Are you familiar with the structure of your marketing funnel?
You’re losing sales and leads if you don’t. According to Salesforce data, 68% of companies haven’t identified their marketing funnel . Companies that do will see success. According to Semrush, 72 per cent of marketers who create “howto” guides for top-of-funnel strategies see success.
This blog post will discuss the stages of the marketing channel and the steps you should take to increase sales and leads at each stage. We’ll also share marketing funnel tips that will help you convert more leads.
What are the Marketing Funnel Stages of
There are many versions of marketing funnel stages that each brand has. HubSpot’s Flywheel model, for example, has been very popular in recent years.
Here are the major stages of the marketing funnel for the purposes of this article:
- Top of Funnel Awareness/Attention
- Middle of Funnel: Interest/Consideration
- Bottom of Funnel Action
- Post Funnel: Loyalty/Advocacy
The first stage in the marketing funnel is awareness. It’s crucial. A Content Marketing Institute survey found that 88% of marketers believe content is the most effective way to build brand awareness .
When potential customers are made aware of your brand and products, this is called brand awareness. They may come across your website through search results or see an ad on social media.
You want to get your brand out there as much as possible at the awareness stage. This can be done through content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing and paid advertising.
The second stage in the marketing funnel is consideration or interest. This stage of the marketing funnel is where potential customers have become aware of your brand and are beginning to learn more about it. You may have posted a blog post, provided a video on your product, or even visited your website.
You want to provide valuable content to potential customers at this stage to help them learn about your product and service. This can be done through blogs, videos, infographics and ebooks.
The third stage in the marketing funnel is action or intent. This stage of the marketing funnel is where potential customers are interested and ready to make a purchase. You might see them add your product to the cart or request a demo.
Loyalty or advocacy is the fourth and final stage in the marketing funnel. According to the Content Marketing Institute Survey, 78% of marketers believe brand loyalty is one of the best uses of content marketing.
Customers have purchased your product or service and are using it. It’s crucial to provide valuable support and content for your customers at this stage. This will help you to keep them loyal customers.
4 Top of Marketing Funnel Strategies
This is the top of your marketing funnel. It’s where you create awareness and generate interest in your product. These strategies are also known as TOFU strategies (top of the funnel).
According to Semrush 95 per cent of marketers concentrate on TOFU strategies , making this stage your most successful.
This stage is about reaching as many potential customers and getting them to be interested in your products.
The top-of-funnel KPIs are:
- Traffic sources
- Organic sessions
- Ad impressions
- Ad frequency
- pages per session
Blog posts, videos, social media content and paid digital ads are some of the most effective content types for this stage.
Focus on creating content that will be used at the top of your marketing funnel stages. Your content should be informative and educational. To grab attention, humor and storytelling are also options.
The goal of this stage is to attract people to your products or services, not to sell them. You’ll be able to generate more leads and sales by creating informative and interesting content at every stage of your marketing campaign.
1. Social Media: Share your brand story
Your marketing funnel is built on your brand story. This is the story you want people to associate your products, services and marketing.
Research shows brand stories are a powerful way to increase ROI. Headstream data shows that 55 percent of consumers are more likely than others to purchase from brands if they feel connected with the brand’s story. 44 percent of people will also share the story with others.
There are many ways to share your brand story. You can create blog posts or social media content that tells the story of how you were founded. Your brand’s personality can be displayed in videos and podcasts.
Share your story authentically, with a human touch, and keep it interesting. Stories that reflect your company’s values and mission are best.
Patagonia, for example, is known for its dedication to environmental causes. Their story is about adventure, exploration, conservation.
The brand story helped them to attract a loyal customer base who care about sustainability and are passionate about the outdoors.
They are trusted by their customers and believe in Patagonia as a brand.
2. Be an advocate for causes that matter to you and your customers
An study conducted by Edelman Earned Mark showed that values-based communication can be as effective in driving purchase intent as product-based communication.
This means that if you are a champion for causes your customers care deeply about, you are more likely to win their business.
Toms, for example, is a company that believes in giving back. They give 1/3 of their profits to grassroots organizations that work for sustainable change.
Toms is now a multi-billion dollar company thanks to its marketing to people who are passionate about making the world a better place.
The same goes for marketing. Find causes that your target market is interested in and support them with marketing efforts.
It could be anything, from environmentalalism to social justice.
It is important to match your marketing efforts with causes that your target market cares about.
This increases the chances that they will do business with your company and increases the chance that they will become brand advocates and spread your brand to their friends.
Are you able to identify the causes that your target market is most interested in?
3. Run Paid Ads
Paid ads are an integral part of any digital marketing campaign. Paid ads can help you reach a larger audience and target specific demographics, interests, or even geographic locations.
In fact research by eMarketer showed that paid advertising can be a reliable way to raise brand awareness.
You have a number of options when it comes to paying for ads in your top-of-funnel marketing strategy.
- Podcast ads
- YouTube advertisements
- Advertisements on social media
- Google Ads
Consider where your target audience spends most of their online time when choosing the platforms you want to advertise on. This will help you avoid wasting marketing dollars on ads that nobody engages with.
If you are targeting young adults, focus your paid advertising strategy on platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook and LinkedIn are better options if you want to target an older audience.
After you have decided which platforms to use for your ads, make sure that you keep brand awareness in mind when designing them.
This could mean telling a story with emotion-driven language or creating an ad. Your goal is to get customers interested in your product/service so that they can move on up your marketing funnel.
4. Build SEO-Rich Blogs
According to studies, 60% of customers believe blogs are useful during the early stages of their marketing funnel.
Blogs can be a great way to generate leads. They allow you to showcase your industry expertise and draw readers who may not be familiar with your brand.
Include relevant keywords in your content to make your blog posts more successful.
This will increase your search engine ranking, so people can find your blog when searching for information about the topics you write about.
Include calls-to-action in your blog posts.
CTAs are prompts that direct readers to take specific actions, such as visiting your site, signing up for your newsletter, or downloading white papers or e-books.
CTAs can be used to guide buyers to the next step in their buyer journey and move them along your marketing funnel stages.
These tips will help you rank your blog higher.
4 The middle of the Marketing Funnel Strategy
This stage is about nurturing leads and getting them closer towards a purchase decision. This stage also involves filtering out leads who are not a good fit. This stage is also known as MOFU (middle of funnel).
Your KPIs should now be focused on cost efficiencies. It is not a good idea to give content to people who aren’t interested. Your placements should be more personal.
KPIs for the middle funnel include:
- Direct message replies
- app installs
- lead volume
Also, you’ll want to think of ways to keep your customers coming back for more.
Here are some strategies you can use at this stage:
- Create lead magnets such as white papers or ebooks that require an email address to download.
- Offer free trial or demos of your product.
- To keep leads engaged, create email marketing campaigns.
- Retargeting ads can be created for visitors to your site who have not converted.
These are the four strategies that you can use in order to increase leads and sales at the middle of your marketing funnel.
1. Make Content
Common questions are essential for content marketing at the middle of your marketing funnel.
FAQ pages can be used to address users’ concerns and hesitations. They can also help you target certain keywords in search.
Ubersuggest is a keyword research tool that allows you to find the questions your target customers are asking.
You can also search for industry-related questions on social media. You can search for popular hashtags in your industry to find the answers. Another source of inspiration is Google’s “people ask” questions.
Once you have compiled a list, begin brainstorming questions that your target customers might ask.
You can then create infographics, blog posts, and videos to answer these questions. A separate FAQ page can be created on your website.
FAQs will not only attract leads further down your marketing funnel but they can also help to attract organic traffic via search engines.
2. Your website should include case studies
HubSpot reports that 13% of marketers believe case studies are a key component of their marketing strategy.
Case studies are now the fifth most-popular type of content after visual content, blogs and ebooks.
Now is the best time to use case studies on your website.
By providing real-world examples that show how your product or services can help businesses achieve their goals, case studies will nurture customers at the bottom of your digital marketing funnel.
This creates trust and credibility that is essential for converting leads into customers.
To increase conversion rates, you can use case studies in paid ads.
Watch the video to see how you can create effective case studies.
3. Leverage Retargeting
How do you find leads interested in you if they haven’t contacted you before?
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a marketing technique which shows ads to people who have engaged in some way with your brand. Perhaps they have visited your website, or perhaps they follow you on social media.
You’ll need to add a pixel from an advertising platform to your website to enable you to track the movements of visitors around the web. Here are the steps to get started using Facebook retargeting or Google Ads retargeting.
Once the pixel is installed, you can create targeted ads which will track your leads while they surf the internet.
You could, for example, create an ad to promote your product to those who visited your site but did not make a purchase.
You could also offer a discount for people who have visited your site in the last week.
A pixel is a great way to keep your brand front-of-mind throughout your funnel. This can increase your chances of getting leads back to you website and convert them into customers.
Remarketing can be used at every stage of the marketing process, as you can see.
4. Showcase customer stories
According to research, 40% of customers trust recommendations from family and friends when choosing brands. A further 91 percent of customers read online reviews before purchasing.
This is the power and potential of social proof. Customer stories are one of the best ways for social proof.
These testimonials can be posted on your website or written reviews on product pages.
You can also create case studies that show how your product or services helped customers achieve their goals.
ClearVoice, for example, has a Customer Stories page that features detailed interviews with customers about their experiences using the platform to achieve results.
This strategy will not only build social proof, but it will also increase your authority and credibility.
Prospects will be more inclined to do business with companies they trust and see as credible.
4 Bottom of the Marketing Funnel Strategy
Bottom-of-funnel strategy (or BOFU) is all about conversion.
Your goal at this stage is to get prospects taking the desired action. This could be signing up for a trial or subscribing your email list. Or making a purchase.
The following KPIs are at the bottom marketing funnel:
- Store visits
- customer lifetime value
These are the top four ways to increase conversions in your marketing funnel.
1. Make a demo of someone using your product
Your customers should know what you offer once they reach the bottom of your marketing funnel.
They may be interested in your product, but they might hesitate to buy it without first seeing it in action.
Demos of your product in action can help ease their concerns and increase conversion rates.
You can use a video, or an interactive tool to simulate the product’s experience.
If you are selling clothing, allow your customer to see how it looks on their body. Gucci used Snapchat’s AR filters on Snapchat to show customers how their shoes would look on their feet.
An interactive tool allows users to visualize the product in their home.
IKEA Place allows users to place virtual furniture in their homes to see how it would look.
You can increase your chances of customers purchasing your product by giving them a real-life preview.
2. High-Targeted Blog Articles
Your bottom stages should be devoted to providing the most value possible to your audience.
This can be done by creating blog posts that are targeted at their interests and needs.
You could, for example, write a blog about data tracking in marketing if your software helps marketing teams track customer data.
This could be a great resource to marketing teams who are considering your software. It would also help you generate leads or sales at this stage.
It is possible to even go further and talk directly about how your product solved a customer problem.
You can increase your chances of them purchasing from you by providing value and meeting their needs.
Data shows that marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve positive ROI.
3. Use Coupons and Discounts
As a way of increasing conversions, coupons and discounts can be offered at the end of your marketing funnel.
6 out of 10 trials that are free convert to paid subscriptions, according to data. This conversion rate for B2B businesses is higher at 66 percent. That’s 2/3 of the trials that convert. B2C is more likely to be at 57 percent.
But what if your customer doesn’t have enough time to use your product?
Can you cancel the discount or force them to go on, even if it means that you might be able to purchase?
If you feel the customer might need more time, it’s okay to extend a coupon or discount.
It is better to retain them (and hopefully convert them) in your marketing funnel than to lose them completely.
Coupons and discounts can help increase conversions. But it must be done right. You risk losing potential profits if you extend too soon.
You might not be able to extend your offer late enough for the customer to make a decision.
The key to maximising the effectiveness of your marketing funnel is finding the right balance.
4. Make pricing clear and customizable
When your customer has reached the bottom of your marketing funnel they will be looking for pricing information.
Here is where things can get tricky. Pricing can be the difference between a sale and a loss. Customers who feel your pricing is too high may switch to competitors.
However, if you charge too much, customers may be skeptical about the product’s quality.
This is why it is important to be transparent about your pricing.
Be sure to clearly list all prices on your website and marketing materials. Be sure to mention any discounts or trial offers.
Customers should be able to personalize their orders so that they get exactly what they want.
According to the CXL Institute, designing your pricing page from high-low to low can also increase conversions.
This is WPForms’ example.
You don’t want a customer to get to the bottom of your marketing funnel and be misled or turned off by pricing.
Transparency and honesty about your prices can help you avoid potential problems and increase conversions.
This blog will show you how to create a pricing page which converts.
4 Post Marketing Funnel Strategy
Your work is not done once customers are converted. Your goal should be to make customers happy, so that they return for more and recommend you to friends.
These are four strategies to help you build long-term success.
1. Take surveys to learn more
Learning how and where customers are stuck is one of the best ways you can improve your marketing funnel stages.
Surveys can be used to gain valuable insight into customer behavior.
A post-purchase survey, for example, can help you measure customer satisfaction and determine what is working in your marketing funnel.
Drop-off surveys, such as when customers cancel their subscriptions or request a refund, are a great way to learn about what went wrong and how you can improve customer service.
A post-visit survey can be used to assess a customer’s experience in-store, such as this Nordstrom Rack example.
Surveys can be used to segment your audience or create marketing personas.
This will allow you to target your marketing more effectively, and get better results with your campaigns.
Here are some options for creating online surveys.
2. Use session recordings
Session recordings can help you learn more about improving the customer experience on your website.
You can see how customers interact with your site through session recordings, which will help you identify areas of confusion and frustration.
All you need to get started is a recording program like HotJar and Mouseflow.
Once you have recorded your website traffic, it is possible to begin to analyze them in order to improve your marketing strategy.
You can, for example, create a segment that includes all visitors to your checkout page. Then you can watch their behavior.
Perhaps they are frustrated by the shipping costs. Maybe they are having trouble finding the coupon code input box.
These issues can be identified and rectified to increase your conversions.
3. Initiate a Referral Program
This stage of your marketing funnel will likely have customers already using your product/service.
Referring to others is a great way to motivate them to do so.
You could offer them a discount for each new customer you refer to your company.
A loyalty program could be offered to reward customers for their continued business.
Both you and your customers win because you get rewarded for spreading word about your business and more leads and sales.
This program will keep your customers coming back and it will also help you to acquire new customers via word-of mouth marketing.
This referral example is from Canadian phone company Koodo. It offers both an upfront payment and yearly savings for the referee and the referee.
4. Customer service should be a priority
You may believe your job is complete when your customers convert.
This is not true.
Customer service is essential to make sure they are satisfied with their purchase.
Customers will be more inclined to refer you to others if you provide excellent customer service.
Conversely, poor customer service can lead to lost customers and ruin your reputation.
68 per cent of customers are willing and able to pay more for products and services that provide excellent customer service
Eighty-six per cent of customers believe that good customer service makes them long-term brand advocates.
It is important to prioritize customer service, especially if your goal is to increase sales and leads through your marketing funnel.
These are some ways you can improve customer service.
- Your employees should be trained on how to deal with customer complaints and inquiries.
- Customers should be contacted promptly
- Multiple channels of customer support are available, including phone, email, and live chat.
- Customers’ feedback is important and should be taken seriously.
These tips will help ensure that your marketing funnel runs smoothly and customers become long-term brand advocates.
Marketing Funnel Stages Most Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a sales funnel or a marketing channel?
A sales funnel is a process that converts a potential customer into a paying customer through marketing efforts. A marketing funnel is a process that converts a potential customer to a paying client.
What content types are best for each stage of the marketing funnel?
You can use content such as blogs, ebooks, explainer videos and webinars at any stage in the marketing funnel.
What is the time it takes to create a content marketing strategy for each stage of a funnel?
A comprehensive content marketing strategy can take up to six months. Each stage should be constructed separately, then combined to create the entire funnel.
What are the stages of a marketing funnel?
There are generally four stages in a marketing funnel: Awareness/Intention, Interest/Consideration, Intent/Action, Loyalty/Advocacy.
Conclusion: Marketing Funnel Stages
Once you have a good understanding of each stage of the digital marketing funnel, it is time to create your strategy.
Understanding your customers is the first step.
Start creating content to guide them through every stage of the marketing process.
For maximum impact, tailor your marketing messages and strategies to each stage in the marketing funnel.
You can drive more sales and leads if you get started as soon as possible.
Which tactics have you found to be effective in your marketing funnel stages.
By: Neil Patel
Title: Marketing Funnel Stages: How To Get More Leads and Sales at Each One
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/marketing-funnel-stages/
Published Date: Mon, 02 May 2022 14:00:00 +0000