Last Updated on
Building a winning digital marketing funnel strategy requires taking one step back and gaining a high-level view of the funnel. The business then needs to connect that broad long term vision with short-term actions that will get the leads. This article is all about creating a marketing funnel that works by applying proven strategies like market research into the different stages.
Excellent marketing funnel strategy to follow
A marketing funnel is a series of steps or processes that businesses put in place to break down the customer journey. It begins when customers become aware of the brand until they are convinced to make a purchase.
Even if marketing funnels have completely evolved over the past years, its basic concept has not changed. It still starts with brands doing their best to create awareness and working diligently to ease the customers towards the end of the funnel.
Researching the market
Market research is the most crucial stage when building a marketing funnel strategy. Unless brands have an excellent understanding of the market that they are in, they will be unable to build compelling offers that will get prospects to act.
Benefits of market research
Researching will allow brands to know who their ideal customers are. The more this information is understood, the more brands can trigger pain points in the customer’s journey which will encourage them to take action. A good understanding of who the customers are will give brands the chance to preempt their needs and build sales funnels that will answer important customer questions.
Using market research data, brands can put together a better content messaging strategy. If the definition of an ideal customer is too broad, chances are, the message will not even resonate. With a customer profile in place, it helps brands create consistent marketing messages that will attract ideal consumers.
Market research methods
Finding out who the ideal customers require a combination of primary research and using existing customer information. For startup brands that do not have an existing customer yet, they can rely heavily on research to validate their assumptions.
Spy on competitors
Competitor research will help brands emulate positive practices from successful businesses. It is also the best way to outperform competitors.
Discover the competitor’s traffic sources
All sales funnel starts with traffic generation. In fact, marketers could argue that traffic is the most crucial part of a successful ecommerce marketing funnel strategy. If the right traffic cannot see them, it will not matter even if the brand is using a very targeted sales page. Therefore, it is a good idea to check where competitors attract traffic. Brands can also dig deeper into the competition’s lead generation strategies.
Some of the tools brands can consider are SimilarWeb, SpyFu, and Competitors App.
Learn from their social media strategy
If social media is a huge source of leads for the competition, brands should take the time to review their strategy. Some of the best tools to use to spy on the competitor’s social media presence are Social Mention and Hootsuite. Consider looking at the competitor’s posts and ads on various platforms. What are they doing which generate interests from audiences?
Analyse their paid ads
SEMRush is a powerful software that will allow brands to get insights about the competition’s paid ads tactics. This tool can help brands understand the competitor’s ad strategy, keyword management, cross-group negative optimisation and more.
Enter the competitor’s sales funnel
Getting into their sales funnel is an excellent strategy for better understanding of what the competition is doing. Start by going into their website and taking note of all their lead magnets. Download any lead magnets or offers and sign up for their newsletter. This process will help brands understand the competitor’s content strategy and tactics that they use to sell.
Learn how to bring traffic to the site
A crucial step in building a marketing funnel is understanding how to bring traffic to the website. Traffic can be simplified into two types, paid and unpaid.
Paid vs unpaid traffic
Unpaid traffic is free of any advertising cost. While this type of traffic may bring a steady number of visitors, it takes time to build up and requires a huge amount of work. Brands who do not have enough patience to wait for this type of traffic can use paid traffic.
One way to bring in a wider pool of qualified traffic is to use lead magnets. This can be in the form of exclusive content, discount, free shipping, free trial or access to an online tool. The brand’s choice of lead magnets should be closely related to whatever it is offering.
Lead nurturing is a crucial factor that can deeply change how a prospect moves into the marketing funnel. According to the B2B Marketing Benchmark Report of 2012, by Marketing Sherpa, “73% of leads are not even ready to buy when they enter a marketing funnel.” This is properly applying lead nurturing strategies is an important step to ensure customer relationship is improved.
The buyer persona
Creating a buyer persona is a huge part of any marketing funnel strategy. Before a brand can design an ad or even draft the first piece of content, they need to know who their customers are. A comprehensive buyer persona will help clearly define who the target customer is.
A buyer persona is a detailed description of the brand’s target customer. It is a document which lists all important information from demographic facts to hobbies.
Knowing who the buyers are, is a critical step to achieve success. With a detailed buyer persona, brands have a clearly defined target customer. It helps set the roadmap for the entire sales process. Additionally, buyer personas can help brands know what sources should be used to attract initial leads towards the top of the funnel.
The information included in a buyer persona:
- Gender balance
- Income range
- Age range
- Things that they want to accomplish
- Areas where they want to improve
- Things that are preventing them from reaching their goals
- Possible reasons and concerns about the product or service
- Blogs/publications that they read
- Social media platforms that they use
- Groups that they are a part of
Where to find information for creating buyer personas
To collect information about the brand buyer personas, several methods can be used.
For brands with existing audiences, a survey is an amazing way to flesh out buyer personas. Numerous survey tools will make this process easy. Consider the following, Survey Legend, Survey Method, My Survey Lab and Survey Monkey.
Try secondary research
Companies, nonprofit organisations and governments regularly use research that is either free or available for a small fee. Brands can also check out opinion polls, census data and industry reports that will provide insights on the buyer persona. Consider checking out these websites for free market research, Think with Google and Statista.
This kind of research will require brands to already some basic information about their audience. Still, media audit is beneficial for improving an existing buyer persona. To accomplish this kind of market research consider looking into what the target audience is sharing on social media or reading online.
For example, look into places online where people share or discuss their opinions. Consider Facebook groups, forums or Reddit. Take a look into the most discussed topics to see what the customers are interested in or concerned about.
The marketing funnel tech landscape
Landing Page Builders
While businesses can create landing pages on website builders like WordPress or Wix, a dedicated landing page builder will offer more flexibility. Page builders also offer additional features that will help improve conversion.
- A/B testing – allows brands to see variations of their landing pages and see which performs best. Consistently testing is a great way to see if landing pages are working the way it is intended to work.
- Optimised themes – Landing pages platforms includes numerous templates to choose from. It is not only made to attract leads but also help improve conversion.
- Integration ready – The most typical goal of a landing page is to collect leads. To allow seamless collection of information most landing page builders are made to be integration-ready. For example, it allows brands to connect with various email marketing tools like AWeber, MailChimp and ActiveCampaign.
Clickfunnel is a software that allows brands to manage the entire sales funnel. It is a tool that allows multiple funnel templates and systems for almost any kind of service or product. Some of the few features that Clickfunnels allow are:
- Brands can follow up with existing and potential customers through a variety of methods like email, desktop notifications, text, Facebook messenger and more.
- It allows brands to take new customers through a multistep process. This increases the customer lifetime value, as well as, increases the size of orders from every customer.
- Prepare product launch campaigns.
- Create membership platforms.
- Prepare network marketing funnel.
- Create webinar promotions.
One of the best advantages of using platforms like WordPress to build a sales funnel is its affordability. There are dozens of affordable plugins that businesses can use to simplify all the tasks of a sales funnel within the website itself. With the right plugins already in place, WordPress offers flexibility when it comes to creating and designing capture pages for the sales funnel.