A Beginner’s Guide to the Marketing Funnel
January 18, 2018
January 18, 2018
Wouldn’t it be great if you could build a website, add a few products, and then just sit back and watch the sales roll in? Sadly, that’s just not how it works in the online space. Marketing strategies like SEO and content marketing are necessary to help buyers discover your business and become customers. To make the most of these strategies, you have to address where your potential customer is on their buyer journey. Understanding their journey and where the land in your marketing funnel is key to convert into qualified leads and eventual sales.
What is the Marketing Funnel?
The marketing funnel is a method for organizations to visualize the buyer’s journey for their target customers. There are three marketing funnel stages: awareness (top of the funnel), evaluation (middle of the funnel), and conversion (bottom of the funnel).
A funnel marketing strategy entails creating specific content to accomplish the different goals of each stage. The content and goals for each vary. To create the content needed throughout the marketing funnel, you have to first develop customer avatars to understand your shoppers.
Before you can start creating content for the various stages of the marketing funnel, you need to develop at least one, but no more than three, customer avatars. A customer avatar is a detailed description of your target shopper. They are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal client. Creating a customer avatar gives you invaluable insight into how these individuals make their purchase decisions.
A customer avatar includes:
- Sources of information
- Demographics: age, gender, marital status, number/age of children, location, quote, occupation, job title, annual income, level of education, etc.
- Challenges, problems, and pain points
- Objections to the sale and role in the purchase process
Top of the Funnel – Awareness
Once you’ve developed your customer avatar, you can start to look at the goals, content types, and metrics associated with the top of the marketing funnel. Your task during the awareness stage is to educate your target customer, so they become either problem-aware and/or solution-aware.
Middle of the Funnel – Evaluation
Now that your audience is aware of a specific problem or solution, it’s time to provide a lead magnet, which is an irresistible offer that provides a specific value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information. At this point in the marketing funnel, you want to convert interested parties into actual leads.
Lead magnets take on a variety of formats, from eBooks to checklists. Keep in mind that lead magnets are for educational purposes, rather than sales. When a user gives you their email address, phone number, or postal address in exchange for a lead magnet, they move from the middle of the funnel to the conversion stage at the bottom of the funnel.
Bottom of the Funnel – Conversion
You’ve nurtured these leads throughout the awareness and evaluation stages. The bottom of the marketing funnel is when a customer finalizes their purchase decision and pays for your product or service. Additionally, this is your opportunity to retain customers and increase the frequency with which they buy from your business. Content here demonstrates how your products and/or services solve the specific problems you’ve addressed in the previous two stages.
When creating your marketing funnel content strategy, you should use the following outline to guide your process.
- Decide on your marketing goals for each part of the funnel. Is your goal to bring awareness to new people about your business or is it to retarget current leads to purchase?
- Consider the content types that will help you meet these goals. Will you meet your goals by setting up a blog or is it more advanced like creating a lead magnet or a newsletter?
- What technology do you need? This is especially important if you are creating infographics, podcasts, webinars, and photographs.
- How will you measure your success? Metrics are key to understanding how effective your content marketing strategy is and how it can be improved.
You cannot hope to achieve your business goals by creating content in a vacuum without understanding your customer or their purchase process. That’s why the marketing funnel is such an important aspect of creating a content marketing strategy. If you are looking for experts who can help define your marketing funnel and develop tactics to generate and nurture leads, contact Focused Content Marketing now.