Are you ready to utilize an organic content marketing funnel in your business? Good — because it’s one of the most powerful tools out there! Paid search and ads are awesome, but nothing beats utilizing organic content to drive traffic to your website, capture people’s attention, and convert users into customers.
It can seem like there are a lot of steps to organic content marketing. Where do you start and how do you end up with sales? Don’t worry, I got your back. I am going to walk you through the 5 stages of an organic marketing funnel. With my guidance and case studies as an example, you’ll be ready to create one for your very own biz!
Step #1: Traffic
The first step of a successful organic content marketing funnel is bringing in traffic. Every funnel needs traffic, and there are lots of different ways to bring traffic into your funnel.
Because this is an organic funnel, I’m going to focus on ways that you can do this without investing in paid ads, but if you really want to ramp up your traffic right away, paid ads is a way to do that. Organic strategies like the ones I’m about to talk about are free, but they typically take a little bit longer to build up. Paid traffic can start working the day that you turn your ads on, but an organic strategy is more of a slow build-up.
The benefit to organic marketing is that your leads tend to be of higher quality (in my experience) and I think that everyone should utilize this strategy in some way, as it’s a great way to connect and engage with your audience in a real way without putting down $$$ for ads.
- 1) Pinterest: This is my favorite one! I love using Pinterest to generate traffic for myself and my clients. My Perfect Pinterest Package is perfect if you’re looking to grow your traffic in this area. If you want to learn how to DIY your own Pinterest management, I recommend checking out Summer Tannhauser, Moms Make Cents, and Twins Mommy, who all have great Pinterest resources!
- 2) SEO: SEO is another great way to bring in organic traffic to your website. SEO can be tricky to master, but it can be super powerful. I do a lot of SEO for my clients with my Perfect Blog Post Package. If you’re looking to DIY your own SEO, I highly recommend checking out Mariah Magazine.
- 3) Social Media: Social media can be tricky to navigate because there are constant changes in the algorithm and it’s not set up as a traffic-generation tool (Instagram wants people to stay in their app – not go to your website). But when used correctly, it can be a great way to generate additional traffic. My favorite social media platforms for generating traffic are Instagram and Facebook.
Step #2: Content
The second step of an effective organic content marketing funnel is…content! A lot of people think of content as just blog posts, but it can also be things like videos and podcast episodes. Whatever type of content you love creating, I do recommend having a page on your website for each piece of that content.
You can do this even if you have podcast episodes or videos! Here’s an example of how Amy Porterfield does this with her podcast episodes. Doing it this way allows you to further capitalize on traffic from Pinterest and SEO, in conjunction with having it available on your podcast or video marketing platforms, like iTunes and YouTube.
It’s always good to have your traffic directed towards something you own — like your website — vs. a secondary platform. That way, you can do things like track your metrics and traffic performance, link to other content on your site from that first one they land on, and promote your lead magnets.
If you hate creating content or don’t know how to convert your audio or video content into a page on your site, you can sign up for my Perfect Blog Post Package so my team can help you do that! If you want to learn how to create amazing content for yourself, I recommend checking out Hailey Dale from Your Content Empire.
Step #3: Opt-ins
The third step to an amazing content marketing funnel is your opt-ins. Getting people to opt-in to your lead magnets so that you can grow your list is c-r-i-t-i-c-a-l! Why is building your list so important? Because email marketing is such a powerful way to make sales.
I’ve primarily used email marketing as my main method of generating sales (I don’t do many paid ads) and I absolutely love it. There are people out there who say email marketing is dead, but I definitely don’t think that’s true and I’ve got the sales to prove it!
To get those sales from email marketing, you’ve first got to get the emails. Creating an amazing lead magnet is really important. You need something that’s going to entice your audience and get them to hand over their email address in exchange for something awesome.
Lead Magnet 411
Your lead magnet is a great opportunity to prime your audience for the future sale. If you can help them solve a problem, it shows your expertise.
But you’ll also want to leave them wanting more or give them some “next steps” that they need to accomplish. They won’t be able to do this without your help. That’s when you can come in and save the day with a paid product that helps them even further!
- If you’re stuck on this step of creating an amazing lead magnet, I can help! My Perfect Lead Magnet Package is a completely done-for-you experience that will leave you with an amazing lead magnet and opt-in landing page.
- If you want to learn great tips on list building, I recommend checking out Vanessa Ryan!
Step #4: Nurture
The 4th step in your effective content marketing funnel is nurturing. This can be done in a variety of different ways. For people who are already in your audience, free content like blog posts, videos, and podcast episodes, as well as social media, all do the job of nurturing. But email marketing is the big one.
I told you I love email marketing, and it’s because email is a fantastic way to connect with your audience and lead them to conversion. Once someone signs up for your lead magnet, you’ve got their attention and you’re in their inbox. This is a great opportunity and prime time for some great nurturing.
The key is not to go directly into the sale — you need to prime them for a little bit longer before they’ll be ready to hand over their credit card. Use the first couple of emails you send to them to warm them up and get them ready for purchase. This is a great time to share your personal story and introduce yourself to them as well.
- I have a package called the Welcome, Nurture, Sales Sequence which is a done-for-you email sequence that triggers right after someone signs up for your lead magnet and, over the course of 8 emails, works to sell them on your offering.
- If you want to learn how to DIY your email marketing, check out Meera Kothand.
Step #5: Sales
The final step is sales! Once you have a nurtured, warmed up audience, it’s time to sell to them. This is another step that can be accomplished in multiple different ways. It really depends on your audience and your offering, but here are some ways you can sell to your audience:
- Email sequences
- Evergreen sales funnels
- Free discovery calls
The main thing that you’ll need for this step is a high-converting sales page for your offering and a method of how you’re going to send traffic to that page. Usually, a combination is best. You can direct people from email sequences, from social, from SEO, from Pinterest. You can also use paid ads if you want to do that, too.
You’ll want to decide if your offering is going to be available all the time, which is evergreen, or only at certain times, which would be an open-and-close type of offering. Then, develop a sales strategy for your evergreen funnel or launches.
If you’re unsure whether your offering should be evergreen or open-and-close, it’s really a personal decision. Both types of sales methods have pros and cons. I prefer to use evergreen for things like services (such as my Perfect Pinterest Package) and lower-priced offerings, such as an ebook or membership program, while I use open-and-close launches for higher-priced offerings, like a course or group coaching program.
Organic Content Marketing Funnel in Action
Now that you understand all of the steps of a content marketing funnel, I’m going to show you an example of how this works in the real world with my own funnel, so you can see it in action!
- Step #1: Traffic — I bring in most of my traffic from Pinterest and SEO
- Step #2: Content — I have blog posts on my site as well as Facebook Lives and I also have a podcast
- Step #3: Opt-Ins — I promote opt-ins in all of my blog posts. My most popular one is my 5-Day Client Challenge
- Step #4: Nurture — I utilize a welcome sequence that introduces myself and shares some of my most popular content
- Step #5: Sales — My email marketing nurture sequence then leads into a sales sequence that promotes my membership, which has a dedicated sales page.
That’s it! As the Systems Queen, I love breaking things down into an easy-to-understand sequence. The organic content marketing funnel has 5 clear steps for business owners to follow. This makes it so much easier to have success in your content marketing. I’ve included lots of links to helpful experts as well as examples of my own work. As always, if you have any questions, let me know!