to fill your bucket with all the keywords you want to rank for.

three-buckets-goals-for-setting-ROI-1-circle

You don’t have to be super-focused, but you do want to have a good understanding of keywords that are hot in your industry.

Want to learn the ins and outs of SEO content writing? You need to check out my new writing course!

After you get a solid number of keywords, you can fill your bucket to the brim by including broad match or broad stem keywords for this task.

Broad stem keywords are relevant variations of your keywords that will help your website attract more visitors.

They’ll also save you time on building lists of keywords before you get a good persona in place (more on that later).

These keyword variations include singular and plural forms, synonyms, stemmings (such as make and making), related searches, and even possible misspellings.

You can generate these on your own or use a Keyword Variation Tool, as shown below.

Once you’ve filled this bucket, move on to the next step.

Bucket #2: Sales and Connections

Here’s where you start to delve into the area where sales and content marketing become fully integrated.

This is where you’ll build the kind of engagement and connections that drive sales and keep clients coming back for more.

Take time here to focus on how you’re going to build trust. To do this, you can put a wide variety of things in this bucket, including:

  • Company announcements and product reveals
  • Interviews with top influencers
  • Spotlight on how your employees work as a team
  • A case study focused on customer success
  • Customer-focused interviews or articles

There’s really no end to this kind of content that focuses on developing a personal relationship with your prospects.

A personal relationship is going to give a tremendous boost to brand awareness — which brings us to the final bucket.

Bucket #3: Brand Awareness

This is one big bucket.

Brand awareness helps your content generate more sales leads per impression and leads to enduring customer loyalty, which then translates into repeat business.

In fact, working hard on determining how to fill this bucket properly ensures you’ll get the maximum Lifetime Value (LTV) from your customers.

In a nutshell, LTV represents the amount of money generated by a customer over their lifetime.

The screenshot from smile.io shows an easy way to calculate this for your business. You start with the first calculation:

Then build on it, for the final figure:

But, to get high LTV, you need to boost loyalty. To boost loyalty, you must become a resource that your customer trusts.

You can increase loyalty through a number of tactics, including:

  • Outstanding customer service (and content that promotes it)
  • Rewards and loyalty programs
  • Customer content marketing that focuses on trust-building

A great example of a company that wows in the loyalty department is Apple.

Apple has filled their third bucket with extensive brand-awareness-focused content that perpetuates their stronghold on owners of their products.

In fact, their brand awareness campaign is so effective that 59% of iPhone owners responding to a survey claimed they bought their phone out of “blind loyalty.”

As this screenshot demonstrates, die-hard Apple customers buy Apple products — no matter what.

Now that’s the kind of loyalty — and sales — you want your content to generate.

This is only possible by building a strong pre-funnel strategy that will help your content follow your customers, hand-in-hand, guiding them through the sales funnel.

Now that you’ve gotten a broad outline of what you need to know before you even consider building a sales funnel, you’re ready to move from the bucket to funnel itself.

If you want more details on how to develop a strong three-bucket topic strategy — and a sales-producing funnel — visit my comprehensive course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course.

The 4 Fundamentals of the Content Marketing Funnel

Sales and marketing are not only about crunching numbers and researching tactics. They’re dynamic and ever-changing – just like your audience.

And there’s no reason that content marketing that drives sales, even for dry, data-heavy businesses — can’t be creative and out-of-the-box.

In a word, fun.

As Pratik Dohlakiya of Copyblogger so aptly put it:

There is no boring content, only boring content creators.

The idea of creating content brings us to the very top of our funnel – the widest part.

Before you peek over the lip of that funnel, though, you’ll want to tackle the most critical task for this segment — finding your audience.

1) Build It So They Will Come

You want to build your funnel so that your audience is irresistibly drawn to take the next step in the customer’s journey — the journey that will lead them directly to your product or service.

The first step in this journey is a doozy — and it’s one of the most interesting and fun parts of how a sales funnel works — determining who your audience is.

Unfortunately, it’s one of the most often-missed steps in building a content marketing funnel that converts.

So, how do you figure out who you’re creating content for and connect them to sales?

You build a persona. The one, below, is from xtensio.

A persona is a conglomeration of attributes that make up an “average” member of your target audience. It includes demographic and psychographic elements.

But here’s the thing — even those content marketers and brand strategists that make it this far often use outdated information for their persona.

Don’t do it.

Don't rely on an outdated persona. Get out there and interact with your real audience. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Get out there and interact with your real audience. Explore forums and chat rooms. Meet them in person. Ask them questions on your website. Develop surveys to find out what makes them tick.

Then — and only then — can you create marketing content that leads to sales.

Examples of great content marketing formats for building brand awareness are:

  • Blog posts
  • Long-form content
  • Guides
  • Interactive content
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Courses
  • Email newsletters

Want a real-world example of persona-centered marketing content?

You’re reading it right now.

At Express Writers, we’re not trying to only sell you a service or two in our blog posts.

We truly want you to succeed at content marketing and build an awesome sales funnel that drives traffic better than a cowboy moves Longhorns down Exchange Avenue.

Because – surprise! – that will actually prepare you to be a great client when you come our way. 😉

But, if you ever get stuck creating or need more content than you can generate, we hope that you’ll see us as a knowledgeable source of crazy good writing.

You know, the people who know so much about the realm of content marketing that you won’t have to waste time — or money — telling us how to do it.

Anyway, enough about us. So, now, you’ve defined your customer and created an entire array of targeted content just for them.

It’s strong. It’s sturdy. It’s a houseful of authoritative content.

They’re interested in you.

You’ve demonstrated your authority and they feel comfortable relying on you for accurate information on what moves them.

Time to squeeze down into the next funnel level, pulling your audience even closer to you. Think of it as a content marketing bear hug.

2) They’re Here — Now What?

You’ve got your audience thinking hard about what you offer.

But buyers are taking even longer to educate themselves before making a sales decision, so don’t rush things here.

They already buy into your authority, but now you want them to really focus on the ways that you stand out from your competition.

Often called the “consideration” phase, this time period is the perfect opportunity to publish hard-core authority pieces like how-to content, tutorial videos, and even case studies where your product or service was able to help someone just like them.

I say, “and even case studies,” but I mean, “You should really think about using case studies.”

Here’s why. In an RSW/US survey of US agency executives, client case studies and website-resident content marketing were most often used promotional tactics for generating leads, with 62.6% of respondents using them with success.

Influencer Neil Patel would agree, as he claims to have increased his ratio of deal closings by 70%. In fact, he says sales grew 185% overall by testing three case studies on his site.

If case studies don’t seem like a good match for your business, don’t sweat it. This is supposed to be fun, remember?

Besides, a brief customer success story with statistics can make a great mini-case study.

Like this one:

If you don’t have any testimonials, dig deep into product benefits and create some content that showcases them.

Put yourself into your customers’ shoes and ask:

“What would make me buy this product/service?”

Then, create content that helps them reach the decision that they need your help.

Put yourself in your customers' shoes and ask, what would make me buy this product or service? @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Think interactive (fun!) content, as it packs more punch.

This kind of content, which can include quizzes, configurators, apps, assessments, and more generates conversions at 70%, rather than the 36% seen with passive content.

And, let’s face it. Interactive content boosts the fun factor on your website — and boosts sales and engagement as well.

There are easy ways to create stunning infographics and interactive content without having to spend hours searching images only to end up with something that looks cobbled together.

Here’s a link to some of those tools. You’re welcome!

And here’s an example of a piece of fun, interactive content made up by Orbitz to appeal specifically for their business traveler persona.

Remember, you can still be picking up cues regarding pain points at this point of the funnel.

This isn’t the time to be shy — step right up and tell your clients how your strategy can help them tackle their pain points and problems.

During this phase, you’ll start narrowing your focus, honing your product or service down to its most important attributes.

This narrowing process further squeezes your audience through the funnel, weeding out the tire-kickers and ho-hum shoppers and leaving you with a core group of hot prospects.

Now, the real fun begins! Ready?

3) The Big Finish: How Content Marketing Leads to Sales

Your audience is primed.

They know they’re interested in what you’re selling — you just need to offer them a bit more content to get them to take the final step in the sales funnel — conversion.

You finally get to make a direct pitch.

It’s the place that puts the “sales” in “sales funnel.”

Here, you can show how your products or service clearly help your clients solve their problems by outlining your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) as clearly as possible.

This is the perfect place to put all those glowing testimonials, video clips of satisfied clients, and screenshots of online reviews. Like this one:

And don’t forget a clear call-to-action (CTA).

For content marketing to increase sales, you must include direct requests for customers to purchase, click, download, or engage.

Don't forget a clear CTA with a direct link to a clear action. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

4) The Fun Never Ends — How to Increase Retention and Sales with Content Marketing

Strong relationships with your customers are not only fun — they’re profitable.

Strong relationships with your customers are not only fun - they're profitable. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

While you a new customer might buy something 5% of the time, a repeat customer will make a purchase 60%-70% of the time.

That translates into higher ROI, so repeat customers should be a goal. This picture from smile.io gives you another way to look at it.

There it is. The more customers buy — the more they buy!

And there are other things you can do at this stage to improve ROI.

For example, even if you reduce customer loss (when your customers decide to stop doing business with you) by just 5%, you will increase revenue by 100%.

And marketing costs? Check this out — a customer retention rates of just 2% more translate into 10% less cost in marketing.

Now, that’s ROI in action.

And when you’re learning how to design a sales funnel, it’s the cherry on the top, or in this case, the bottom, of the funnel.

Content you create for your die-hard fans is some of the most rewarding of all, a nice way to celebrate helping your clients achieve their dreams and solve their problems.

Examples of content that drives loyalty includes:

  • Special offers
  • Email outreach
  • Insider tips and tricks
  • Special offers
  • Customer support and help documentation

And what’s totally cool about this final process is that through learning more about your audience through outreach and support, you’re adding to an environment where sales and content marketing become fully integrated.

Because the new pain points and problem areas you discover through outreach will allow you to create even more targeted content that can drive future sales.

This screenshot from Wordstream says it all:

Your outreach may even touch a nerve for some of the clients you lost in the middle of the funnel and sweep them back along for the ride.

From Bucket to Funnel: Your New Roadmap for a Content Marketing Sales Cycle that Performs

Now you’ve got a new, exciting way to guide your visitors through your sales funnel with dynamic, proven content marketing strategies.

Take these tips and individualize them to your process for best results!

If you want to really dig deep into how to create — and deploy — this kind of sales-producing strategy, visit my comprehensive courseThe Content Strategy & Marketing Course.

You’ll find everything you need to know laid out for you in brilliant detail to make getting sales-funnel savvy easy — and of course, fun!

Don’t let an uninspired content marketing and sales funnel interfere with getting the highest ROI possible — learn to create content and planning for all stages of the customer sales funnel lifecycle and watch your business boom.

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