Capturing leads requires brands to build the right architecture to direct users from search results to preferred actions.

Putting every piece into place might be the most daunting aspect of content marketing campaigns. Even after you’ve written great content, distributed it on social media and coordinated it with emails, you might feel as if all these elements aren’t syncing. That’s why it’s so important to consider content funnels and how they lead to calls to action.

Google isn’t shy when it comes to giving advice to marketers about how to use its search functions. The company wants people to be able to find relevant information and have their questions answered. So it’s a good idea to check on its latest innovations to see how it visualizes users navigating the web. A recent Inside Search blog post demonstrates one such innovation that came about after a collaboration with Google and American Idol.

Let customers follow the thread

Now, when people watch American Idol and conduct searches for either “American Idol” or “idol” while the show is airing, they’ll see a widget that lets them vote for their favorite contestants. After they’ve logged their choices (they can vote up to 50 times), they’re taken to a page where they can share their votes, read written content, watch related videos and learn more about the show.

Capture leads through search, offer value through the results they find and provide a relevant call to action to generate more conversions.

This helps Google attract users from the program’s massive audience, but it also demonstrates exactly how companies should wrangle customers and point them toward desired actions. First, a person conducts a search to find information or locate answers. In the case of American Idol, they want to find out how to vote, learn about contestants or find other people who are talking about the show. In terms of content marketing, these might be questions about products or queries about obscure subjects related to businesses’ industries.

Next, users in both examples are given both more content, which is diverse and can be in the form of blog, video, or an invitation to convert. In terms of American Idol, more YouTube views might be what the company considers converting. Marketers would rather have people sign up for emails or connect on social media, but the result is the same. A pipeline has been devised, and users are directed down it.

Build around a call-to-action framework

The specifics of companies’ conversion pipelines are always different – some businesses prefer email contacts, while others want phone numbers. In any case, the basic structure remains the same. Capture leads through search, offer value through the results they find and provide a relevant call to action to generate more conversions.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.