Written by: Jerry Little
Ah, the digital marketing funnel. Many marketers consider this as a key guiding principle for the successful conversion of customers. But with the digital marketplace constantly changing, so too does the structure of the funnel, as well as the strategies needed to bring users all the way to conversion. Read on and find out more about the Digital Marketing Funnel and the strategies you can use to ace it.
Conversion 101: The Importance of a Digital Marketing Funnel
The Digital Marketing Funnel has long been a mainstay at strategy meetings and the circles of seasoned digital marketing professionals. After all, the digital landscape is full of points for interaction and building meaningful relationships with users. Naturally, the conversion of a user into a customer isn’t something that happens overnight. Effective conversion is the product of nurturing and guiding a customer through all stages of the funnel, so it’s important to equip yourself and your team with the tools and strategies necessary to get them there. However, the key to doing that is knowing the funnel yourself, as well as the signs to watch out for to determine which stage your users are at.
The Digital Marketing Funnel: Then and Now
The traditional idea of the Digital Marketing Funnel is one that is linear in nature and inflow. But as more and more professionals in the digital arena exchange ideas, so too do the structures of their respective funnels. However, no matter what the funnel is, its roots lie in the Awareness-Consideration-Conversion flow.
However, these funnels have since evolved into different schools of thought. Some have taken the ACC funnel one step further, dissecting it into more detailed segments based on the customer’s experience and mindset like the Awareness-Interest-Consideration-Conversion-Advocacy, while others keep it simple with the popular AIDA model. Still, what makes the funnel different from then and now is the non-linearity and diversity of digital marketing journeys. With the many factors like users and platforms to consider, today’s digital marketers are scrambling to meet potential customers at every turn. The 3 additional types of funnels going around these days are as follows:
- Hourglass– Hinged on building and maintaining customer relationships, this funnel pays special attention to aftersales as part of the user journey
- Looping– This pays closer attention to the fluidity of a modern-day digital consumer journey and how it is a constant loop of discovery, rediscovery, purchasing, and post-purchasing or loyalty experience.
- Micro-moments- Taking inspiration from the ‘micro-moments’ term as coined by Google, this is directly influenced by the mindset of answering your target customer’s wants.
These days, there are so many opportunities to touch base with users to turn them into potential consumers. However, regardless of your funnel’s format, the game of hacking the digital marketing funnel remains the same. Here are 3 effective strategies to suit any digital marketing funnel.
Know Yourself Best
Stage Addressed: Top of the Funnel (Awareness, Consideration)
Knowing where to meet your users starts with knowing your brand and what you offer. Is your brand or product the photogenic kind? Does it look good in photos, can you photograph people interacting with it? Consider platforms like Instagram or YouTube to showcase it visually. 92% of shoppers watch or read reviews online before purchase. Build your own page for platform presence, or partner with the right people online with a following you’re after. It will be a great, visual way to get discovered by users who are unfamiliar with your brand, and an affirmation that can boost consideration for prospecting customers. Is your product reliant on customer interaction and taking orders? Create an engaging Facebook page for instant communication and direct from customer insights! No one knows your brand better than you do, and the better you know it, the more smoothly you can communicate its needs to your team and partners for implementation. Only then can you come up with a strategy for meeting the user halfway.
Shoot for First Place
Stage Addressed: Advocacy
71% of consumers start their shopping research with a search engine. However, simply creating a website is not enough. On average, 41% of users only click the top 3 paid ads on the first search results page. Therefore, it is very important to make sure you get your website to rank at the first page, minimum. If you rank within the top, even better. Perform an SEO audit with your website, or partner with a digital marketing agency to craft your website from scratch and optimize for SEO from the get-go. Populate your website with content that answers every question under the sun—or at least the ones you expect the target audience to be asking. SEO with keywords and page metric optimization for both mobile and PC will boost the odds of ranking better.
The closer you are to the top of the first page, the better your chances of getting those clicks. Setting yourself up for searches is a great way to be found by new users, to be revisited by people who had you in their options, or maybe visiting for a final checkout or to leave a review.
Get in Touch, Stay in Touch
Stage Addressed: End of Funnel (Conversion, Advocacy)
So, you’ve succeeded! Your pages and content have worked to pique a user’s interest. They messaged your page on Facebook with plenty of questions, and bring up points you know to be popular in YouTube reviews, and you answer each query patiently. They do a little research of their own and find your content, further answering their burning questions. Finally, they hit that Checkout button and swipe the card. Congratulations, you have made a sale! But does it end there?
Treat each customer like a potential business relationship rather than a fast, one-time-only transaction. Once they have made a purchase, encourage them on the site to leave a review or have your CSR reach out to them. Incentivize their feedback, reward their loyalty to the brand. Create compelling newsletters that update them of the newest promos and discounts you have on offer. There are plenty of ways to start and continue a relationship with a satisfied customer—succeed and you will have a brand advocate yourself who swears by you and your brand alone in your category.
Remember, it’s all about you and the consumer.
With these three different strategies to equip you, you can better prepare yourself and your team for success when bringing a user down the funnel. To match the diversity of models in our digital world, these strategies are flexible enough to tailor to your brand, so it’s all about knowing your brand AND your target audience well. While it’s up to you to adjust them to fit your needs, teaming up with a digital marketing agency may lead to a better understanding of which platforms and strategies are the best options to apply to your brand, while executing the strategies across your different channels. And remember—perfect the service, tailor the journey.