A marketer focuses to tap the entire set of potential customers in the beginning. This involves making them aware of the product by the use of effective advertising, marketing, public relations, and other communication strategies. Awareness is followed by generating a lead by acquiring customer information in some sort. This information is then pulled into a lead management system to nurture further down the funnel.
Alright, at this point in the funnel you’re going to be working with fewer leads than you started with. But that’s ok! Because those that are still with you are a higher quality lead, and are more interested in what you have to offer. They’ve also taken some form of action or micro-commitment and are a lot more open to what you have to offer next. It’s at this stage that you want to begin the follow-up process and really bring the value. Continue to nurture your leads by providing more valuable and helpful information but at the same time, don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. If you’ve done a good job at guiding them along their journey up until this point the next logical step should be your core offer, product, or service. When your “warm” lead buys and exchanges their money for your product or service they become “hot”.
It’s important to note that there is not a single agreed upon version of the funnel; some have many “stages” while others have few, with different names and actions taken by the business and consumer for each. In the diagram below, we’ve done our best to pull out the most common and relevant funnel stages, terms, and actions so this information is useful to as many marketers as possible.
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Additionally, you can conduct keyword searches to get an idea of what your content should revolve around. This also helps discover which search terms receive the most attention in your niche. This allows you to create appropriate content, the importance of which is highlighted by the fact that 93% of B2B companies believe that content marketing is far more effective than traditional marketing strategies when it comes to lead generation.
Now, at any given time maybe less than 1 in 100 people are ready to sell their house, but by sending these mailings out consistently, month-on-month over a period of years, the company is building top-of-mind awareness (the first level of our funnel) for when they are ready to sell, even if that takes 5 years or more! Notice how the cards contain very little information because people won’t invest much time on the company at this stage in the funnel, and notice how using the prices the firm has achieved in the area tries to emotionally connect with the homeowner.
Signing up to the trial provides a low barrier way to acquire a customer and the customer enters the Trial part of our funnel. If at the end of the month they are enjoying the company’s service and are happy with it, they then move to the full price subscription. At this point they are a full customer and they have entered the Adoption part of the funnel.
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Typically in your content marketing, to generate traffic, you will use a website, blogging, SEO, landing or squeeze pages, Google Adwords or PPC, Social Media Marketing, perhaps influencer marketing(see more below) and the old fashioned mediums of TV, Radio and Newspapers or Magazines. It involves creating engaging and useful or interesting content to promote through the various mediums, videos, guest posts etc. Likewise you want to get the technical aspects right, any transaction pages need to be as simple as possible, contact forms, shopping carts and search filters. If you lose people during the process, you can remarket through Facebook and Google, to draw them back.
The marketing funnel is a great tool that helps visualizing the customer journey or the path that prospects take as they become more familiar with your company and products, from awareness to purchase to (hopefully) the advocacy stage. It allows marketeers to map out the marketing campaigns that need to be considered in a more structural approach. Keep in mind that this is a general version of the marketing funnel and that you might need to adapt it somewhat to fit the business you are in. Let the marketing begin!
Most leads are not instant customers: They go through a process of researching, comparing and evaluating before agreeing to spend their money. This process is commonly called the purchase funnel or the sales funnel (whichever you prefer). Understanding the steps your leads go through will help you market properly so that you can convert as many of them into customers as possible. Here is a brief overview of what the sales funnel is and how it varies for B2B and B2C companies.