How does a marketing funnel work?

Conversion funnel marketing has evolved. It is always continuous and iterative.

How does a marketing funnel work? 

A marketing funnel helps you find ways to reach your target audience, attract potential customers, turn them into qualified leads and hopefully turn them into clients!

What are the stages of a marketing funnel? 

The marketing conversion funnel is often described in a linear fashion with three phases: 

  • Top of Funnel (TOFU)
  • Middle of Funnel (MOFU)
  • Bottom of Funnel (BOFU)

Today , the reality is that the conversion funnel is not that linear. But these stages are a great visual representation of the process to transform leads into customers. Think of it as an inverted pyramid (or well, a funnel!). The online shopping journey is more robust.

Should you implement a conversion funnel for your business?

Any good conversion funnel must take into account the different stages and touch points of the buying journey. Once these steps are highlighted, it is possible to better adjust your content strategy to generate quality traffic that will help you turn visitors into customers. A conversion tunnel makes it possible to analyze the points of friction (bounce rate, abandonment of basket, etc.). It also makes it possible to optimize the content creation process, to better target the types of content needed, etc. 

To know more, contentsquare.com has a great article. 

What is the optimal conversion funnel?

There are more sophisticated conversion tunnels that can be used. Conversion funnel optimization is a process that is very industry and often company specific. Here is a model, much more complex which captures the B2B reality. This is the Gartner model which is a modern B2B tunnel model. In this case, the buyer moves forward, backward and forward as they assess your product and navigate internal purchasing processes.

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source: https://twitter.com/camden_gaspar/status/1336403278461022209

It may seem scary at first. But this is one of the examples of tunnels that reflects the reality of things.

Brendan Hufford also shared a different purchase funnel model :

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Source: https://twitter.com/BrendanHufford/status/1336404742860382208

Here is how he describes the entire funnel: 

  • ¬†Awareness phase: When the prospect consumes free content marketing resources from the brand. Marketing teams should aim to use content to establish brand authority, credibility and expertise in their industry.¬†
  • Consideration stage: The consideration phase focuses on producing valuable content to educate potential buyers, address the prospect's needs and questions, and demonstrating social proof. Engagement rates should be monitored here.
  • Decision: This phase of the sales process how two different meanings. If the user has purchased, the content here is about post-purchase customer support, "thank you" messages, and broader education. If they didn't buy, the company should try to get feedback and send out targeted winback campaigns.
  • Growth: This step is to increase the customer's value for the business. Upsells, cross-sells, offers, etc. You should focus on improving the conversion process at this crucial stage.
  • Advocacy: This is where current customers turn into brand advocates. A loyal customer base will help spread the word, through customer testimonials or customer reviews, to help your company attract more customers. At this funnel stage,¬† marketing strategies that work are loyalty programs, referral offers, early access to new products, etc. A true marketing funnel is always continuous and iterative.

Sometimes it takes just one article to turn the visitor from lead to customer

Let your marketer take the reigns to optimize your customer journey. Sometimes we can improve the conversion rate in an article! Most of the time, blog posts are created to attract new prospects. And content marketers rarely aim to convert users immediately, with just one blog post.

Usually the content is organized according to the different stages of the funnel, but in this video, Tyler Hakes explains that in some cases you can move the buyer all the way down the funnel with just one very fleshed out blog post. Here's a real-life example: a blog post from a SaaS company that turns 5% of readers into software subscriptions. Here is the user manual: 

1) Title: "Product Sheets: Creating Automated Sell Sheets with Plytix"

  • The first half of the title contains a high volume keyword. This allows you to target TOF audiences.
  • The second half instead communicates that the post describes how to resolve the issue with a specific product.

2) When you read the first part of the blog begins with the TOFU content.

This poses a problem: the tedious process of creating and modifying sales sheets.

3) Then, the publications move to the MOFU stage, presenting a solution to the problem: automating the process of creating sales sheets.

The article explains what automation means for your business and why automating sales sheets can be valuable for your business.

4) The last part of the blog post is about using Pytix to solve the problem.

By moving the prospect from a stage of knowledge of the solution to that of the product. They don't do anything complex. They simply explain how the product works and how to use it.

As Tyler Hakes said, what it takes is mapping the different stages of the funnel that people go through - and the information they need as they go through their buying journey. 

Do you think that better explains the funnel? What is your design for the funnel?


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