Have you ever just woken up one morning and felt like you deserved a new car? And by the evening you have taken a deep dive into your savings account and there is a new Mercedes-Benz GLS now occupying all the space in your garage? Well, we sincerely hope not!
Even if you do wake up with the determination to buy a new car, there is an exhaustive process that you go through before actually following through. You will evaluate your needs, conduct research on the types of vehicles and the best companies, and also come up with various (logical) arguments to convince your partner that you are actually doing it for them. Yes, we’ve all been there.
Your customers essentially go through the same process, which is called the Marketing Funnel. Basically, it describes the key stages a consumer needs to go through before making a purchase.
However, just as people don’t just wake up and decide to buy things for no reason, likewise, people don’t always have to need something to buy it.
One of the key reasons why people end up buying things is because the top brands understand the whole customer journey and leverage their expertise to optimize their marketing funnels.
So How Does the Funnel Work?
The idea behind this concept is that, like a funnel, marketers cast a broad net to capture as many leads as possible, and then slowly nurture prospective customers through the purchasing decision, narrowing down these candidates in each stage of the funnel.
The 2020 Marketing Funnel
The concept of the marketing funnel was first developed by E. St. Elmo Lewis in 1898 but has been tweaked and modified countless times since then. Despite the numerous adaptations though, the basic principles of the marketing funnel are essentially the same as they have ever been.
The year 2020 has altered the conventional digital marketing strategies and operations. Thus, even the 2020 Marketing Funnel is more elaborate than its ancestors and consists of five stages, namely: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, Loyalty, and Advocacy.
The key thing here is that your marketing funnel doesn’t end with the purchase, there is plenty of more work to be done in order to maximize profits. This is why the tools and strategies most effective at optimizing each stage of the funnel are very different in 2020.
Optimizing the Stages
It is important to optimize every stage of your marketing funnel to ensure maximum conversion as well as customer retention!
Spreading awareness regarding your brand and your services is the first step to generating leads and eventually, turning them into customers. This is only the beginning of a complete marketing strategy that turns new visitors into paying customers over multiple touchpoints, sessions, and devices.
The primary aim at this stage is to make sure the audience you target is relevant actually has the potential to buy your product or service.
Here are a few ways to effectively spread awareness during this stage:
We all know how important SEO is for a brand to generate leads and increase conversions. In order to construct an effective strategy that builds awareness through SEO, you need to target low-intent keywords from users who may or may not even have any intent to purchase at this stage.
For instance, a business owner who ends up buying marketing software in the near future might only be searching for “marketing tips 2020” or “how to generate more B2B leads” at this stage. The goal here is for relevant audiences to discover your brand name and take value from your content.
- Paid Advertising
Another opportunity for you to increase awareness regarding your brand is through the low-intent keywords that trigger ads in Google Search as well. This, however, is a fairly advanced PPC technique as it requires a mature paid search strategy and a solid and automated lead nurturing system.
At Mountainise Inc., we provide a range of services that can help you leverage this powerful strategy to get your brand in front of consumers at the earliest stages of their journey, giving you a front-row seat, right at the top of the results page.
- Social Media
Social media is a powerful platform to spread awareness regarding your brand or services because it gives you access to a large pool of audiences of all sorts. If you know how to effectively distribute the right kind of content on the right social platform, you can leverage this powerful entity to help your brand grow multifold.
With awareness building in the first stage of your marketing funnel, you’re now ready to target new users already in the consideration stage. At the same time, you need to target existing leads who are aware of your brand/message and then bring them into this second stage of the funnel.
- Higher Intent Keywords
While building awareness requires you to focus on low intent keywords, at this stage of the marketing funnel you will need to rotate towards higher intent keywords in order to target the people who show a clear desire or temptation towards the product.
- Email Lead Nurturing
Email marketing is the most important channel for reaching existing leads at the latter stages of the marketing funnel and guiding them from one stage to another.
Before you can do this though, you need to ensure that you have an effective email campaign, the right email marketing tools, and a CRM in place. Luckily, you can get all of this built into a single CRM, email, and marketing automation platform at Mountainise Inc.
Everything you’ve done so far has been building up to the point where users complete some kind of conversion. Purchases are normally the most valuable type of conversion, and that is essentially the ultimate goal.
Do CRO the Smart Way!
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a strategy that can transform business results. Unfortunately, it’s also a strategy you can waste huge amounts of money and time on if you do it poorly. Above all, you need to know your tests and optimizations are going to result in enough additional income to pay for themselves and generate more profit.
following areas that are almost guaranteed to make a genuine impact on conversions, profits, and the KPIs that actually matter:
- Reduce loading times
- Switch to single-column layouts
- Switch to multi-step forms
- Remove navigation from landing pages
- Test CTA placement
- Test secondary CTAs further down the page
- Try exit-intent popups
Start with the most important elements on your key pages (content, CTAs, forms, loading times, navigation, etc.) and get these in order first. Then, you can move onto smaller details like smaller layout changes, images, and finer tweaks to find those extra performance boosts.
A lot of brands make the mistake of thinking the marketing funnel ends once their primary conversion goal is accomplished – normally a purchase of some kind. However, this is just the beginning of the customer experience and your return on investment from all the work you’ve put into accomplishing that conversion goal.
Now, you need to maximize that ROI. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Prioritize Customer Service
- Reward your Customers
- Run Upselling/Cross-Selling Campaigns
With your marketing strategy generating and closing leads from the first three stages of your funnel, the emphasis shifts towards customer retention and maximizing the value of each customer. In other words, you want your existing customers to keep buying from you and bringing in those profits!
The primary goal of this stage is to turn satisfied customers into a lead generation strategy. Happy customers are more likely to keep buying from you but they’re also more likely to recommend you to other people – and 83% of buyers say recommendations from their friends/colleagues have the biggest influence on their purchase decisions.
- Build a profile of Positive Reviews
Having a profile of positive reviews on platforms like Google Reviews, Trustpilot and other popular third-party platforms is invaluable and you don’t need to stress about achieving 5-star ratings either.
So concentrate on providing a quality level of service and generating as many positive customer reviews as possible. Be quick to respond to negative reviews on the platform users leave them and try to resolve issues as best as you can – but don’t worry about perfect scores.
- Get success stories from your customers
Another area where your existing customers can help you attract new ones is through testimonials, success stories and case studies. B2B businesses generally want a good collection of customer testimonials on their homepage and possibly even specific service or product pages to entice conversions.
- Create referral campaigns to turn customers into new leads
Earlier, we mentioned the power of personal recommendations and this is something every business should leverage. The consumer journey shrinks considerably when your existing customers recommend you to their friends or colleagues – and this is especially true in the B2B environment.
To incentivize referrals, you reward your existing customers every time they bring a new customer onboard for you. You might even offer both parties some kind of a reward to increase this incentive further and the reward doesn’t even have to be that big.
Every successful sale requires consumers to go through the first three stages. As for the other two, you want every possible customer to reach these stages of the buying cycle in order to maximize conversions and sales. Make sure that you optimize every step of the marketing funnel to generate as much revenue as possible.
If you have any queries regarding the topic or any other concerns, please feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.