Let's get this straight!
The marketing funnel is an old concept. So old that it was coined in 1898 by E. St. Elmo Lewis. So old it's adapted several shapes and sizes that fit the always-changing marketing landscape.
But, it's essence over the decades pretty much hasn’t changed.
Marketing funnel's simplest premise is the same, but the tools and strategies are very different today. We’re getting a glimpse into what marketing funnel means for digital marketers today, and how you can use it to boost sales in 2020.
Here's the tea on marketing funnels!
It simply describes the essential stages consumers go through before pulling out their wallets and buying something. We don't leave the house with a clear, firm decision to buy a new iPhone out of nowhere. But we also have our impulses, and we don't lie in bed waiting to buy something we truly need. Just look at all the stuff we have in our closets.
It's no one's fault. It's just that our favorite brands just understand our journey. With a snap of a finger, they also shape our buying process.
What does the marketing funnel look like now?
Like shampoo, there are multiple types of marketing funnels, more than we can ever think of. It's a matter of preference, at the end of the day. You find what works for you and your team, you stick with it.
In the digital world, certain approaches recognize consumers post-purchase. You need this because you don't want one-time consumers. You want them to be loyal customers who bring in new consumers.
This five-step marketing funnel will help you create your marketing funnel.
- Awareness: This is a consumer's "A-HA" moment when they discover your brand or product.
- Consideration: This stage is when your consumer kind of wants your product, but still unsure. But they're considering your brand.
- Conversion: When a consumer makes a bold, final choice of buying your product.
- Loyalty: These are your consumers who shop at your store or website first before looking for something elsewhere.
- Advocacy: Your loyal consumers who actively promote your brand or products to their friends or family.
Let's take a closer look at this marketing funnel to get a bigger picture of how it works its magic.
Marketing goals: Build awareness, target relevant audiences
This is all about getting your brand discovered by the right people, your target audience. Focus your digital marketing resources on effective strategies such as SEO, social media, and paid search to bring old and new consumers to your storefront or website.
Raising awareness with SEO
Start your SEO strategy by searching for low-intent keywords. Here's a simple example. You're a business owner who wants to get good marketing software. You might go on Google and search for “marketing tips 2020” or “how to boost sales.”
So, you use these keywords to come up with high-quality content that targets your audience. The goal here is for relevant audiences to discover your brand name and take value from your content.
Raising awareness with paid advertising
Using other low-intent keywords relevant to your brand trigger ads in Google search. Not many brands are ready to take in this much paid advertising strategy. Don't worry, if you're not ready. You can come back to this later. You can focus on pay-per-click ads where you only pay when a user clicks on your ad.
Raising awareness with social media
Social media is a great means to build up your brand awareness. The most crucial thing to remember, though, is to know which social networks are important to your audience and how they use social media. Understanding these things will help you create engaging content that captures their attention.
Most users are pretty much on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now TikTok. Or some users who are creating a pool of professional contacts will have LinkedIn.
Marketing goals: Target higher-intent audiences, turn awareness into buying intent
With awareness building in the first stage of your marketing funnel, you’re now ready to target new users already in the consideration stage. At the same time, you’ll want to target existing leads who are aware of your brand/message and them bring them into this second stage of the funnel.
Target higher-intent keywords
In contrast to your SEO and PPC strategies which are focused on low-intent keywords for building awareness, this marketing funnel stage targets higher-intent keywords, because the consumers have already shown clear intent or desire to buy your product.
Depending on your goals, you can track specific user actions and segment them in a list with messaging designed for each audience.
Once you have your segmented list, they can be categorized into the following types of consumers.
- Bouncers: Visitors who "bounce" right away within seconds of visiting your website.
- Scrollers: Users who take their time "scrolling" through your page before bouncing.
- Browsers: Visitors who go to multiple pages of your website.
- Clickers: Users who click one of your CTAs, but don’t seal the deal.
- Quitters: Consumers who start the conversion process, but "quit" before converting.
Capture email leads for lead nurturing
Got existing consumers or leads? Email marketing is your best bet when it comes to reaching out to them.
To accomplish this, you need your visitors to sign up or subscribe yo your email lists or newsletters. This gives you an amazing opportunity to reach out to your potential consumers.
Marketing goals: Convert leads, turn consideration into action
You've gathered enough leads from stages one and two. Now, you need to convert your leads into a full-fledged buyer and loyal consumer. Their purchase is typically the best indication of conversion you're looking for but depending on your campaign you might simply be only looking for email signups, content downloads, account creations, or upgrades.
Create campaigns for people ready to buy now
Similar to Awareness and Consideration, create organic and paid search campaigns that target users who are ready to convert right now.
Your ad campaign might be contrasting your brand with a competitor or offering a free trial. You can develop Google Ads campaigns that include your competitors' keywords to increase your leads. Use keywords that suggest instant purchase like “buy,” “free delivery,” or “best price.
Marketing goals: Get customers to buy again, build loyalty
Many brands stop at a single action, a single purchase. As a brand, your digital marketing strategy doesn't stop after the first conversion is accomplished. Remember, the end is only the beginning of a life-long relationship between your brand and consumers.
Prioritize customer service
Whether online or in-person, great customer service is at the heart of any relationship between a brand and its consumers.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. One great example is software companies. They provide excellent customer service and support because they know users will always run into software issues, big or small. Customer representatives are trained and equipped with guidelines to respond to a multitude of consumers with different varieties of problems.
Many software companies use chatbots that can offer instant responses to simple user problems. In some cases, the chatbots will redirect users to relevant online resources or connect them with technical support for more serious matters.
Reward your customers
Always remember why you're in business: to provide your consumers with amazing goods, products, or services. Reward loyal consumers to show how much you value their support and encourage them to continue shopping at your store.
One good example is It's Boba Time. They give consumers a stamp card that when they reach a number, let's say 9, their tenth drink is free.
Marketing goals: Turn happy customers into brand ambassadors
You know what happy customers do? They keep buying from you and will also willingly recommend your brand to other people.
Fun fact: 83% of buyers say recommendations from friends influence their purchase decisions. On another note, 76% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family.
Create a profile of positive reviews
Having a profile of positive reviews on platforms like Google or Yelp is priceless! There's also no need to fuss about not having a 5-star rating.
Online buyers are smart! They know not to trust a brand that screams of 5-star reviews. Studies show that ratings between 3.5 to 3.7-stars have created a positive influence on buyers.
Focus on providing top-quality service and produce as many positive customer reviews as possible. Make sure to respond professionally and timely to negative reviews and resolve issues as best as possible. Focus on your brand, and the rest will follow.
Solicit success stories from your customers
Request testimonials or success stories from your current consumers. This helps attract new clients when they read positive stories about your brand. These testimonials of success stories can go on your homepage. Or if their review is of a specific product, pair the testimonials with the product pages to attract conversions.
Ready to jump into improving your marketing funnel but don't know where to begin? Start by sending us a message today. We'll help you create a marketing funnel that generates and converts all your leads.
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