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What is a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the trek your clients take from being interested in your company to supporting your company. Understanding the marketing funnel helps you better consider the customer journey and helps you communicate with them more effectively.

There are four basic stages potential customers go through when they consider purchasing your product.

  1. Awareness. When your audience becomes aware of your brand. This stage introduces your audience to your service/product.
  2. Evaluation. Encourages audience members to weigh their options to determine if your product or service best fits their needs. This stage is when you tell them why your product or service solves their problem and why they should choose your brand instead of the competition.
  3. Conversion. This stage is when your audience takes the action you worked toward, like purchasing your product.
  4. Delight. Keeps your audience engaged and excited about your products and your company.

Understanding the marketing funnel is paramount in knowing whether your marketing methods are effective. You have a goal, right? Your goal is most likely to encourage someone to buy what you provide. If you want someone to invest in your brand, you should give them all they need, plus a little extra. That’s what keeps them coming back! The marketing funnel is a playbook for attracting your ideal clientele.

The Parts of the Marketing Funnel

You may not realize that you get pulled into marketing funnels all the time. Even if you’re reading something lighthearted, such as a “Top 5 Suitcases to Travel With” article, its purpose is to spark a response from readers. They’re trying to get you to buy a particular suitcase. 

Funnels themselves have different purposes. You may be attempting to get the audience to purchase a product, sign up for an email newsletter, or register for a webinar. Whatever conversion looks like in your situation, understanding the marketing funnel can help.

Regardless of its form, each part of the marketing funnel serves a different purpose, all of which are equally important. Let’s talk about it.

Awareness

Awareness is arguably the most critical layer of the marketing funnel because your audience can’t consider purchasing your product or service if they don’t know it exists. You can attract the audience’s attention through blog posts, podcasts, photos, social media updates, videos, etc. In this part of the marketing funnel, assume people know nothing about your brand. Your goal is to draw them in and make them aware. 

This first step is where you experiment most with what attracts customers. It’s their first experience with your brand, so it’s essential to deliver the type of content that works for your audience. If they prefer video content, give them a video. If they prefer infographics, give them infographics. It’s beneficial to balance several content marketing strategies, but leaning into what performs the best is also helpful. Being attuned to audience preferences gives you better insight into what to produce next. As a bonus, you can create a content calendar more efficiently.

Evaluation

Evaluation is where consumers are aware of your product, and they start asking questions. Will this product help my family and me? Will this make my life easier or better? Could my small business benefit from this service? At this point, educating your audience is vital. This step is when they gather information from you to determine if buying your product will solve their problem. Data, case studies, demonstration videos, worksheets, etc., are things that help solidify the information your audience is seeking. This point also is when you build trust with your potential client. If they trust you and your messages, they are much more likely to trust your brand. When you establish that level of trust, customers purchase from you, tell others about your brand, and support you any time your product fulfills a need for them. 

We’ve all been in the evaluation stage as consumers, so consider the things you would want to know. Let’s say you’re a parent wanting to purchase a new tent for you, your partner, and your twin toddlers. You find a brand you’re interested in and begin researching the tent. Where does this brand source materials? Are they respected among the camping community? Are the tents durable? Are they safe? Do they have built-in bunk beds for your children? Does the brand have positive customer reviews? Is it made out of waterproof material? Is it suited for your dog to sleep in as well? If the evaluation stage of the tent company’s marketing funnel answers these questions, it’s probably the company you’ll end up buying from.

Conversion

The conversion part of the marketing funnel is when the consumer decides your product or service meets their needs. You gave them the tools and information they needed, and they follow through to make a purchase (or to complete whatever action you seek). Some of the best ways to entice people are to provide customer success stories, demonstrations, free trials, guarantees, chatbots, FAQs, event invites, etc. 

Make this portion of the funnel more personal and helpful rather than informational and educational. Your goal is to make them feel confident in their decision and to minimize the risk of conversion.

Delight 

Too many brands stop after conversion. They got what they wanted, so they quit. This approach is no way to treat your customers. 

Your engagement with a new customer doesn’t stop with their purchase. It extends beyond that into the “delight” stage of the marketing funnel. This stage is our favorite part at Content Journey! We consider this section full of extra goodies that keep your clients loving your relationship and coming back for more. 

Incentives, promotions, referral programs, loyalty programs, relationship building, companion products, etc., are some methods for client retention. Your business is remarkable for a reason. Whatever that reason may be is why you attracted your clientele in the first place. Remind them consistently that your “special” is here to stay, you are here to serve them the best way you can, and you appreciate their support.

Customers go from being new supporters of your brand to long-time advocates when you make them feel important. Come on… you know you love receiving Dunkin’ Donuts rewards just for being a loyal customer. It’s part of the reason you continue drinking those giant coffees with enough sugar in them to fill a candy store. We get it! The loyalty rewards method works.

Your Next Steps

A successful marketing funnel doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication and time to understand what your audience is looking for and what they respond to. Be patient, and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Contact Content Journey to assist you in reaching your potential customers with the right messages at the perfect time. We can elevate your brand with careful attention to your audience and devotion to your goals. We do so with a mixture of relevant content marketing strategies to increase traffic and revenue for your business.

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