Meet them Where they Are: Full Funnel Marketing

     

Published: November 23, 2020

In our last blog, we talked about the process people go through as they become aware of a problem that needs a solution, research options, and make a purchase decision. Marketers need to meet people where they are on this journey to match the right content with their needs. This guide will go into more detail for putting this marketing strategy to work, including which types of content will be the most effective for the various stages of the buyer’s journey.

What’s a Funnel Marketing Strategy?

While your buyers are taking a journey, the business’s side of that process looks more like a lead funnel. At the top of the funnel, the opening is wide to allow a broad audience to enter the process. The funnel becomes progressively smaller as you work your way down, and only the most qualified leads remain at the bottom of the funnel.

A full-funnel marketing strategy is one that makes sure your website is prepared to address the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. At the top, you’ll want plenty of material to help people identify problems and address pain points. In the middle, people need help in weighing solutions. At the bottom, your job is to remove any remaining roadblocks to a sale.

Top of the Funnel Content

Funnel Marketing Strategy

In the awareness stage, you’re working to connect with new prospects and introduce them to your solutions. Brands are also working to promote brand awareness so their solutions are at the top of people’s minds when they’re ready. The competition for attention is comparatively lower at this stage as most people will be willing to investigate several avenues.

Defining the Problem

Where is the audience? The target audiences at the top of lead generation funnels are learning to define the problem. People are using search engines like Google, and their searches are usually in the format of a question. Remember that their knowledge level is typically low at this point, so technical language and complicated explanations can sour an audience.

Educational

Meeting them where they are in this stage means bringing heaps of educational content in formats that are easy for people to digest. Content types for the top of the funnel include lead magnets like blogs, social media posts, infographics, and podcasts geared to answer information-gathering questions. You’ll know you’re getting this step right by checking metrics related to reach and impressions.

Middle of the Funnel Content

The evaluation stage is where people begin comparing solutions. The competition for attention is getting a bit tighter at this stage, and your content will be competing with paid ads, but there’s still plenty of room in the middle of the funnel for a variety of prospects. Leads who have made it this far are likely to be well-qualified, and in many cases, now is the time to loop in the sales team.

Research Solutions

Where is the audience? Your prospects will have a clear idea of the problem and have identified a few potential solutions. People are currently researching the details of these solutions and are ready to weigh some pros and cons. Searches will often be in comparison form (i.e., this vs. that, cost comparisons), and leads are usually ready to engage with direct personalized content, especially in the form of an email.

Detailed Solutions for the Problem

Now is the time to bring out content that’s a bit more technical and specific, provided it’s not overwhelming for your readers. White papers and ebooks are perfect educational tools as you’ll have plenty of room for a longer discussion of the problem and potential solutions.

Case studies are ideal for demonstrating solutions, especially if the customer in the study is experiencing the same pain points as your prospect. Whether these are distributed as gated content provided in exchange for an email address or phone number, sent using an automated email path, or attached to a paid advertising campaign will depend heavily on your product, service, or industry.

Metrics to watch for this stage include clicks to your website and click-through rates for ads and emails.

Bottom of the Funnel Content

The purchasing stage is an exciting one, but brands must walk a careful line of maintaining the prospect’s attention and removing roadblocks without becoming overbearing. Competition for attention is very high at this stage, and your content will be competing against heavy ad placements. Monitor success here by watching your conversion rates.

Reducing Risk

Where is the audience? Now that the problem has been identified and solutions examined, people are making close comparisons of different solutions before becoming a paying customer. For B2B customers, they want to reduce the potential risk of a purchase, especially one with a large price tag, and they’re looking for reassurance that they’re doing the right thing. Free trials and demo products are a great way to help reduce risk.

Build Trust

Full Funnel Marketing

Trust is another major roadblock, and this is where your product or services pages come in, along with landing pages and squeeze pages. Make sure you stay focused on answering why people should pick you by answering questions, providing lots of specific details, and showing any data and statistics you have procured. Customer testimonials will also show buyers that people like them have found success with your solutions. Now is also the right time to discuss pricing, including any incentives you have to offer.

A Circular Path

While the customer’s journey may seem to be a straight line, a full-funnel marketing approach should be a repeating cycle for you. Once you’ve completed a round for one product or demographic, it’s time to measure the results, evaluate avenues for improvement, and launch your next effort.

Whether you want help refining your sales funnel to generate more leads or need a complete full-funnel marketing solution, we’re ready to either join your marketing team to fill in the gaps or take care of the entire process so you can find success.


Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Full-funnel marketing
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