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Guiding User Buying Decisions by Creating a Content Funnel

Ryan Parlee

By Ryan Parlee

There are many ways to consider the types of content that will be most effective for your site. We’ve written before about content that will drive search traffic.

But, what about following the consumer’s purchase decision?

This is an easily-overlooked strategy that can sometimes cost brands business as they drop the ball during critical stages in the shopping process.

Consider how you, as a consumer, go through different stages of discovery and evaluation. Your decision probably follows stages that look a lot like this:



Many brands create content aimed specifically at the second phase, Evaluation. They have loads of content about their products and services. They detail specifications, timing, rates, dimensions, and any other minor detail that a consumer could possibly ask for. And, this is great in many ways.

But, it’s only part of the picture.

Consider, as well, where consumers may find content that compares your products and services to their competitors, or content that will ultimately push them to make a purchase decision.

There are many different types of on-site and marketing content that consumers rely on throughout their decision-making cycle. Take a look at this revised graphic that shows which types of content may work best for each stage of the funnel:



A comprehensive content strategy will account for all of these stages and provide the right content to the right users at the right time.

When evaluating your content, it’s also important to consider who may be looking at each piece of content. Where are they in the buying process? What is a logical next step for them to take that will move them closer to a purchase decision?

When you consider the entire scope of content from the perspective of a consumer, it’s easy to understand how your various content assets should work together to help move people through the funnel. It also ultimately informs your design; decisions about which elements should exist on which pages should be the product of a site-wide content strategy that considers all of these factors.

Is your brand creating content that helps guide potential customers through the entire purchase decision? Create an inventory of your content and ask yourself which stage of the buying cycle each of your content assets supports, then fill in the gaps.

Top image via Flickr user Calsidyrose.

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