09 Jan Content Funnel Pathways
Content Funnel Pathways
I hope you said yes, because there are exciting software tools available which can help to optimize the content paths your visitors take on your site.
Next to creating leads through the funnel, it is the building of compelling, engaging content that does the work of moving prospects through your online sales pipeline. And the process of optimizing B2B content experiences, including getting the right messages, and content to visitors, and eliminating friction is what AI software is trying to help you with.
Most companies don’t examine and optimize customer’s website and content experience. It’s a weakness that will become more harmful to your bottom line in 2021. Let’s see how to fix the lame content experience problem.
Drive Value and Sales Momentum via your Content Funnel
Value is delivered via your content. Your content determines visitor progress too. Your customer’s content experience determines their comfort in buying from you. How might you improve it? There are tools and consultants!
At this point, content strategists lay material out manually according to notions, best practices and hunches. That general strategy simply doesn’t cut it today. We need AI software to help test and design a winning sales funnel using great content. Expertise is valuable, and experts are being used to guide the AI solution now.
AI + Content Expertise = Success
In this post, we venture further into a content funnel optimization solution you might consider using. This one in particular from a company called PathFactory, is an enterprise level solution (there aren’t many small business AI marketing software solutions unfortunately). Don’t let that put you off.
Small business will get its opportunity soon, but you will have to begin preparing right now. Waiting passively for a finished cheap solution means you’re last to the party.
AI Content Optimization Software
I introduced you a variety of AI marketing software tools that can help you boost engagement and revenue, from content quality to SEO and sales conversions. All these solutions do the same thing — improve the customer’s path to a sale.
Throughout this blog, I showed that content engagement determines your sales success. Even if your UVP is weak, good content can still save the day. Content communicates value. No one can be sure which type, style or topics will achieve success.
This is why we need tools to help us test and discover which content works and how it needs to be presented. And content change, must be refreshed, and continually optimized to create sustainable leads and revenue.
To understand how content consumption is changing, let’s review PathFactory’s recent content engagement report:
- Digital content engagement increased significantly (views grew 40%) after the COVID-19 lockdown in April, which means competition online has increased too
- Average number of sessions per visitor increased 43% for bingers and 13% for non-bingers
- total content engagement was 7X higher for bingers than non-bingers (fresh content and in-depth content would be in demand). It may be visitors are doing more research, making comparisons, and weighing buying decision much longer.
- B2B buyers and customers visited sites more frequently with 50% less time between (and shorter attention spans)
- The content types viewed most during the pandemic include webinars, videos, eBooks and reports and these are more late funnel conversion items.
“What I love about Website Tools is that it intelligently determines the very best, most relevant content and recommends it for every individual user. It is a dream come true for digital marketing, as it automates a lot of what we are trying to accomplish every day.” — Joseph Puthussery of Cisco.
Has the pandemic changed the typical sales conversion pathway visitors take? Are most visitors further along their purchase process today? Is deeper, more expert level content needed in 2021? Those with good analytics might know the answer.
Why is the Content Funnel Pathway so Important?
The content funnel is a series of touchpoints with visitors where information is collected and decisions are made. If that series of content pieces they consumed keeps the prospect moving forward to a sale, then you’ve found a perfected content funnel.
Today, let’s take a deeper look at one content funnel solution: PathFactory.
Pathfactory has branded a product dubbed the Intelligent Content Platform. PathFactory’s AI driven content solution let’s you pin:
- track visitors content usage and engagement
- use consumption data and content metadata to let visitors resume where they left off last visit
- allows hyper-personalized content recommendations to each visitor
- creates data on customer behaviour to ABM team
- generates a seamless, tailored content journey on each visit that includes all content and web pages
Chris Mandermarel of Pathfactory introduces PathFactory’s website tools and how this helps you power up your content success:
What are Visitors Content Experiences?
67% of respondents said they rely even more on content than they did last year to research and inform purchase decisions — 2020 Demand Gen Report.
Buyers consume a lot of content before reaching the sales team. B2B customers want to be educated so they can make good decisions and feel confident they are recommending the right solution. Education, confidence, trust, and comfort zones all play into whether they will move forward.
But more importantly, are they getting the right content in the order that helps them solve their quest? What is the experience they’re having on your site doing to them?
Some seek and enjoy research and whitepapers, while others prefer customer stories and interesting blog posts, and yet others like videos and webinars. Everyone is different which means most don’t find what they specifically need. And you lose the lead.
Topics, Keywords, Images and more
PathFactory will have to analyze a lot of topics, keywords, themes, CTA’s, images, and more. The topics you choose for your content strategy is very important. We’ll be doing research to find those key, relevant and even viral topics. The software’s tagging feature and analytical reports can help you determine which topics created results. And the content type/format you need to use is important too.
Demand Gen reports on B2B buyers content usage:
Blogs are the most effective lead gen content, but which other content can be satisfying and needs to be next? Is your content path leading visitors to these most wanted types of content?
How do visitors want content organized? It seems logically, but which actually creates more leads? You won’t know until you test the presentation of these content types along these easy to understand pathways. Each prospect is unique. If visitors are left to weed through sections or topics on their own, they’ll get exhausted. They can explore a little, as we want them to feel in control, but they must get to the next touchpoint in their decision process.
If we make their exploration more successful, they’ll feel more energized, optimistic and confident. This way, the content itself doesn’t have to work as hard to persuade. If they like their content experience, they may even bypass some forms of content such as the executive summary, or lengthy videos/webinars and get right to the key points they need to validate.
When B2B customer prospects gain confidence faster, the whole content funnel is quicker and fails less.
Content Engagement is Still the Key Metric
Whether SEO or lead generation, it’s engagement of content that determines end results. When visitors are ideally enthused and immersed in your content, sales funnel velocity increases. So content engagement is the key, not just traffic to your site. And mountains of content isn’t either. It’s getting them to the right content for them.
This is where content funnel optimization and sales conversion optimization software comes in.
Funnel path optimization can help reduce visitor friction, exhaustion, misunderstanding, and build relevance and trust. It’s not just the content (which it can help you discover), it’s the consumption process.
What do Engagement Paths Look Like?
PathFactory can help us discover our high performance content, and what about it that is producing the performance.
Path Factory can help you focus your content and create an optimized engagement path for each customer. If each customer can reach the most relevant content for them, it makes it easier for you to optimize the rest of that engagement path.
It’s all about content engagement today. Vanity metrics are useless. Content marketers can create content tracks and make the visitor’s experience friction free and much more fulfilling. The result is more leads reach you, and those leads are more confident that you have the value proposition they’re looking for.
And ABM sales people rely on lead scoring and content engagement points to identify convertible leads and how to nuture them.
The numbers of ways visitors and leads can be sliced and diced is endless, but PathFactory can help do this heavy lifting for you. Complexity and too much data is the bane of marketers. Pathfactory helps you cut through data you can’t even comprehend. It’s better to leave it to an AI based funnel solution to understand and then serve visitors the right material in real time.
You can’t do real time, only the server computer can. So you actually don’t need to overthink this, because Pathfactory and their account people can help you get things set up properly. It’s a learning process for everyone, and with their help you get oriented professionally.
SEO and the Content Funnel
Do the blogs and SEO affect the rest of the content path? SEO and blogs capture the visit, and lead to key marketing pages or other content that the visitor has to register to receive. And this content is not indexed in Google.
SEO and the deep conversion path are usually two separate things. Even marketing pages, although indexed in Google, are poor performing assets. This is why marketing pages are designed more for conversion purposes and not keyword relevance.
However, the seeds of sales conversion are included in blog posts and social media posts.
And if your funnel optimization software provides insights into what parts of your blogs are creating the most interest, then they can become truly powerful lead gen assets.
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