April 14, 2020

3 Keyword Research Strategies to Identify Bottom-of-the-Funnel Content Ideas

If you're working on your content strategy it's easy to get overwhelmed.

You'll have questions like:

  • What type of articles should I write?
  • How can I find new article ideas?
  • Are these blog posts even helping my bottom-line?
  • Is this all a waste of time?!

Well, that depends.

Your content marketing is a waste of time if it doesn't generate business results.

You need your content to work for your business and bring in new customers.

It's time to stop thinking about your content as a lever for traffic.

Traffic doesn't hurt, but traffic alone doesn't pay your team's salaries.

Align your content marketing goals with business goals, and you'll be able to consistently generate new leads and grow your revenue.

In this article, I'm going to walk you through why you should be focusing on Bottom-of-Funnel Content (BoFC).

By the end you'll understand how and why you should care about it, and have a clear actionable way to generate new content and keyword ideas.

Let's jump straight in.

What is Bottom-of-Funnel Content?

Bottom-of-the-Funnel Content is content that's focused on driving conversions rather than traffic.

It's designed to attract buyers who are actively in-market and ready to make a purchase.

It can be used to drive organic traffic, or even distributed by your sales team to prospective leads.

Bottom-of-the-funnel content is perfect for B2B businesses with tech-savvy buyers who want to engage with decision-makers through content.

In this article, I'll also refer to "bottom-of-the-funnel" as BoF for the sake of brevity (if you had to read it in full every time I was referring to it, you'd get tired of this article pretty quickly!).

Why Should B2B Brands Focus on Bottom of Funnel Content?

If you're new to content marketing it's tempting to target high-volume, broad keywords because the numbers look good.

"Best WordPress Plugins" is an example of a keyword that looks attractive at first, but it's so broad that there is no direct purchase intent behind it

The problem is, everyone else is thinking the same thing.

High-level keywords end up being super competitive, so if you build a content strategy around them you're probably not going to rank for them for at least 6 months unless you can have hidden superpowers.

Every other brand is creating content targeting these top-of-the-funnel keywords, so you end up with search pages full of similar, copycat articles, and the brands who have been around the longest generally end up in the top positions.

If you're a smaller B2B brand, you don't have to follow the crowd.

BoF content allows you to target keywords with lower search volume that are (usually) less competitive.

You can create content that's unique to your product, and that answers the exact questions your ideal customers have.

Your BoF content puts your brand in front of buyers at precisely the right moment - when they're ready to pull out their credit card to solve their problem.

In the next section, I'm going to show you three ways to identify bottom-of-the-funnel keywords to help you create content that converts.

Three Easy Ways to Find High-Intent Bottom of Funnel Keywords

1. Write About Your Competitors

Whether you're gearing to buy:

  • a new SaaS tool
  • a retainer with a marketing agency
  • or a comfy new desk chair

...you're going to weigh up your options.

Your customers do the same.

As soon as your company is in your buyer's consideration set, they'll be actively comparing your solution to your competitors.

Rather than letting your competitors or directories like Capterra own the search results, you have an opportunity to own these results.

Even if you're not an established player in your industry (yet) you should be positioning yourself as a trusted alternative.

You don't need expensive keyword research tools to come up with these bottom-of-the-funnel content ideas, either.

Simply search "Brand vs..." in Google and let Google autocomplete do the work.

Easily find competitor comparisons with a quick Google search

You'll quickly have a list of articles to write comparing you to your competitors.

You can embed your own CTAs on the pages to encourage users to try your solution out instead of your competitor products.

The key to competitor comparison articles is honesty. After all, not every customer is a fit for your offering.

Tell your readers:

  • Why your product is worth using
  • Why they might consider your competitor over you (be honest)

One of the great aspects of competitor comparison articles is that they act as a good filter for clients, and by ranking for competitor keywords you get in front of customers who are almost ready to make a purchase.

If someone reads the article and identifies the "Aha!" moment your product delivers, they'll be itching to sign up and start using your solution.

2. Help Your Customers Do Their Jobs

The Jobs to Be Done theory is all about helping your customers do their jobs correctly.

It's also a great way to identify BoF content ideas.

If you know your customers use your product to complete a task they have problems with, help them do it.

It sounds obvious, but it's a keyword research strategy that's often overlooked because content marketing software like Ahrefs or SEMrush won't necessarily show any search volume for them.

  • How to automate Instagram post scheduling
  • How to send automated performance reports to clients
  • Save my Tweets to a Google Sheet

If practical terms, you can start this process in a simple Google Doc.

Write down everything your customers use your product for.

Then, create content around it.

Zapier's content strategy is a perfect example of this strategy done right.

If you don't know, Zapier's product helps people automate their workflows by connecting popular digital tools.

They've created a huge database of content that shows up in search when people search for ways to connect tools that their product can help with.

An example search query that relates to a "job" someone can do with your product

The page then shows a direct call-to-action to drive new signups.

Zapier use bottom-of-the-funnel keywords to drive signups in a natural way

The jobs-to-be-done framework for SEO is perfect if you have a product where you users can sign up directly.

3. Export Live Chat Questions into a Spreadsheet

At the end of the day your content is all about generating leads.

It doesn't matter how many pageviews, social shares, or retweets it gets if it doesn't generate any real business results - admittedly, it does feel good!

Our third and final strategy to quickly identify keywords with high purchase intent is to listen to your sales leads and customers.

It sounds simple, but marketers often overlook it because of it's simplicity.

Assuming you have a live chat system like Intercom or Drift you'll have a free source of bottom-of-the-funnel content ideas.

To get this done quickly, export all of your chat messages to a spreadsheet.

Export Intercom questions to a CSV with tools like Intercom Export

If any question has been asked twice, write an article about it.

If a question reflects what you've heard already talking to customers, write an article about it.

These articles may end up being technical or very specific, so you could publish them either in your help docs or directly on your blog.

This strategy works so well because your content ideas will relate to highly acute pain points that you have proof your customers are experiencing.

Even if keyword research tools say they have low search volume, you may end up being surprised by how well they perform.

How to Deliver Bottom of Funnel Content to Your Audience

The great thing about BoF content is that you can package in into a variety of formats and deliver it to your audience in the way they prefer.

The content itself can stay mainly the same, but by repurposing it and promoting it, you can ensure your buyers are going to have it in a format they want.

1. Create Case Studies

Competitor comparison articles can be easily repurposed into engaging case studies.

When a customer switches from a competitor (you can find this out in your onboarding call or post-purchase surveys) to your solution, ask their permission to write a case study on them.

The majority of the content can be re-used from your existing Competitor Comparison articles, but you can add in elements of your customers' story for a unique, impactful article that'll help convince new sales leads why your solution is the right option for them.

2. In-Depth Whitepapers

If you've identified key pain points and want to help prove why you're in a unique position to solve them, consider creating a whitepaper.

Whitepapers are a great way to showcase your expertise. Qualified leads will be more than happy to download them and read them.

3. Run Live Webinars

If you're seeing repetitive questions in your live chat, consider running a live Q&A webinar session.

Email your leads who are showing high intent to purchase, and invite them to sign up.

On the webinar you can run through some common questions, then open it up to the floor for a live Q&A.

Webinars are a great way to build trust and let people see the human side of your business.

Conclusion

Identify bottom-of-the-funnel keywords and content ideas can be hard.

Often, they don't show up in tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush because search volumes are low, but they're still worth pursuing as you'll see higher conversion rates from them than you would with top-of-the-funnel content.

You don't need to re-think the wheel when looking for content ideas, either.

Start by figuring out what your customers are wanting to know, and answer their questions for them.

You'll position your brand as a trusted source of information, and they'll trust you to be the one to help them solve their pain points.

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