A marketing funnel is a strategic framework businesses use to outline the customer journey. It represents the buying stages people go through after becoming aware of a business, product, or service. 

This journey is presented through a funnel. The funnel metaphorically represents the narrowing of potential customers as they move through the phases and ultimately to the end goal, for example, conversion. However, it doesn’t just stop at conversion. 

Retention and loyalty are a huge part of a successful marketing journey.

AIDA is a simple marketing funnel. It outlines the processes leading to an action. The acronym makes it easy to remember and implement when making marketing decisions. 

What are the benefits of using a marketing funnel?

One of the main benefits for businesses using a marketing funnel is that it creates a clear journey for their customers. This means they can assess how successful their marketing efforts are. Where customers drop off and where they need to put more work or time in. Here are a few more benefits of using a marketing funnel for your business.

  • Make targeted strategies for each stage 
  • Improved targeting 
  • Lead nurturing 
  • Efficient resource allocation 
  • Measurable results
  • Increased conversion rates and enhanced customer retention 

The importance of understanding your audience for marketing funnel success.

You must start by analysing and researching your existing customers. What kind of people are interested in your business, product, or service?

You can split your customer research into different sections to find out information. For example demographics, industries, job roles, or location. This information is important as it allows you to create buyer/customer personas. These are profiles that describe your key clients. You can use these personas to craft marketing campaigns, content, and messages to effectively engage and convert more potential customers. 

Knowing your audience can also help you to gather feedback on your products, services, and marketing efforts. This is so vital for your business’s improvements. Understanding your audience’s feelings and opinions enables you to refine your strategies, optimise your funnel, and essentially save money and resources. You can read more about how to understand your audience effectively here.

What is a lead magnet and how do they contribute to marketing funnel success?

A lead magnet is a valuable incentive that businesses provide to their target audience in exchange for information such as contact details or other actions. Other actions could be signing up for newsletters, email updates, or following social media accounts. 

The main purpose of a lead magnet is to attract new, potential customers and convert them into leads within the marketing funnel. 

These offers or incentives, capture the attention of targeted audiences. In terms of the marketing funnel, this is at the top of the funnel.

After the potential customer has been made aware of your business by downloading or signing up for a lead magnet, they gain brand awareness. They are more likely to develop an interest in the information, products, or services that your company provides. This initiates the relationship.

Utilising Social Media in Funnels

Social media is a huge realm. It provides a powerful strategy to increase reach, and engagement and target your audience whilst also encouraging feedback and improvement. There are so many different ways that social media can connect users at various stages of the marketing funnel. Here are a few ways of utilising social media within your marketing funnel:

Awareness (TOFU- Top of the funnel)

  • During this phase, you can use social media to create visually appealing content that introduces your brand, your messaging, and your personality. This increases brand awareness and also encourages likes, comments, and shares which further expands your reach. Utilising your website design and content is crucial during this phase. Does your website demonstrate your expertise, your messaging, and your personality? Does it showcase how you can help your clients?

Consideration (MOFU- Middle of the funnel)

  • This is the phase where your target audience is aware of your brand however they haven’t made their final decision yet! They may be considering other options or finding out more about your business. Brands should continue to educate and inform customers in the consideration phase to help them understand how your product or service meets their needs. Examples of consideration marketing solutions might include, customer testimonials and reviews, case studies showcasing positive success stories, webinars or blog posts, and informative documents demonstrating your expertise.

Conversion (BOFU- Bottom of the funnel)

  • The conversion phase is where your client has chosen to go ahead with your business. This could be signing up for a service or purchasing a product. During the conversion phase, ensure your website’s landing pages are up to standard! The quality of a landing page affects its organic and paid rankings. If a customer has decided they are ready to buy, a poor landing page can make them reconsider. 

Loyalty

  • The loyalty phase in the marketing funnel refers to the stage where prospects have become customers and have made repeated purchases or developed a sense of loyalty to your business. During this phase, the primary focus of marketing shifts from acquiring new customers to nurturing and retaining customers. One great way of doing this is by engaging with them through social media. This could be by posting user-generated content, sharing their reviews, and creating a positive relationship with them where they feel valued. Continue to share relevant and helpful content to your website that your customers can refer back to! Sending emails to this list of customers is also a great way to retarget or reengage clients who may have only purchased once. These emails could include discount codes or special offers to entice customers to repurchase.

Common mistakes to avoid

So you’ve followed the steps. You have a strong marketing strategy divided into funnels. You have decided on a lead magnet and are ready to track your customer’s journey and bring in leads. But wait! Check through these common mistakes you want to avoid to ensure you are maximising your marketing efforts:

  • Having a weak lead magnet (offer)
  • Missing calls to action
  • Unattractive / fussy web design 
  • Too many steps in your funnel
  • Not following up on your leads (Studies show that 80% of leads need five points of interaction before they convert)

Conclusion

The implementation of marketing funnels coupled with effective strategies on your website serves as a powerful catalyst for lead generation. Utilising your marketing effort and keeping them in line with your marketing funnel can guide potential customers through each stage of the journey, from awareness to conversion and loyalty. This streamlined process has so many benefits for your company and ultimately drives business growth and success.