Build a website, and they will come. While that may have been a thought in business owners’ minds years ago, that formula is a sure-fire way to failure today.
A simple website won’t get the proper amount of traffic to keep you in business. One study suggests that 92 percent of website visitors visit a website for the first time for reasons other than buying.
Selling today is more than building a website. You have to nurture your visitors, giving them enough information to walk them to the sale. And the best way to do that is by focusing on developing a robust digital marketing funnel.
What is a digital marketing funnel?
A digital marketing funnel is often referred to as a sales funnel, or simply a marketing funnel. It describes the specific marketing process used to move a potential customer from the introduction phase through the sale, and into custom retention strategies. It’s the experience of the buyer journey, from beginning to end.
By adding the word “digital”, each task leads a prospect to another tool that helps grow your online traffic, builds your database, and converts to paying customers. It’s about all the steps used online to grow your business.
If you’re new to the marketing funnel concept, imagine pouring grain through a funnel. At the top, if you dumped a 50 pound bag way above the funnel, only a percentage of the grain would enter the funnel. This captured grain enters, slows, as it moves down. Eventually, it’s narrowed enough to move through the bottom with just a handful of other grains. Each piece moving through the funnel in its own time and manner.
Your digital marketing funnel works similarly. The internet is a wide array of users, some of which are funneled to your site by a variety of means. Social media, SEO, paid traffic – it all works to build awareness of your brand.
As a visitor comes to your site, views your information, some will want to take another step. They sign up for a free report, fill out a form, like your page. They choose to keep you in their awareness.
Over time, your message gets louder and clearer. They move forward. Ask questions. Take the next step. Until eventually, they press the button and do business with you.
The more you understand your customer, the easier it is to move them down the funnel. You speak their language. You give them the right information in the right order. They naturally flow through, wanting more.
Why a digital marketing funnel is important
The marketing funnel exists to ensure that every stage of the customer experience is well thought out, and motivates a deeper connection with the people you do business with. It:
- Increases awareness
- Educates your visitors
- Builds interest in your products and services
- Introduces your offers in a way that motivates
- Entices them to make a decision
- Gives them the proper steps to take action
The more time you spend developing your digital marketing funnel, the more successful your online business will be. You can:
- Build trust with your leads
- Nurture them every step of the journey
- Build a meaningful connection
- Harness the power of multiple digital channels
- Increase your customer lifetime value
With all that in mind, where do you start? How do you build a successful digital marketing funnel of your own?
Step 1: Awareness
Your first step is to capture awareness. This is about getting your brand in front of potential customers, and having them notice you.
Your first step is to understand why your customers come to you in the first place. It’s about building trust. It’s about positioning yourself as the authority.
The best way to do that is with content. Blog posts are an easy way to generate traffic to your site. You can write about all areas your customers are interested in, and if done the right way, they will enhance your SEO strategies and spread yourself wider in search results.
It doesn’t stop with blog posts. There are many tools you can use to capture attention:
- Lead magnets
- Free reports
- Social media
It may seem overwhelming with the number of options you have. We suggest starting small, building and refining as you go. It allows you to test, find out what resonates with your audience, and build more of the same.
Step 2: Interest
As people learn more about you, they want to dive deeper into your brand. This is a continuation of the awareness stage. As you build content, you can further expand your knowledge base, allowing someone to go as deep as they desire.
While content at the awareness stage may be short and concise, at the interest stage you can provide more detailed information. Have them sign up for a free eclass. Or fill out a form for a free report.
They’re interested. Give them more of what they want.
Step 3: Consideration
As a prospect dives deeper, it’s time to push them towards action. What can you offer them to do business with you?
Your goal is to show them what you do. If they have questions, you have the answers. If they’re unsure, you provide the surety they need to move forward.
You consistently remind them of the benefits of doing business with you.
Step 4: Decision
This is your best offer. This is the reason they should say YES right now.
Unlike the earlier steps, this is the point where you require them to take action.
This is also where a lot of marketers drop the ball. Don’t hide your offer. Don’t make it anything but what it is: a reason to move forward with you.
Step 5: Post-purchase
Once you’ve completed the sale, it’s time to continue building raving fans. Referral marketing will help build your business quicker than any other form of marketing. This is how you do that.
Build connection. Provide entertainment. Create brand awareness. Have them fall in love with you, over and over again.
And you’ll have a thriving business for many years to come.