Your marketing funnel should not be based off of what you read online or in a book. It should be based off of the behavior of your target audience. Once you understand their buying habits and what keeps them engaged, developing your marketing funnel becomes easier.
Your funnel should encompass a certain mentality. Starting with Brand Awareness, Consumer Consideration (traffic), Conversion, Loyalty, and Advocacy.
Whether it’s B2C (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business), making yourself stand out is imperative. This isn’t an overnight thing or a magic bullet, but your marketing funnel should reflect the behavior of your selected target audience.
How effective is your marketing funnel?
Increasing traffic that leads to conversions can be challenging. I challenge you to put people before profits. The following are 8 Marketing Funnel Strategies to leverage your brand over the competition:
What is your goal? Who is your audience? When planning your digital marketing, the main question you have to ask and answer is: what do we want to achieve? Researching your consumers and what interests them most is a positive start. Knowing what they like, what concerns them, and ultimately what drives them is key. Define your goals and strategically execute them.
2. Search Engine Marketing
Once you understand your target audience more accurately, research the keywords / keyword phrases you know they will use to solve their problem or get what they want. Then implement your results on-page and off-page. This is also a good place to maximize your link building. Focus on your Organic reach and PPC (within budget).
When a consumer enters a search query, they want information fast. They don’t want to keep searching…and you don’t want that either! Increase your brands visibility within the search results by appropriate optimization, compelling ads, and content that will cause a call to action.
Competitor research is also a good tactic to deploy. Why? So you can quietly figure out how to make their loyal fans your loyal fans. Take a look at what keywords and phrases your competitors are using and inject them into your own search engine marketing. Watch what happens!
3. Content Marketing
This is actually a favorite part of the funnel for me. Now’s the time to creatively generate content that connects with your audience. Get them interested! Excited! Inspired! Get them to a point where they want to take action. Start building your growing blog, produce, edit and distribute videos, create whitepapers or eBooks, conduct webinars, and build additional optimized website pages that add value to your brand. These are just starting points. Your industry and audience is what determines the type of content to create and enhance.
Note: Do not rely on automated content generators. This is not only lazy, but it shows that you’re not focused on your Consumers.
4. Social Media Marketing
In a new study, it was discovered that most people get their news from social media. People are veering away from news outlets and placing their trust in what they’re most comfortable with…friends, family, and reliable brands. So, if your potential consumers are using social media as a ‘buying factor’, then your brand needs to be there.
Let’s face it. Your consumers, clients, or affiliates are your greatest marketing tools. They not only help push your brand, but their behaviors dictate the direction of your campaigns. The most effective way to understand your audience is to engage and interact with them. This part of your funnel has nothing to do with sales at all. It’s about building relationships, trust, and loyalty that leads your brand closer to conversions and advocacy.
5. Email Marketing
This part of your funnel is great! Because throughout your funnel you can continue with your email marketing campaigns and tweak them accordingly (which is also dependent upon the results in the Analytics section below).
Remember the content portion of your funnel? Well email marketing can play a pivotal role in the entire funnel! The content that you developed and distributed can now be linked to within your email!
This keeps your consumer engaged (and it keeps your brand on their minds). Always remember what’s important to your audience and keep your emails short and to the point. They don’t have time for email. So grab their attention and send them to more of your content (building a relationship and credibility). How cool is that!?
Without being able to analyze your audience and results, your marketing and brand will fail. Refer back to your goal / objective. Then, analyze each step of your funnel to identify what’s working and what’s not. If one element is working and another is falling short…analysis will point it out so it can be fixed or revised. Use analytics as a road-map. It will help you determine content, social media posts, emails, and track progress.
Is the plan that we put in place working or do we need to tweak our funnel to gain those conversions?
Don’t forget to use your Webmaster Tools…I mean…Google Search Console to identify searches, errors, or issues that may affect your efforts.
In my earlier days of marketing, I use to call this “walking billboards. When you secure a satisfied consumer or business, they become part of your team (theoretically). They’re so happy with your product, service, or your company core values that they talk about you. This could be accomplished by the tried and true Word of Mouth, Social Media Shares, Client Reviews, Text Message (sms), etc. Advocacy is when your consumers or followers refer a friend, family member or someone they personally feel could benefit from…wait for it…YOU!
8. Revise & Repeat
Once the consumer journey has completed, review your funnel. Was it effective? Did it work the way you expected it to work? Do you need to revise certain elements for a greater ROI? Either way, analyze your funnel, and keep it moving.
Marketing Funnel Completed…for now
Your marketing funnel will remain relatively the same. However, what you put into it and what you get out of it will vary. Yes, results may vary. But if you stick to it and don’t get frustrated too much- you will succeed.
Rome was not built in a day, and neither will your brand. Unlike Rome though, your brand will be successful. Don’t give up!