05 Jul How to understand marketing funnels for your business
Have you ever wondered where to start with your digital marketing?
Have you been overwhelmed with what platforms to use?
Have you heard of marketing funnels and haven’t a clue what they are?
I’m going to break down into easy to digest chunks, what a marketing funnel is and why you need to be aware of one when promoting your business.
Every element of marketing pours into your marketing funnel but making sure you are using the right tools in the right place will really help you to make the most of your efforts.
You can help feed customers into your marketing funnel and help to gain conversions at every step of the way. If you look at the image above, this shows a typical marketing funnel.
Nice and wide at the top and squeezing down at the bottom to those all-important actions.
Top Of The Funnel
You start at the top of your funnel, with the awareness phase, you get your name out there, you build awareness of your product and your brand.
Tools for the awareness stage can include social media – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, PPC advertising and even SEO. You send out your message to the wides basket of people.
Middle of the Funnel
As you move down the funnel the number of people still in your funnel squeezes. You lose people who are not interested in your product or service anymore but for those that are still in there, you need to talk to them more directly and more personally for this stage of there journey.
Once your user is in the middle of the funnel, they are more serious about the product or service that you are offering and therefore you can start to target your message more tightly.
Optimise your content and your landing pages for users within the middle of the funnel. By optimising for the users who show more interest, you can use your content to help build desire, make them want the product that you sell, make them desire the service that you offer, make them consider you as a real option.
Show reviews of other happy customers to help those still in your funnel to evaluate and come to a decision that pushes users further down the funnel towards your all-important goal.
Use tools Like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to help evaluate how your pages are performing and use the available data to help drive prospects into your funnel. Use platforms like Trustpilot, Revoo, Feefo to gain reviews to help endorse your brand through previous customers.
Bottom of the Funnel
When you get to the bottom of the marketing funnel, you are right at the point of turning a lead into a sale. Nurture that user and guide them through your goal.
This is where we see the real value of e-mail marketing. If you can capture a user and their details when they are this far down the funnel, there is a much better chance of a conversion.
This person is aware of your product or service, they might have seen it on a Facebook ad or a PPC ad. They’ve continued to have an interest and visited your website to learn more about what it is you have to offer. Your website has done the hard work and sold them the product or the service and they are still interested.
By capturing them at the stage, when they are so close to completion helps to close the deal. Getting a customer on a mailing list and offering them a discount for purchasing or exclusive content keeps them in that evaluation stage until they are ready to purchase. If they can’t make up their minds to purchase, show them more happy customers, more product reviews, more testimonials and hold their hand and squeeze them into your conversion goal.
What about keywords?
Thinking about what keywords to use follows a similar theory to marketing funnels.
Think of the top of the funnel as a catch-all basket for keywords. Keywords will be long-tail and certainly unlikely to be the keywords that turn into a conversion. Customers will be finding you on a huge variety of terms. Think about your content marketing as a way of getting people into that crucial top of the marketing funnel.
You are not writing an article that says ‘COME AND BUY MY SERVICE’ No one wants to receive a hard sell and this won’t get users into your funnel.
For example – If you were a store that sold beds.
To get buyers into the top of the keyword funnel you would use tertiary keywords. Just like in the marketing funnel, by creating awareness and nurturing interest. You could use content that helps feed the user into your funnel.
If the customer has a problem, provide the solution to get them into your funnel.
Create content that helps this user,
- Articles on – How better sleep can promote better health.
- How a better mattress can improve a bad back.
- How a mattress can fill with bed bugs or dust mites over time.
It doesn’t have to be written articles, things like videos, infographics and how to’s, are all great to help customers enter your funnel.
At this stage, the customer might not even know they need a new mattress or bed, so they are not going to land on your website typing in ‘Buy a new bed’
Nurture the user, If users are coming to your website regarding an article on ‘how to stop bed bugs’ You have now got them into the top of the funnel and into a journey for you to convert them into a customer.
The keywords used at the top of the funnel won’t be converting keywords but all sorts of long-tail keywords and questions around beds, mattresses, sleep, health.
Then, as we move down the funnel into secondary terms, things start to get more targetted, but still, the terms people use are not the converting terms.
It’s not until you get to the bottom of the keyword funnel that you start to see highly competitive keyphrases like ‘Buy a bed’ or ‘buy a mattress’ These are your conversion keywords. There won’t be as many keyword terms by the time you are here and they will be more expensive to bid on in terms of PPC or harder to achieve number 1 rankings in terms of SEO. However, without investment throughout the funnel, you can not just invest and rely on one section of the funnel and expect results.
You need to spend time and money across the marketing funnel, especially on those longer tail keywords and nurture a user down the funnel so that you can turn cheaper longer tail keywords into converting keywords.
Not all customers will join your marketing funnel from the top and people will enter at different stages, going both up and down the funnel but if you only invest at the top and keep spending money trying to make people aware of your product but not investing at the bottom, you will be missing opportunities. Equally, if you invest heavily in a tight email marketing list but never invest to grow that list from the top, again you are missing out on opportunities.
Marketing involves a whole variety of work, don’t just concentrate on the KPI’s but set goals throughout the funnel and winning on micro-goals can help you win at your overall business goals.
Don’t focus all of your efforts onto one element as it takes lots of different elements to build a complete digital marketing strategy to succeed online.
If you’re a small business and need any help using or understanding any of the tools mentioned in this article get in touch with Amanda White Digital, A digital marketing SEO specialist working in Cornwall helping small business to succeed online.