The journey to move a prospective buyer to a loyal customer has different phases and paces. Think of this path to purchase as a funnel, with a larger group of potential customers at the top and a smaller group of loyal customers at the bottom. It’s our challenge as marketers to understand this and create content that resonates with consumers at every stage of their buying experience.
Top of funnel content should be Inspirational to increase awareness and interest with an authentic, emotional connection. This content engages the widest number of consumers, aligning with potential buyers that are in the awareness and interest stages of the path to purchase. Inspirational content’s main goal is to create real-life emotions through personal connections, memories, thoughts, and experiences.
Middle of funnel, i.e. Educational content should appeal to those buyers that are in the consideration phase or even in a comparison phase where they’re evaluating one product vs another or one retailer vs. another. This content builds trust with the consumer through valuable educational content that informs by demonstration, instructions, and data. It also helps customers identify potential problems and positions your products or even you as a solution. Your trusted expertise earns their consideration and intent and establishes you as a credible source of information for both new and repeat customers.
Once you’ve made an emotional connection (consumers WANT your product) and established trust, i.e. you’ve driven a consumer down the path to purchase, they are ready to buy. And they’re looking for the best product and/or the best deal to meet the need. Bottom of funnel, or Promotional Content, is used to increase both online and in-store sales. Promotional content resonates with consumers in the evaluation, purchase, and loyalty phases of the buying journey. So it’s focused on conversion and a clear Call to Action.
Remember the 80/20 Rule. The 80/20 Rule states that 20% of content should be self-promotional or “sales-ey” and the remaining 80% should be content that educates, informs, or entertains an audience. Creating a variety of content allows you to resonate with consumers at any point in the path to purchase funnel, eventually leading to a purchase decision.
Inspirational Content Educational Content Promotional Content