As a business owner, you know the importance of reaching your target audience. The problem is that it can be challenging. And if you are investing time, energy, and money into your marketing initiatives, it can be frustrating to have nothing to show for it.
Most companies fail in their marketing strategies because they don’t have a concrete plan or structure for their efforts. The easiest fix to that problem is to create marketing funnels.
No other element is more critical to the success of online businesses than a marketing funnel because it allows you to lay a firm foundation for reaching your audience and increasing sales. If you’re wondering how to create a marketing funnel (and what it even is), you’ve come to the right place.
Check out this practical guide from Triple Whale.
Also known as a purchase funnel or sales funnel, a marketing funnel is a road map created by a business that guides potential customers from their first interaction with the brand to purchasing a product or service. This funnel typically uses SEO, content marketing, social media, and paid ads, among many other channels.
It may sound like a straightforward concept, but marketing funnels can be quite complicated. Not only do you have many different marketing channels to consider, but your customers likely have wide-ranging pain points. Plus, each potential customer will be interacting with your brand with a different level of awareness.
As complex as they are, many companies have developed marketing funnels unintentionally as a basic necessity for reaching their audiences. For instance, if you maintain a blog on your website, you may be using a marketing funnel without even knowing it.
Say that you have 500 people that read your posts. If some blog readers sign up for your email list and a portion of those people convert to buyers, then that is a marketing funnel at work.
Further, most companies are using multiple funnels. Any time you use a marketing channel like blog posts, paid ads, or influencer marketing, you will be enacting a marketing funnel for each of them.
Creating a marketing funnel allows you to map out a buyer’s journey by categorizing it into various stages. This allows you to strategize your marketing efforts to target potential customers at each stage. In other words, it helps you organize and focus your marketing initiatives to yield optimal results.
Using a marketing funnel allows you to reach the people you want to reach while also directing which marketing tactics to employ and when to employ them.
Because they make your efforts more focused and targeted, creating marketing funnels can ultimately save your company time, money, and energy. Funnels can do the trick if you want to boost your marketing return on investment (ROI).
Another reason to embrace marketing funnels is that they work. Any successful marketer worldwide will tell you how using funnels is an effective way to gain conversions. Funnels essentially direct relevant leads to the right potential customers, which increases the chances of a purchase.
You understand the importance of creating a marketing funnel for your online business. Now, it’s time to learn about the different stages and how to create a marketing funnel:
Every buyer begins the purchase process by recognizing a problem or need. For example, once you realize that your hair product is not working for you, you will then start finding one that will.
The specific products or services your business sells will determine how to approach the TOFU stage. Expanding on the last example, you might leisurely begin searching online for hair products in your free time and make a list of potential brands to consider.
If you have a more urgent problem, such as the pipes bursting in your bathroom, you will probably do an online search immediately since you need a faster solution to your problem. Keep these scenarios in mind as you try to predict your target audience’s behavior.
Once a potential customer recognizes a product or need, it will lead them to search for more information—into the second stage of the marketing funnel. The strategies your potential customers will use to gain information will depend on the size and scope of the purchase.
For instance, people who need a quick bite to eat are likely to use Yelp or an equivalent app to find nearby restaurants.
However, suppose someone is trying to choose the best wireless provider in their area. In that case, they will probably research online, compare brands, read customer reviews, and take other steps before deciding.
Trust Radius reported that 33% of buyers in 2021 spent more time researching products before buying them than in the previous year. In other words, this middle-of-the-funnel stage is more in-depth than it used to be.
Once a potential customer has researched various brands and solutions, they will likely want to learn about all of their options, including competitors and alternative solutions.
Say, for instance, that you sell clothing through your ecommerce store. If a potential customer reads your blogs or comes across one of your paid ads, they might go to your website to learn about all of the details about your company and the products you offer.
Then, they may compare factors like price, quality, manufacturing location, and return policies. Once they learn all there is to know about your products; they may look at other brands or reach out to you with any questions they have.
This is the last stage of the purchase process—at the bottom of the funnel. This is when a potential customer has recognized a problem or need, researched all of their options, and determined which solution is best for them. Thus, they are ready to go to their wallet.
It helps if you optimize your website for conversions and think of any other incentives that make it easy for customers to choose your products or services.
Many business owners assume the customer journey ends once a purchase is made, but it’s only the beginning. It’s critical to track and analyze each customer’s post-purchase behavior.
Your customers should receive their product or service promptly and have all the attention and resources necessary to use your product or service successfully.
That way, they will likely become loyal customers and tell their friends and family members about your brand.
On the other side of the coin, dissatisfied customers are more likely to leave negative reviews, request refunds, and suggest to people they know that they buy from other brands.
One of the most common models for creating marketing funnels is the AIDA model, which is another way to look at the stages of a marketing funnel and attribute them to content creation. AIDA stands for awareness, interest, desire, and action.
Awareness: Awareness (or attention) refers to when a potential customer recognizes a pain point but is unsure of the specific problem. This is where you want your content to draw attention to the specific problem.
Interest: Your potential customer wants more information to help them solve their problem. Your company needs to provide informational content to answer the customer’s questions and guide them into the next stage.
Desire: Your potential customer desires a solution and has researched different options. Your content should convince the customer that your solution is their best option.
Action: AThe potential customer is ready to pull out their wallet. Your content needs a simple-but-strong call to action (CTA) and guides the customer to an easy path to the sale.
Now that you understand the different stages of a marketing funnel, let’s discuss the key elements involved:
You cannot create an effective marketing funnel by trying to market to everybody. You must try to market to everybody. You must target the people who are a good fit for your offering and learn as much as you can about their behavior.
If you do not draw people into your marketing funnel, your funnel will serve no purpose. You must create content and get it to your target audience.
Post a lot of content across all of your platforms, and include words, infographics, videos, and other content to keep it diverse.
Your paid ads, blog posts, and content on other marketing channels must direct your potential customers somewhere. The best way to guide them is a landing page with a clear CTA.
Rather than focusing on the sale, put your energy toward capturing leads on these landing pages (remember that potential customers are low in the marketing funnel at this point).
Employing an email drip campaign is an excellent way to market your leads. You will want to provide top-notch content through email once or twice a week.
Provide informational content at first and build up to make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Remember that customer retention is much cheaper than customer acquisition. Keep reaching out to your customers after they make purchases. Send them to thank you notes, offer them coupons and other discounts, and recognize them on social media.
You may not know it, but you have marketing funnels in place if customers buy products or services through your online store. It is important to remember that marketing funnels do not always play out as clearly and simply in real life as they do on paper.
Since you deal with human beings, it is impossible to predict behavior with 100% certainty. This means there can be regressions and jumps on their journey through the marketing funnel.
One customer may read a blog post, join your email list, and convert to a paying customer. Another person may hear your ad on a podcast, go to your website to read a blog post, and then click a link to buy from your site.
Another example is a potential customer seeing your Facebook ad that directs them to your landing page and a CTA. Or, a customer may see a post from one of your influencers on social media, which directs them to a landing page and conversion.
Every marketing strategy needs structure, and marketing funnels provide that structure. Consider the information and advice above on how to create a marketing funnel, and keep researching other ways to reach your target audience, boost leads, and increase sales.
If you want to simplify how you track, analyze, and manage your metrics, look to tools like Triple Whale.
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