How To Create a Content Marketing Funnel: The Full Process

Last Updated on Sep 25, 2023

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    Today we’re talking all about content marketing funnels and their use as a tool for inbound lead generation.

    Customers in today’s online marketplace are more clued-in and savvy than ever before. Access to an endless amount of product reviews, breakdowns, unboxings, and comparisons makes it easier than ever to make informed purchases.

    Conversely, it’s far less likely that exisiting customers are going to make a blind purchase on any product of significant value. That’s why it’s more important than ever for your product to stand out and provide a clear solution to users’ problems. 

    Simply having a solid product isn’t enough. You need to find and engage with your target audience, earn their trust before leading them to confidently make a purchase.

    Your sales strategy should lay out a clear, defined path for your existing customers. This is where a good content marketing funnel comes in. Get this one aspect of your sales down, and you’ll create an automated sales machine for your business.

    Key Takeaways

    • A content marketing funnel is a sales strategy that guides customers through the process of learning about, engaging with, and purchasing a product or service.
    • The top of the funnel (ToFu) is about exposing customers to the product and creating awareness.
    • The middle of the funnel (MoFu) is about engaging customers by providing solutions to their problems and building trust.
    • The bottom of the funnel (BoFu) is about converting customers by providing them with the information and incentives they need to make a purchase.
    • To create an effective content marketing funnel, it is important to understand your target audience and the types of content that will appeal to them at each stage.
    • ToFu content should be evergreen and aim to drive customers down to the next stage, while MoFu and BoFu content should be more targeted and personalized.

    What is a content funnel strategy?

    A content marketing strategy lays out a path for customers to purchase your product or service. Peel back the terminology and jargon, and it’s a simple, yet crucial part of all sales and inbound lead generation. 

    Woman holding clipboard with gears representing a complex content funnel strategy & business-related icons.

    The three main steps in a content marketing strategy serve to expose customers to your product, engage their interest, and finally convert that interest into a sale.

    Let’s take a real-world example. Jean runs a cake store. Her business is street-facing and she gets a lot of exposure from foot traffic. Of the hundreds of potential customers passing daily, perhaps fifty are engaged by the delicious aroma wafting out of Jean’s bakery. 

    Of those fifty, let’s say ten customers are sufficiently engaged to enter the bakery and make a purchase. While the above example is intentionally simple, it shows the stages of a content strategy and its importance in creating sales.

    With her low-cost, customer-facing business, Jean’s content funnel sees customers move through in a short timeframe.

    For B2B content funnels, customers are likely to take much longer to reach your bottom of funnel content. More expensive price points and commitments require increased content across all stages.

    The good news is that any successful business already possesses a content funnel strategy whether they’re aware of it or not. The bad news is that if you’re not managing your content funnel correctly, you’re leaving money on the table.

    What are the different content funnel stages?

    Before creating content for an effective funnel, it’s important to understand the different stages and how they work. 

    A real-life funnel is used to transfer liquid from one container to another. The top of a funnel is wide, the midsection gradually tapers inward, and the bottom section of the funnel is a narrow spout.

    Instead of directing liquid, a content marketing funnel directs prospective customers down a path ending in a sale for your business. Just like a funnel, each descending section holds fewer people, with only a small percentage making it all the way to the bottom.

    Content marketing funnel strategy with stages Tofu, Mofu and Bofu leading to a final conversion represented by a dollar sign.


    Top of funnel content is referred to as ToFu. This part of your content strategy is all about exposure and awareness. It’s impossible to get a sale from a customer who doesn’t know about your product. ToFu is where you stand out and grab attention.

    Traditional marketing techniques like blogging, SEO, PPC, social media, viral videos, and educational content are all great ways to get eyes on your product. Cast a wide net by ensuring your top of funnel content is evergreen and drives customers down to the next level.

    ToFu represents the most difficult stage of a content funnel. Providing high-quality, fluff-free content at this stage is essential for a healthy conversion rate to MoFu.


    Mid funnel content, or MoFu, is where you start engaging your customers. At this stage, you start to build a relationship with your customers. Providing a pain-point solution helps build trust and drive consideration.

    Once you have the attention of your customer, you need to show them how your product can solve their problems. Mid funnel content needs to be closely related to your product and provide value for customers.

    How-to guides and ebooks are all useful ways to convert awareness into consideration. Put this info behind a mailing list and you’ll open the way for more directed content such as newsletters and time-limited offers.

    Infographics are a fantastic way to inform your customers about your product. Information conveyed visually is easier for your customer to consume and retain. Forbes reports that 84% of marketers using infographics found them highly effective in driving conversion.

    A business selling horticultural supplies might consider offering a free plant maintenance guide to customers who sign up to a mailing list. Gating valuable content this way allows you to nurture your relationship with the customer and gain their trust.


    BoFu, or bottom of funnel content is the point where engaged customers become paying customers. Customers who make it through the previous stages are aware of your product, interested, and engaged. At this point, all that’s required is a slight push in the right direction.

    With customers on the edge of purchase, producing content with a clear call to action is crucial. Provide an offer they can’t refuse, and make taking advantage of it as easy as possible. Personalized sales outreach, customer success stories, and discount codes all help tip the balance and nail the sale.

    Your content funnel strategy shouldn’t stop with a sale. Retain customers and keep them engaged with customized emails, loyalty programs, referrals, newsletters, and social media posts. Delighted customers who are kept engaged are invaluable, as they act as brand advocates with the ability to generate new leads.

    Tips to create an effective content marketing funnel

    The key to creating an effective funnel is understanding your customer and their needs. By providing them with a valuable buyer’s journey tailored to their specific requirements, you’ll not only be able to secure a sale, you’ll delight your customers. 

    A well-made content marketing funnel turns strangers into prospects, prospects into delighted customers, and ideally, advocates and promoters of your product. Every business needs a unique content funnel strategy, and it’s up to you to choose the right content for each stage.

    "Blackboard with a lightbulb representing creative idea and concept stage in a content funnel strategy, illustrated with speech bubbles and sales-related icons.

    With that in mind, here are a few tips and tricks to consider when formulating your content marketing funnel.

    Float like a butterfly

    Chances are, you’re not going to get your strategy perfect off the bat. Be ready and willing to change and adapt, especially when it comes to producing ToFu content. There’s a huge range of options for this stage, so try a few, see what works and what doesn’t, and pivot appropriately.

    Show me the numbers

    Following on from above, performance analysis and metrics provide feedback for tweaking your content funnel strategy. 

    Use common metrics like time-on-page and take a look at google analytics to see if your ToFu content is hitting the mark.

    Once you have customers in the lower sections of your funnel, use conversion rates and subscription numbers to fine-tune your mid-funnel content.

    Ultimately, sales determine the effectiveness of your content marketing funnel. Actively engage customers at higher levels, nurture interest with authoritative, data-driven mid-funnel content, and increased sales naturally follow.

    Keep ‘em sweet

    Retaining customers is far easier than converting new prospects, so look after your advocates as best you can. Providing post-sales service, consultations, newsletters, loyalty, and referral programs all help cultivate a loyal customer base.

    Continuing to delight your patrons can’t be overlooked. These customers provide further free advertising, expose your product to a wider audience, and generate more leads for your content marketing funnel.

    In addition to the above, let’s not forget retaining customers often leads to repeat purchases. Data gathered by Salesforce shows that 50% of people make a follow-up purchase within 30 days. Fail to engage with your customers post-sales and you may be missing out on future sales.

    Content marketing funnel FAQs

    Keep reading to get the answers to some common queries about content marketing funnels.

    What kind of content should I use for each stage of my content funnel?

    There’s no hard and fast rule for what should be used at each stage of your content funnel. The key is to create content that fulfills the needs of your customers at every level.

    Generally speaking, bitesize, “snackable” content that’s light and snappy is ideal for raising awareness and interest in your product. Social media posts and how-to videoes are great for creating content that’s easy-to-consume for your customers.

    A survey by Wyzowl showed that 96% of customers watched a video for info on a product. 88% of the same customers said that a product or brand video convinced them to make a purchase.

    Mid funnel content is all about making contact with interested customers. Give them something they want in exchange for contact information. Free webinars, case studies, and whitebooks are all suitable for B2B sales, whereas guides, infographics, and how-tos work better for B2C.

    Once you have your customers engaged and interested, your bottom of funnel content now needs to focus on making a call-to-action and converting that sale. Show that your product is superior with customer success stories, reviews, and comparisons. Use limited-time offers, discount codes, and giveaways to make your product irresistible.

    Open hand symbolizing upward progression through stages of a content funnel strategy, leading to successful conversion.

    This seems like a lot, how can I get started?

    Considering all aspects of a content marketing strategy can be overwhelming, so try focusing on just one or two sections. 

    Products at lower price points have customers move quickly through your mid funnel and bottom of funnel content. Work on your ToFu content first and start getting eyes on your product and your funnel filling up.

    If you’re offering a high-cost product or service, working on bottom of funnel content should be your priority. A higher price point means you need to exert more effort to get your customers to give up their money.

    What are the differences between a content marketing funnel for B2B and B2C?

    The difference is where you’ll focus your attention, and how long customers spend in each stage. The overall structure of your content marketing funnel remains the same for both.

    Smaller B2C outfits usually sell their products without the need for direct interaction with customers. This means marketing takes care of the entire funnel system, and the majority of content produced is top-of-funnel content.

    B2B products are generally sold by a combination of sales and marketing. While marketing takes care of ToFu content, it’s more common for a sales team to become involved at lower levels.

    Catch every drop of sales with a content marketing funnel

    Creating an effective content marketing strategy relies on two things. The first, understanding the needs of your customers and providing a product to solve their problems. The second is creating high-quality, engaging content for every stage of your content marketing funnel.

    If you’re interested in learning more, or you need content tailormade for your business, why not get in touch and book a consultation? At Grass Roots Content, we produce carefully curated, premium content that boosts traffic, increases sales, and improves customer retention.