If you’ve ever used a paper funnel before, you should understand the basic concept behind marketing funnels.
A marketing funnel guides your leads through stages — top, middle, and bottom — to where they make a purchase. It offers you a structure to map your buyer’s journey and streamline your marketing efforts effectively.
An effective funnel could increase conversions by up to 35%. It also saves you time, money, and effort. For best results, your marketing funnel must take an approach that saves you guesswork and enable you to attract new customers.
Now, what are the stages of a marketing funnel, and how do you optimize them? Let’s dive in!
The Three Stages of a Marketing Funnel
No marketing funnel follows a linear path.
Depending on your product or the market you find yourself in, the funnel roadmap could be as straightforward as:
To something as complex as:
But the basic concepts behind creating a marketing funnel are the same, more or less: Get people to learn about your product (Awareness); nurture them to develop an interest and consider your products enough to make a decision (Interest and Desire); then ensure many of these visitors convert (Action).
Creating this funnel can help you understand your buyer’s intention and how to reach out to your audience at various touchpoints effectively.
Let’s take a closer look at the marketing funnel stages.
This stage aims to get people to know you enough to invoke interest. To achieve this goal, you need to make a positive impression.
You may do this with blog posts, tutorials, or infographics. You must be able to identify a pain point and work on it. This helps attract relevant leads looking for solutions to their problems.
Interest and Desire (Middle)
Your audience is aware of your business and has developed an interest at this stage. Your followers are also contemplating if buying from you is their best choice.
Show your brand’s value with unique content to nurture the relationship you’re building with your potential customers. You can do this by offering more information about your product or service and why it’s an excellent choice for them.
At this stage, you’ve successfully convinced your lead, and now they’re ready to make a purchase. You can proceed with creating content that will get them to click on “Buy Now”.
However, just because you’ve nurtured a prospect to this stage doesn’t mean your work is done. You need to impress your customers continuously and make them feel that being your customer was a good decision.
By constantly delighting your customers, you will turn them into lifetime advocates for your brand.
How to Optimize Each Stage of the Funnel
Now that you can identify each stage required to create a marketing funnel and what it involves, you must maximize every stage.
It goes beyond knowing what the phases are. You must also take the necessary steps to ensure that every stage needed to create a marketing funnel is carefully executed.
1. Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
The top of the funnel describes the awareness stage. Here, you need to strategize on how to get your audience’s attention and inform them on topics relating to your brand. Each piece of content needs to be appealing and relevant.
To attract potential customers, some of the strategies you should use are:
- Content marketing. Blogs or guest posts will engage your audience and get organic search traffic back to your website.
- SEO optimization. SEO-optimized websites appear at the top of search results for your desired keywords, increasing organic traffic to your site.
- Paid ads and social media campaigns. Paid ads (also known as PPC) place your content on top of the search results. On the other hand, social media campaigns increase your exposure in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Besides other social marketing campaigns, influencer marketing helps with brand visibility and awareness. Ikonick, for example, works directly with influencers to sell out their canvas art pieces, which helps expand their reach.
If you don’t know how to find influencers in your niche, you may use an email address finder to get verified emails. Whatever you do, ensure that the strategies you employ at the TOFU stage focus on brand visibility and awareness to attract a relevant audience.
2. Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
Here, you’ve given your audience reasons to check your business and develop an interest. As mentioned earlier, they’re still not sure if buying from you is their best option. To convince them to give you a try, you need to show the value of your product or service.
At the MOFU stage, you need a more concentrated marketing effort than the one you ran at the awareness stage. These efforts should nurture them and support the scope of your brand offerings and how it helps solve their problem. You may also create a product roadmap to show how your product will evolve in the future.
You may use this content types to show value at this stage:
- White papers: Use white papers to provide an in-depth analysis of your product features and how they can solve their problems.
- Product reviews and case studies: Product reviews and case studies are effective because they’re a customer-led marketing approach that shows how much impact your product has made on a customer.
Other tactics you can employ at the MOFU stage are email newsletters to help with nurturing and user-generated content to provide social proof and build brand credibility.
3. Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
Your bottom-funnel leads have determined their problem, weighed their options, and figured you were their best option. Now, all you need to do is give extra incentives and reassurance. You can achieve this by offering risk-free product trials, tutorials, webinars, and money-back guarantees to ensure they convert.
Ring, a home security company, reconnects with customers after shopping by offering tutorials on setting up the products and using its features.
They provide the satisfaction their clients look for after purchasing and give them reasons to become long-term customers.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Marketing Funnel
Marketing funnels work, but you first need to understand your buyer’s journey and optimize your funnel based on these touchpoints.
Focus on providing more value as your leads go down the funnel. It’s not a linear path, so re-strategize and re-optimize these stages when necessary. Using multiple marketing techniques, you can attract and convert relevant customers for your business.