Every business requires a digital marketing funnel today to be successful in their industry and convert consumers into long-term customers. The traditional marketing funnel used to work well for most businesses, but that is no longer the case today. The outdated and old methods aren’t providing the results they once did, and that’s mainly because marketing has changed and shifted. That has obviously had an effect on sales numbers for a lot of businesses that are still using traditional marketing funnels.
It’s not even a question of why once proven marketing methods aren’t working because the answer is simple for anyone looking for it. When you can’t measure the overall performance or the effectiveness of a campaign, your efforts are being directed by guesswork. You know that half of your marketing budget is being wasted, but don’t know which half it is, and that’s a recipe for disaster.
Traditional marketing campaigns have grown outdated, and you can no longer measure and understand your returns on investment from them. The widely used and infamous four-step marketing concept AIDA (attention, interest, desire, and action) has evolved over the years. That means the traditional marketing funnel that depended on this formula isn’t going to deliver the same results in the current market conditions.
Did this older marketing model simply fade out? No, it didn’t. However, it has improved gradually and taken a new form as a result of new marketing strategies and methods coming into existence. There’s been a major shift in the marketplace, and that has forced marketing experts and consultants to change their methods as well. The dawn of digital marketing came along with the many new and enhanced trends in the marketing and advertising world.
Digital marketing has already proven to be a big game-changer for both small and big businesses. It’s not only allowed brands to communicate better with their customers but has also allowed them to experience greater sales numbers than ever before. The internet now also offers tailored platforms for marketing, so you’re not relying on a single method anymore.
The bottom line is that with the previous AIDA model, businesses used to follow a linear path for gathering qualified leads to convert them into customers. Nowadays, the process works on multiple levels, and that means you can take a multi-faceted approach to gain favorable results. The journey of the modern customer is different from what it was a couple of decades ago, which is why it would be foolish to depend on the older methods now.
In digital marketing today, there are more touchpoints and many different possibilities, and in such cases, the traditional marketing funnel doesn’t apply. The customer journey today goes through a different path, which is called the digital marketing funnel.
1- The Digital Marketing Funnel – What Is It?
The digital marketing funnel is essentially a cocktail of different tactics and techniques that can help a business to do the following:
- Get more targeted exposure that grows with time
- Gather more qualified leads that can be easily converted
- Nurture customers, so they share their experiences with others
The internet has been around for over 2 decades now, and it has changed the world for the better and impacted lives in ways that we couldn’t have imagined. It has given people more choices than they could imagine, especially when it comes to the buying of products and services.
Thanks to capitalism and the internet era, comparison shopping has now moved beyond a single store, as prospective customers can easily research a wide range of competing products from the comforts of their home, irrespective of where they are located. That has allowed the consumer to become savvier and more informed when it comes to decision making.
When you look at the big picture, you understand why brands must change and evolve, as they must keep pace with the demands of the customer and exceed their expectations. They had no way to engage with their target audience previously, but now all that has changed.
The rising competition has also given businesses no choice but to find new and innovative ways to attract attention from their target audience. That has given birth to the more agile and suitable digital marketing funnel that is implemented today. This digital marketing funnel is relevant to businesses of all sizes and in every industry, and no matter who the target audience, they have a place in the funnel.
Businesses that create a proper digital marketing funnel will not only be able to track their customer’s purchases but also monitor the retention journey, which is going to hold the key to success. It also gives clarity to businesses on what stages of the funnel need improvement to achieve better marketing results.
1.1- Why Your Business Needs a Digital Marketing Funnel
The emergence of the internet and our growing reliance over it has meant that the importance of a digital marketing funnel has never been more relevant, especially if businesses want to reach out to a global audience and get a favorable conversion rate.
Here are some of the reasons why your business needs a digital marketing funnel:
1.1.1- Understanding your audience
To give your audience what they want, you must first understand them, and that’s exactly what a digital marketing funnel gives you. It allows a business to tap into their target audience in terms of engagement by giving them key information at the right time.
1.1.2- Delivering custom content
For any business that is marketing online, delivering custom content to prospective audiences is essential, but most businesses fail at that task. That’s mainly because they aren’t using a digital marketing funnel to improve user experience and deliver tailored content that educates the audience about the business.
1.1.3- Motivating the audience to move along the purchase cycle
It’s a no-brainer that different people have different motivators in life, and your target audience is made up of real people, who must be motivated to go from one stage of the cycle to the next. A digital marketing funnel allows you to know what level your customers are on, and how you could provide value to them to get them moving up the funnel.
1.2- How Does a Digital Marketing Funnel Work?
Understanding how a digital marketing funnel works is not complicated, as it is fairly simple. At the basic level, all funnels are the same, but what makes the digital marketing funnel different is that it helps you achieve the right results depending on the amount of effort that you put into the funnel. Here are some of the key components of a digital marketing funnel:
To understand how a digital marketing funnel works, you must first understand the process behind the funnel, and that’s explained as follows:
- The objective behind a digital marketing funnel is to help the business achieve a particular goal, which could be the customer buying your product, or signing a contract, or acquiring your services.
- Once the digital marketing funnel is ready, you must attract relevant traffic from different sources, and that traffic will travel through the funnel and start at the top where they qualify as a lead.
- They will then move to the middle, and then towards the bottom of the funnel. That’s where they end up becoming a paying customer and start spreading the word about your business.
2- The Different Stages of a Digital Marketing Funnel
To create a profitable digital marketing funnel, you must first completely understand the different stages that your customer goes through, and then look at them from their perspective.
So, keeping that in mind, we shall now look at the different stages of the digital marketing funnel in detail, so that you understand them completely, starting with:
Increasing brand awareness must be the primary objective of any business that is interested in developing in their industry. The good news is that improving brand image in the eyes of the customer has never been easier than in the digital age.
That’s mainly because most of the target audience of your business is online, and it makes sense to use targeted content marketing techniques to optimize and boost the presence of your brand on the internet.
The first step towards any successful digital marketing funnel starts with awareness. For getting audiences to engage with your brand, they must be aware of its existence first. Going down the digital route not only gives better results than the traditional route in terms of generating awareness but also boosts the chances of word-of-mouth. When people are sharing your content online, the effect that it has will last longer than advertising. To gain this kind of exposure, your business must do the following:
- Improve rankings in Google and other search engines for targeted keywords
- Create and share content that delivers value
- Build a community that is responsive and loyal
- Invest in digital advertising with the relevant channels
You must know that none of these methods are going to provide long-term results if you don’t track their progress by focusing on the different digital marketing KPIs.
The first stage of the funnel that drives awareness will help you generate the necessary exposure, but once people land on your website, you must ensure that they stay and discover your products and services. In other words, you must keep them on your website until they hit the buy button.
Regardless of the type of website you have, you must ensure that it is attractive to the audience and provides them with the right kind of content. That’s because getting people to visit your website would be pointless if they end up leaving straight away. You must boost the time they are spending on your website first.
You want most of your prospects to experience the most relevant customer journey and get them to explore the types of products/services that you are offering. That’s why you may want to offer them:
- Informative content that educates them about the problems they are facing and the solutions that you’re offering them.
- Recommend relevant products with discounts before someone starts to think of leaving your website.
- Up-sell similar products to customers when they are near the checkout phase.
- Use an exit pop-up to invite website visitors to subscribe to your newsletter.
Remember that your goal is to get something from your customer before they leave your website, and if that’s not a sale, at least get their contact information. What you don’t want is for them to leave and then never come back to your website again.
If you’re offering a great experience to visitors on your website, they will move towards the consideration stage, and most of them may already be looking for a product or service that you’re offering to them. That means they will tell other potential customers about your offerings, even if they have not bought your product or service.
You should remember that when someone is in this stage of the funnel, they are closer to a purchase, and that’s why you must address all their problems and queries at this stage to avoid any hiccups. The most important thing to you should be knowing the needs of your audience as that allows you to create a smooth funnel where there are no obvious concerns or queries from your audience. That will also help you create trust with your prospects and help you devise more refined and targeted marketing tactics.
For example, having a comprehensive FAQ on your website, along with authentic customer reviews, will answer most questions for a customer considering making a purchase. It will remove any last-minute doubts and objections and increase the chances of conversion.
Irrespective of what type of products or services you’re selling, getting a high conversion rate should be your primary aim. That’s mainly because if you’re not converting well, your returns on investment are going to suffer. When a prospect has already gone through the consideration stage and in the ‘ready-to-buy’ mindset, you can’t afford to lose those individuals.
That’s why it makes sense to do whatever you can in your power to ensure the entire buying process is as easy and as painless as possible. When you build a digital marketing funnel, you’re going to learn that perfecting the funnel is an ongoing process. There are always going to be chances that your funnel has cracks or develops cracks, through which your prospects may slip through.
These potential ‘leaks’ can be costly if you don’t take care of them. So, you will need to work on identifying those points where your sales process can be disturbed. The last thing you want is a prospect changing their mind and hitting the exit button when they’re close to purchasing your product or service.
2.5- Customer Relationship
Your goal is to take your business to the next level. To do that, you must focus on nurturing customer relationships. As a business, it is your responsibility to give your customers the value that they deserve to get, and if you’re not doing that, they will choose your competitor over you, which is something that you don’t want happening ever.
So instead, of overwhelming your prospects and customers with a barrage of sales emails, you should focus on giving them top-notch customer service. That means always being there for them, answering their questions, solving their problems, and not keeping them waiting.
Working on improving customer relationships will help you in the long-run as it will ultimately become the differentiating factor between you and your competitors. Every successful business relationship all comes down to value, and if your customers/prospects don’t get them from you, they won’t value the relationship they have with you.
There’s no denying that creating strong relationships isn’t easy and can be a time-consuming effort that may require ongoing investment from your end. However, it is still easier and less cost-effective than trying to gain new customers. In fact, it is 7 times more expensive to replace customers that have opted out of your sales funnel than it is to retain your existing customers.
In the end, it all comes down to what you’re giving your customers to make them stay, instead of how much value you’re delivering directly, which will affect your retention rate. Remember, the more customers you retain, the more repeat sales you will make.
3- Types of Digital Marketing Funnels You Can Implement Today
The great thing about a digital marketing funnel is that all its stages are interdependent on one another. That means working to strengthen one area is going to have a positive impact on the other stages as well. So, when you work on improving the stages, it will strengthen the overall process and will result in complete business growth.
Now that we’ve got a clear understanding of the various stages of the digital marketing funnel, let’s look at some of the common digital marketing funnels that your business can implement:
3.1- Conversion Funnel
Most times, a conversion funnel is made complicated for no particular reason. In reality, it is a simple campaign that involves multiple steps, with every step leading prospects towards the action or result that you want. To truly get the most of the conversion funnel, you must first understand how it works in three important, but specific categories.
You will need to work with all three conversion funnels to get high conversion rates, but you won’t be using all of them at the same time. You’ll use them depending on what stage your business is at. If you look at them, each of the three conversion funnels will help you attain a specific goal, so if your goal is to improve your revenues, you should focus on the monetization funnel, as the other two won’t help you meet your objective.
So, you need to understand where your business stands and see what conversion funnel is going to be the one most applicable to it. Now let’s see how these three conversion funnels work seamlessly with each other at different stages of your business.
- First, you’ll use the acquisition funnel to tap into your target audience to gather relevant and new leads for your business. How you go about gathering these leads is up to you, whether it is by giving away a white paper or asking people to contact you.
- At the second stage, when you have the right kind of leads, you must activate them into buyers, and convert a good number of the leads you acquired into customers for your business.
- At the last stage comes the monetization funnel, where the ‘leads converting into customers’ action takes place.
You must ensure that your funnel is set up in your Google Analytics so that you can easily monitor its progress, and so you don’t run into any problems later on. You could also try to define your lead goals before you set up your conversion funnel as well.
3.2- Sales Funnel
Sales funnels are important for businesses that want to hit their sales goals, and when done properly, they will smoothly guide customers through the ‘purchase path,’ resulting in monetary transactions. Your approach towards the sales funnel may be different than other businesses, but if you get the basics right, the steps for a profitable sales funnel are going to be the same. Here is a sales funnel idea that you can easily apply for your business:
- Offer visitors to your website with valuable and relevant offers, which could be something free, i.e., an eBook, tool, or white paper in exchange for their email address.
- Once they have signed up, you should take them to a thank you page that offers them with a time-sensitive deal/discount on one of your products that they may be interested in. You can also offer them a premium version of your freebie gift.
- If they opt for your offer, you should redirect them to your main sales page, where you will be selling your high-end product.
Another great funnel idea that you can try out here is a product trial. It’s a valuable piece that you can create for your funnel but should be something that is self-driven and easy. As the product trial will be free, the sign-up process is going to be quick, and you must ensure that new subscribers are using the trial immediately.
When the prospect purchases your main product, it works out for you, but even if they don’t, you can follow up with them later, as they have already provided you with their contact information in the initial stages of the funnel. The idea is to keep people moving through the different stages of the funnel.
3.3- Facebook Funnel
Social media is the hottest thing currently, and that’s why most brands, both large and small, are trying to engage their target audience on the biggest social media platforms. One way that they are managing to do that is through using a proper sales funnel via Facebook ads.
There are certain things that can help improve the chances of success of your Facebook funnel, and these include the following:
- If you want more people to share your content, engage with it, and click on it, then you must make it both share-worthy and click-worthy.
- If you see poor statistics, you should A/B test your content to improve your landing pages to get higher engagement rates.
- Conduct customer research and find out from your audience about what you can do to improve clicks and conversions on your ads. The faster you learn and improve, the less money you’re going to lose in this process.
In the end, your Facebook funnel is only going to be successful if you take care of the crucial details that others are ignoring and turning them into your strength.
4- How the Marketing Funnel Is Different for B2C and B2B Brands?
To help you understand how the marketing funnel is different for B2C and B2B brands we have created a modified diagram below, which properly outlines B2C and B2B consumer actions and conversions in every stage of the funnel:
he major differences between the B2C and B2B marketing funnels are given below:
- Most B2C consumers navigate the funnel alone or with a small group of trusted advisors, who are usually their friends or family. Meanwhile, B2B consumers generally have a larger, cross-departmental buying group. The average B2B buying group comprises of 5.4 people.
- B2C consumers may never directly communicate with a company representative, especially on e-commerce websites, while for B2B consumers, they generally interact with a sales representative at the lower end of the funnel.
5- FAQs on Digital Marketing Funnels
We understand that not everyone may completely understand digital marketing funnels, even though we have been as thorough as we possibly can. So, we have decided to highlight some of the most frequently asked questions about digital marketing funnels here.
- Where can I find funnels?
Funnels are everywhere and could be a newsletter that pops through your door, as it is designed to generate leads. The Facebook ads that you see in your feed are also part of someone’s lead generation funnel, and the ads follow you all over the internet are a more advanced stage of someone’s funnel.
They are part of a retargeting campaign to get you back into a funnel that you entered but then left. The emails you receive from your favorite restaurants or shops are also part of a funnel. So, in essence, every interaction on the internet, whether it is in your email, on your computer, or on social media, is an action to strategically move you into a marketing funnel.
Yes, if you have an online business and your goal is to attract more customers and improve your bottom line, you do need a marketing funnel. Every business needs a digital marketing funnel because if you want a reliable and repeatable way of doing business, a funnel provides you with that.
- Are there any disadvantages to having a funnel?
The only disadvantage, if you could call it one, would be that funnels require monitoring and looking after. These systems are not a set and forget system, and it can take a while to set them, while they can also be expensive, and to prevent your investment from being wasted, you must monitor your funnel on a regular basis to identify the problems and rectify them.
We’ve planned out the different steps for you and explained them in great detail, but that doesn’t mean that creating your highly profitable digital marketing funnel is going to be an easy task for you. A digital marketing funnel has a lot of moving parts and requires constant monitoring and optimization for you to get the right results from it. Customer preferences tend to change over time, and that will mean that you need to make changes to your marketing funnel as well to stay profitable.
Sometimes, you may require the help of a team of experts to support your marketing efforts, and that’s where SEO Resellers Canada comes into the picture. We can work as an extension of your marketing department and help you in any way possible to ensure that your digital marketing funnel is a success. Contact one of our experts today and learn more about how our digital marketing services can help you generate the highest profits today.