You’ve probably heard of it before. So many people vouch for it - the ever utilitarian funnel. While helpful for guiding liquids into tight spaces - why on earth would you ever use it for a content marketing strategy?
Creating a marketing funnel is actually one of the most effective ways of generating high quality leads for your business. By aligning your marketing campaign with your potential client’s location in their buyer journey, you’re ensuring that they’re receiving the highest value from your messaging when they need it most.
What do you mean by "Buyer Journey"?
The Buyer Journey is a term that marketers use to discuss the natural progression a potential customer will take before ultimately deciding on a product or service. It may look something like this:
Many traditional marketing tactics tend to dive into the top part of the funnel - bringing people in, but how do you get them to dive deeper?
What’s a funnel got to do with my customer’s journey?
A lot actually! Your job as an inbound marketer is to guide your lead along their journey, much like a funnel guides a certain object into the receptacle of choice. It’s your job as an inbound marketer to tailor your messages the right way to funnel them into your customer list. Here’s a glimpse at what our funnel looks like:
Why should I use this in my marketing strategy?
The marketing funnel puts the most important aspect of your marketing strategy into clear focus - the customer. By utilizing the marketing funnel strategy, you’re taking everything the potential customer may need and providing it for them - before they have to ask for it from you.
Unlike outbound traditional marketing tactics where the messages speak to everyone, including people who don't need the message, the marketing funnel creates tailored messages fit for prospects at different stages of their journey.
So How Exactly Does This Funnel Work?
The idea of this marketing funnel is that the further a customer moves down the funnel, the more tailored the content becomes to that specific customer. In terms of you as a marketer - the customers further down the funnel will be much more valuable than the ones at the top of the funnel based off of the different interactions you have with each other. This is known as lead nurturing and the more you lead nurture, the more likely the lead is to trust your business.
What Are These Different Stages of the Funnel?
Much like there are different stages of the buyer journey - there are different levels to the marketing funnel. Each of these stages correspond to a stage within the customer journey - aligning your marketing messages with your customer’s buying process.
The Attraction Stage:
This stage of the funnel is meant to bring in customers who are experiencing a challenge that your product or service can solve. Some common messaging platforms you can use for this are PPC (pay-per-click advertising), search engine optimization, link building and social media marketing. To capture traffic from the attract stage, you want to create basic top-level messaging - what your product does and how it helps your audience.
Implementing a strong SEO strategy is one of the drivers for a strong marketing funnel - you can’t have anything at the bottom if you don’t fill the funnel with anything in the first place. To get a start on your SEO strategy, figure out what your audience is looking for.
The Convert Stage
This part of the funnel is where the magic happens - when visitors transform into leads. By utilizing conversion processes - such as inbound marketing or permission marketing - you’ll be able to differentiate casual website visitors from more active ones who could truly use your product or service.
This is done through the conversion process - capturing your visitor’s information in exchange for high value content. This could mean signing up for an e-mail newsletter or more valuable gated content offers - like a white paper or a consultation request. This is the perfect time to offer your product or service as a solution to the problem they’re currently having through email marketing or utilizing marketing automation to send then consistent e-mail messages.
The Close Stage
This stage is all about focusing on highly qualified prospects and how to get them nearer to closing a deal before sending them over to your sales team to close the deal for good. Now this may be different from organization to organization, but the idea will stay the same - higher qualifying leads will receive more information more quickly.
This is where understanding the correct terminology for different high qualifying leads comes into consideration. You wouldn’t schedule a marketing qualified lead for a sales call right away - but you would add them to a marketing e-mail drip to try and further lead nurture them for a sales call.
This stage is also the most crucial for identifying strong prospects because now that a customer has identified their solution, they will want to compare their options. You want to use this opportunity to be top of mind and ensure that your company comes out on top.
The marketing funnel isn’t a new idea - but it has been adapted to fit a stronger digital marketing and inbound marketing strategy. If you’re interested in learning more about how this marketing tactic can help your business, sign up for a free consultation!
We’re a San Diego based digital inbound marketing agency that specializes in lead generation. If you’re having trouble with your marketing efforts, we can help you create and tailor a strong marketing campaign that will bring you qualified leads and grow your business. Check out how we generated 1,874% more sales for a local property management company by using a sales funnel and inbound marketing!