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Building an Effective B2B Content Marketing Strategy at Every Stage of the Funnel


July 24, 2023


July 24, 2023

With new competitors popping up each day and macroeconomic uncertainties looming, B2B companies are constantly searching for effective strategies to engage consumers, build brand affinity, and drive conversions and sales. Sure there’s traditional advertising, but that’s not going to cut it in this increasingly competitive online sales landscape. That’s where a solid B2B content marketing strategy comes into the mix.

Content marketing supports B2B efforts at each stage of the buyer’s journey, throughout the sales funnel. At the top, content establishes authority and credibility, and builds brand awareness. Yet it’s just as important at the middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel, where leads turn into customers based on how a company addresses their pain points. 

In this article, we’ll delve into all stages of B2B content marketing, plus explore strategies you can adopt today to capture consumers, nurture leads, and drive sales.

Top-of-Funnel Content Marketing to Capture Potential Customers

Let’s take it from the top. Top-of-funnel content marketing refers to a potential customer’s first touchpoint with a company. It’s the first moment a customer engages with your brand, either by reading an article, hearing your name on a podcast, or searching on Google and seeing your page at the top of the search results. The top-of-funnel stage is called the “awareness” stage and marks the multiple first moments a customer becomes aware of your product or service.

SEO is tightly tied into the top-of-funnel stage of your B2B content marketing strategy. Consumers use Google or other search providers to find answers to their questions and you, of course, want your top-of-funnel content marketing to appear at the top of their search results. But how do you get there? What SEO strategies can you perfect today to nail your top-of-funnel content marketing?

Your top-of-funnel B2B content marketing strategy should include keyword research, high-quality content creation, and the latest SEO best practices

Keyword research 

In order to have an effective SEO strategy, you first need to know what keywords you want to rank for. To do this, think about your ideal visitor and their search intent. What keywords should be most strongly associated with your website? After that, use a keyword research tool (one of our favorites is Ahrefs, but there are also others like Moz, Semrush, and Google Keyword Planner) to find keywords that are related and relevant to your website. Once you have your keywords, think about ways to incorporate them into your website’s copy and content in a way that feels natural. (Keyword stuffing is dead. Search hates it, users hate it, just don’t do it.) 

If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably Googled a question or two (or ten) only to be served a large swath of HubSpot articles. HubSpot dominates the top-of-funnel content marketing game. That’s because HubSpot does a very, very good job optimizing their materials for search in order to have a strong inbound content marketing strategy.

What does this mean? HubSpot knows their target customer is a marketer—specifically, an inbound marketer. So not only is it quite meta that they win the game at inbound marketing, but it’s also crucially important that they appear at the top of Google and YouTube search results for any frequently searched inbound marketing keywords and phrases.

High-quality content creation

Your keyword research is super important for creating content. Not only is high-quality content a free gift to users, it also signals to Google that your website is relevant and frequently producing fresh material, thus an indicator to keep pushing you towards the top of search results. High-quality content can come in many forms. A few ideas to get you started include: white papers, blog posts, and case studies. These content formats show potential customers that your company is an expert in the field of X, Y, or Z and that you can provide solutions to the problems they’re facing. 

Looking for examples of high-quality content? Marketing leader Neil Patel has built a multimedia empire that started with a blog and expanded into Spotify, YouTube, and beyond. He's been successful by sharing high-quality content through multichannel marketing. He went from being featured at the top of Google and YouTube search results, to becoming a trusted industry name.

The changing world of SEO

Google regularly pushes algorithm updates through their search engine to improve search results for users. And as a content marketer, that means the goalposts are constantly changing. Plus, with the dawn of AI, which is helping to develop more advanced algorithms (among other things), the world of SEO as we know it is in flux.

What can your content marketing team do to ensure you’re staying at the top of search results? It’s surprisingly simple—create genuinely good and engaging content. No algorithm update or AI-generated page is a match for genuinely good content. Imagine your favorite book or movie and the reasons you love it; a sloppy alternative will never overpower your desire to read or watch the real thing. The same rings true for SEO and its role in content marketing. While certain elements (time on page, H1s, etc.) are important, the ultimate goal is to showcase the best, most helpful content at the top of search results.

Mid-Funnel Content Marketing to Show Your Product is THE Solution

Once the potential customer has been guided into the top of the funnel and knows that you could hold the answers to their problems, it’s time to bring them to the next step. Mid-funnel content marketing aims to deliver content to users who have already shown an interest in your product or service. Its primary objective is to build trust, educate, address objections, and nurture leads. And yes, mid-funnel content marketing aims to tackle a lot, so it's important that this content packs a punch.

What materials can your company enlist for powerful and provoking mid-funnel content marketing? Some of the most effective content formats for this stage include case studies and email nurture campaigns.

Your middle-of-funnel B2B content marketing strategy should include case studies and email nurture campaigns

Case studies

After a potential customer becomes interested in your product, they’re going to want to know it’s effective. Case studies offer detailed descriptions of how a product or service has solved a specific problem for its customers. It’s your company’s highlight reel—a greatest hits list—that tells prospective customers why they can trust your brand. 

New Relic has a stellar customer case studies multimedia library. Each case study highlights the problem the user had plus the solution New Relic presented—with just enough details for each prospective customer to see themselves in the same circumstance. The best part is that New Relic presents an array of media types to get their point across: in their William Hill case study, the brand features written and video content to highlight the value and effectiveness of New Relic.

Email nurture campaigns

We know what you’re thinking: email marketing is email marketing—not content marketing! But we’re here to tell you that email marketing falls into the content marketing category and here’s why: if done well, it should perfectly align with your content strategy in voice, tone, and goal. Email marketing is used to nurture leads by sending personalized messages and targeted content (see, content!). It often includes resources like blog posts and customer success stories. These are all items that keep the lead engaged and moving along toward their purchase decision.

TheSkimm’s email marketing game is strong—and it better be, as email is their main consumer-facing product. Each of their emails begins with shareable buttons that feed into their viral loops. Each email ends with more shareable buttons. So while you’re receiving welcome emails and subsequent news updates, they’re baking you into their email and content marketing strategy one share at a time.


Webinars are a captivating way to engage your mid-funnel audience plus grow your email list. They provide in-depth and educational content to participants, at no cost to the attendees. This is an opportunity to strengthen your brand’s authority and build trust with your mid-funnel audience. In return, you’re building your email list. Promote your webinar far and wide for maximum signups. This can include a banner on your website’s homepage, paid social ads (i.e. Linkedin, Meta), organic social posts, CTAs embedded within blog posts, and email marketing campaigns.

Note: webinars aren’t just good for mid-funnel—they’re highly effective at capturing top-of-funnel attention, too. By promoting your webinar across multiple channels, you’ll cast a wide net and earn emails through participant signups that you can then nurture through webinars as well as other mid-funnel marketing tactics.

Bottom-of-Funnel Content Marketing That Converts

We’ve made it to the final stage of the buyer’s journey. By now, your target customer understands their problem, is familiar with multiple solutions (including your company), and is actively considering making a purchase. What content will you serve them that leads to that final conversion when they hit the shiny ‘buy now’ button?

Your goal with bottom-of-funnel marketing is to provide your prospect with everything they need to make a final purchase decision. This means highly specific content that addresses any last remaining concerns. You have them right where you want them—get them to convert with these tried and true bottom-of-funnel content marketing strategies.

Your bottom-of-funnel B2B content marketing strategy should include feature/pricing comparison charts and personalized content

Feature/pricing comparison chart

There is (arguably) no greater piece of marketing content than a feature or pricing comparison chart. In this type of grid, you lay out all possible features (highlighting the ones you’re most proud of, of course) with a column dedicated to your company as well as each of its competitors. 

Magoosh does this well. Scroll past their pricing and you’ll come to a grid. This grid shows you how Magoosh stacks up against other options and, of course, they appear to be the strongest option.

Personalized content

You cannot have a successful B2B marketing strategy without personalized content. Without it, you’re leaving your sales teams high and dry in their conversations with prospective buyers. One prospect may be interested in how your company compares to Product X, while another has never heard about Product X but wants to know how your company compares to Product Y. You should have all this content ready for your sales team to pull into calls when needed.

Mailchimp does a lot of things right. (When it comes to marketing, that is. The name itself still confounds us.) On their blog—a great place for any type of content marketing to live from top- to bottom-of-funnel—they offer different feature comparison blog posts. These posts are updated regularly and speak to consumers who are ready to make a purchase but considering two options. Take this post on MailChimp vs. GoDaddy: not only is it highly targeted for prospects at the bottom of the funnel, but it ranks well on Google too—thus doubling down as a mid-funnel content piece for those not yet ready to purchase. 

An effective B2B content marketing strategy encompasses all stages of the buyer’s journey, from top-to-bottom. By now, you’ve ensured your prospects are aware of your brand, nurtured your leads with targeted content, and lastly, filled any knowledge gaps to lead to a confident and informed purchase decision.

Take these tactics and strategies for a spin and see for yourself how your team can start engaging customers better and driving more conversions.

Looking to hone your B2B content marketing strategy to drive conversions and sales? The experts at Right Side Up can help. Get in touch at growth@rightsideup.co.

Meet Rachael, a marketer with over 10 years of experience in driving revenue and user acquisition for startups and established businesses alike. Her approach to marketing starts with deeply understanding users’ pain points and then rapidly experimenting to see what sticks. She has a proven track record of designing and executing successful marketing strategies that deliver measurable results. With a deep understanding of user behavior and data-driven decision making, Rachael has been able to grow user acquisition Her areas of expertise include: marketing channel strategy, user research, conversion optimization, messaging, pricing, email, and social media.

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