o let's not mess about, what is a marketing funnel and why should you care about it? What follows is my understanding of someone else's understanding of someone else's experience...
A Marketing funnel is an idea that the customer journey, or actions a customer takes before becoming a purchaser, can be broken into separate distinct but interconnected sections. A marketing funnel aids in connecting the dots between your marketing strategy and lead generation. It’s the process each of your leads go through before fully becoming a conversion. Essentially, having a marketing funnel is step 0 in developing a marketing strategy that works. This is because in order to sell people a product or service you have to understand how they interact with your business. As well as, what the steps are that actually turn people into customers.
A marketing funnel will not only help you understand those key points, but will also lead you to increased revenue, increased traffic, increased digital marketing ROI, and, most importantly, increased repeat purchases.
But will it though?
Well, yes, and there is a lot money to made in understating it.....let's not pretend for one second that doesn't matter. Of course, we all have another more resounding and more profound 'why'...but the money raised is also never far behind is it?! This is a proven method of marketing and really is not that difficult to apply and use yourself. Even if you are just a one-man/woman band doing ALL the work yourself looking to get a level up on your amazing new start up. Trust me, this is 100% doable. And I'm going to show you how 🥳 But before I do that, let's look at the real value a marketing funnel can bring to your venture/s.
lyfemating conducted a study into this only as recently as June this year (2022) and found that businesses/brands/individuals that applied a marketing funnel structure to the content placemeant and approach, saw revenue increased by 2128% and their average purses value of 8.3%. These numbers are not to be snubbed at people. They represent a really value adding ROI on this approach and with digital marketing being what it is toady, everything is trackable, reviewable and actionable....so talk about a clean KPI run to a clean ROI!
So let's break the funnel down...(it's basically a journey)
Stage 1 - Awareness
The first step is Awareness. And it makes sense. This is when people first start learning about your business. Realistically, consumers cannot become purchasing customers if they aren’t aware of your business in the first place. During this stage, it is important to have an engaging offer or introduce your value proposition to your leads. Why? Because this is how those potential customers will know what your business stands for and if you can offer them the solutions they need. Your goal here is to get people interested enough in continuing to explore your brand offerings further. Whether that takes place in the form of providing information on a landing page, liking a post, or following your social accounts. Popular platforms that can be used to generate awareness are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and search engines like Google and Bing. Seeing as social media platforms are so powerful in helping us make connections with others, it’s also a great tool to use to reach your target audience, increase your impressions, and generate brand awareness.
On to the next phase...
Stage 2 - Engagement
The next stage is Engagement. After you have created awareness for your business with your target audience and have gotten them to start exploring your offerings, you have to engage with those leads. During this stage, you will want to build trust with your audience by providing value that will nurture those leads further down the funnel. This is an important step in the process because this is where your audience is deciding to trust your brand or not. Through the content you develop, you can nurture your leads by positioning your brand as knowledgeable and trustworthy. This can be done by using those same social platforms we used to generate awareness (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn) and encouraging your audience to provide more information. For example, alerting your followers to subscribe to your email list or even the other way around–alerting your email subscribers to follow your social accounts. Not to mention, automated email campaigns are a great way to keep your email subscribers engaged with your brand and what you have to say. At the end of the day, implementing communication that provides value to your audience is how you will get them to the next stage of the process – Conversion.
Stage 3 - Conversion
Conversion. Every business’s favorite word. The ultimate goal you want consumers to take when they visit your content is to convert. In the simplest terms, conversions are when customers make an initial purchase from your business. Today, conversion intuitive features on social media allow conversions to take place across any platform. Popular platforms that generate conversions are emails, Google Search and display ads, Facebook, Instagram, and naturally, your business website. Two of the most effective strategies businesses can use to generate conversions are tripwire purchases and introductory offers. Both are great initiators of encouraging your leads to want to spend money with you.
And that's it...a structured journey driven by value adding-content that creates a memorable and positive experience for your users.
When creating and even implementing each phase of your marketing funnel, it’s important to remember how you will efficiently move customers through each stage of the funnel. That means you have to design and manage every single piece of content, social media post, and email campaign, so that it provides enough value to your customers to move them down the funnel. “How does this help my audience?” “How does this move my audience closer to the next section of my funnel?” These are important questions to consider when looking at the content you produce for your campaigns and how it aligns with your marketing strategy as a whole.
I would argue that aside from having some kind of 'structure' to your content types and a way to strategise, the more important point to a good funnel is to craft and enhance a positive user journey (or experience) for your customers. Send your users on a joinery they will remember. Positive experiences are easily remembered and this point is really powerful when wanting people to think of your brand and products/servies first. To be top-of-mind and have them respond by coming to you or one of your channels is priceless!
"Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like". - Brian Chesky, CEO AirBnB
Here is a basic example of what a version of this funnel might look like. Take this blog post and let's use this as a way of showing you a simple utilisation of the marketing funnel. Let's say I post this blog post to my social channels and someone (amazingly) clicks on it and reads it! This is essentially moving that user from the awanress stage to the engagement stage. I need to follow up any likes, comments or contact that might be made as a result of the post. I'm going to want to encourage more engagement so I may send them a link to my whole blog, saying that 'if you liked this post please have a browse of my other posts' etc. I may then do a few posts that encourage a conversion by offering an introductory (new client) discount of branding and website packages for example. This will lead that user to the final conversion stage of my funnel.
It's a painfully basic example but you can see how one piece of content can lead to another, or an action or follow up and so will create this user journey I keep going on about.
So I guess the main message here is, have an 'awareness' of your funnel and at least give it a little thought and attention. You might be really surprised to see how it will have a positive effect on your content, your brand growth and the experience you offer to your followers and customers. I know how easy it is to jump into marketing your business without having a clear strategy on how you will get your customers to covert. But that method won’t help you create a long-lasting customer base and sustainable business growth. Each time you develop any type of content for your business, remember the stages of the marketing funnel and I can guarantee you’ll see amazing results and conversions!
As ever, it's been a blast! And I hope you have been able to take something from this (however small). If you are thinking about utilising a more structured approach to your content marketing and are struggling to get started then drop me a message on social or via my website. I'll be happy to offer some free ideas on the kind of things you can be doing to get a more memorable user experience up and running for your followers and customers.
Happy marketing all and remember #createwithpurpose✌🏻