Online Marketing

Understanding The Marketing Funnel

 

understanding_marketing_funnel

As a business owner your time and your money are precious. Knowing key marketing concepts will help you understand the process, hire the right people and ultimately lead to more paying customers through online presence! Focusing your content strategy in a way that exponentially adds value to your business is what technology is all about. Once you understand the basics be sure to try your hand at taking advantage of my 5 Tips For Writing SEO Blog Articles.

The Marketing Funnel in Four Parts

The four main categories of your marketing funnel are: awareness, leads, prospects, and customers.

It’s important to note that these are tried and true marketing concepts. What is unique with the advent of social media is the speed with which marketers are able to move people through the funnel with the help of mobile devices and digtal marketing.

Your first step in creating a funnel is creating awareness for your brand. Imagine the over 3 billion people on the internet. Some of them are your target audience and potential customer, but most of them have no idea you exist. Your first goal is to draw attention to your brand so that the right people visit your site. There are a variety of ways to do this including SEO blog articles, social media posts or Facebook Ads.

It’s important to note that you don’t just want to generate traffic to your website, but you want to bring the right people to your website. What do I mean by the right people? Not all leads are created equal. One thing every business needs to think about is who is your target audience? If your content strategist doesn’t care about you or your brand they won’t care who they’re attracting. Quantity and quality have to be present otherwise you’re not going to achieve the results you want.

This is why defining your customer is the first critical step at the outset of any marketing strategy. (For more tips on understanding your customer check out Know Your Target Audience)

Once you understand key components of your customer you can begin creating content that brings value to those specific people.

Content Is Worthless If It Doesn’t Add Value

People come to the internet for three main reasons: to be informed, to be entertained and to connect with other people.

Any worthwhile content strategy is going to do at least one (and ideally all three) of these things.

What content you choose to provide on your website is directly related to the choices made in your personal brand or company. When your customer comes to your site how can you build trust? The easiest way is through blog posts that establish you as an authority in your given industry and educate your readers about why your product or service is relevant to them.

Now That They’re Here, Keep Them Engaged

Once you have successfully brought a person to your website they become a lead. Congratulations! Your work isn’t over yet though! Your goal now is to keep them on your site to build even more awareness and trust. How can you do that? Quality content and inboud linking keep your readers on your site longer.

Keep in mind that the longer your leads stay on your website the more likely they are to move down the funnel and become prospects.

Continue Building Trust and Give Your Audience What They Want

Once you’ve attracted their attention and provided quality content it’s time to get your lead’s personal information (for example an email address).

This is the point in the funnel where you begin to weed out people that are casually interested in your brand with people that want to hear from you. Now this person has gone from being a lead to being a prospect. The key difference is whereas before they could communicate with you by going to your website or consuming your social media content now YOU can communicate directly to them.

Once you successfully capture this information you can interact with prospects. Two things to keep in mind are how will you ensure your prospects privacy and trust are protected and how will you continute to bring value to your prospects?

This might mean sending them a newsletter that provides information your prospects are dying to know or lets them know when new content is added to your website and other social media platforms so they don’t miss out. For more information on how to make your prospects feel appreciated check out Scott Hornstein’s article Understanding Prospects’ ‘Network of Me’.

Closing The Sale

The final step in your marketing funnel is turning your prospects into customers. The smoother you make this process the better. Two ways you can do this are by creating urgency for your prospect through limited time offers or by offering cost incentives that sweeten the deal for your prospects.

Whatever your method it’s important to keep in mind that the more willing and eager a person is to buy a product or service the more likely they are to be satisfied with that purchase.

When You Take Care of Customers They Take Care of You

Remember, reputation is a fundamental part of online presence. Just because you closed a sale doesn’t mean the interaction is over for you and your customer. Successful companies realize what a vital role customer service plays in the overall customer experience and response. By providing an exceptional experience for your customer you make it more likely that they will happily share your message with friends and family, starting the marketing funnel cycle all over again.

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