There’s a lot of talk about “marketing funnels” in the digital marketing industry.
In fact, Google Trends show that interest in the term “marketing funnel” has increased over the past few years.
A lot of startups, established brands, and local businesses now build their marketing funnels.
But most struggle to make their funnel work.
It’s because they missed the basics.
For a marketing funnel to be highly effective, you need to understand and apply the basics.
Without the basics, your marketing funnel will fail.
Now, let me help you ensure that your marketing funnel doesn’t fail.
Before I proceed, I’ll assume that you know what a marketing funnel is?
The definition of a marketing funnel is very simple.
In case you don’t know, here’s a straightforward description from KISSmetrics:
A funnel is the set of steps a visitor needs to go through before they can reach the conversion.
Think about the Amazon purchase funnel.
There are a few steps a visitor has to go through before they can purchase a product.
Here’s how it looks:
- They have to visit Amazon.com.
- They have to view a product.
- They have to add a product to the cart.
- They have to purchase.
Here’s a real-life example:
See how the first step leads to the next and so on – that’s how funnels work.
And see the below screenshot and pay attention to how people dropped off as they walk through the funnel:
Now, I’m sure you fully understand what a marketing funnel is and how it works.
Funnels are a critical part of digital marketing. They make you an efficient marketer.
But I see many startups and marketers struggle to make funnels work because they are missing some key things.
What are these key things?
You Need A Loyal Audience
For your marketing funnel to work, you need a loyal audience.
You don’t inherit a loyal audience (except you’re buying a successful company). You build it.
This is what successful SaaS companies like Buffer, KISSmetrics and Groove did. They built a loyal audience for their brands.
The top of a marketing funnel could contain different marketing channels like organic search, organic social media, Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, Pinterest Ads, content marketing, etc.
All these channels are good for drive highly-targeted traffic to your website. They are quite good for building your audience online too.
But to build a loyal audience online, content marketing is the most effective of them all.
In fact, you don’t only need content marketing for the top of your funnel. You also need it to reach people at any stage of the funnel.
This is why content marketing is very vital to the success of your marketing funnel.
With content marketing, you have the opportunity to create messages that match where your audience is in the funnel.
You can create contents to help prospects:
- Discover and learn more about your brand
- Consider buying from you instead of your competitors
- Actually, convert them into customers
- And continue retaining them as customers
You won’t get these from other marketing channels except content marketing.
Content marketing doesn’t only attract the audience. It makes them stay.
You have a higher chance of making people loyal to your brand when they visit and spend more time on your website.
Content marketing helps you show up everywhere on the web:
Be Extremely Unique To Your Target Audience
You’ve spent days, weeks, or even months to build your product.
Now, you’ve created a fantastic, useful product people can’t wait to have.
Your product is almost the same as your competitors. Maybe a few set of features makes it unique. That doesn’t really mean you’re unique.
You still need to be extremely unique.
For your product to stand out in the marketplace, people must associate you with an entirely different emotion.
Or, maybe you don’t have a competition now. So you’re not thinking about becoming unique.
I want you to know that it’s only a matter of time. You’ll have competitors selling the same thing you do, and the same way you do it.
Their product could even be better than yours.
The only way to protect your business is to be extremely unique now.
For your marketing funnel to be 200% more effective, you need to heed this important advice.
It’s you versus competitors. Maybe your biggest competitor.
Who will win the branding war?
For example, Coke versus Pepsi.
Ali versus Frazier (The Fight Of The Century).
Wal-Mart versus Amazon.
Gillette versus Dollar Shave Club.
Let me emphasize on Dollar Shave Club (DSC).
DSC became wildly successful within a very short time because of their extreme uniqueness.
They were able to differentiate themselves from the competition completely.
Dollar Shave Club is a subscription-based razor blades manufacturer, something the competition wasn’t doing.
In fact, at the time of writing, DSC offers to send you razors for free in the first month.
People enjoy the convenience of having their razors delivered directly to them. This sets DSC apart.
Their razors are also cheap and do the same work as premium razors on the market.
Just like the Dollar Shave Club, you need to create your own Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It’s what will make your marketing funnel work harder for you.
Craft A Compelling Brand Story
At the back of every successful brand, there’s a story.
Your brand needs a story.
It’s this story that will draw people to your website, and make them buy your product.
It’s this same story that will get people talking about your product in the bar, school, family dinner and more.
For example, Apple uses storytelling a lot to market their products.
Their stories help you see their products differently when compared to the that of competitors.
Apple’s “Think Different” campaign in the late 1990s is an example of what I’m talking about.
In this ad, Apple associated its product with people like Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Thomas Edison, among others.
Instead of seeing the world like ordinary people, Apple wants you to see it like these exceptional people.
Apple’s famous “1984” Super Bowl Ad is another example of Apple using storytelling to sell their product.
Dollar Shave Club founder, Michael Dubin also told a good story in the first video ad for the brand. The video went viral and made the business successful.
Create A Lifestyle Around Your Brand
How would people feel when they hold and make use of your product.
For example, Apple products make us feel classy, elegant and expensive.
When you make use of your iPhone, for example, you’re not just an iPhone user. It’s a device that makes you feel good about yourself.
No wonder the Apple fans can’t always wait when the new device is out.
To make your marketing funnel more effective, you need to create a lifestyle around your brand. This is one of the important basics many marketers miss. And they fail as a result.
Your brand is an extension of yourself.
What’s your lifestyle like?
What are your beliefs?
Apple embodies Steve Job’s lifestyle and beliefs.
He made us believe in his way of life.
He accepts nothing less than exceptional.
Today, we believe Apple products to be exceptions in each of their categories in the tech world.
You must do the same thing too.
For your marketing to be more effective, you need to create a lifestyle around your brand.
Lululemon is another example of a company that has a lifestyle around its brand.
You don’t wear Lululemon. You are a Lululemon.
By creating a lifestyle around its brand, the company makes buying its product easier.
To create a lifestyle around your brand, you need to ask yourself a lot of questions.
Who are your target customers?
What food do they eat?
How do they feel about current events?
What are their passions?
How do they spend their free time?
In fact, what kind of person do they want to be?
A lot of these questions may sound silly.
But buried inside the answers to silly questions like these are some untapped opportunities that will separate your brand from the competition.
When you do this, your product stops becoming an option. It becomes a choice. It’s either a prospect is by your side or not.
The Mistake That Could Kill Your Marketing
You could have the best marketing funnel created by a talented marketer, and yet your marketing campaign could still fail.
There’s one fatal mistake that’s wasting millions, if not billions of marketing dollars right now.
You have to avoid this silly mistake at all cost if you want to build a successful company.
What is this mistake?
It’s inconsistency in marketing messages.
This mistake could look simple. But it’s a real marketing killer.
When a business says conflicting marketing messages, it leads to confusion and lack of trust in the business.
For example, a prospect discovers your company through a blog post.
Then learned about a certain feature in your product and decided to sign-up for a free trial.
So if your onboarding emails didn’t say much about this particular feature why the prospect decided to sign-up, he or she might choose to leave. That means a valuable customer lost.
This happens a lot online.
Companies will ask you to subscribe to your email list for a reason, probably a certain benefit you need.
Then later, you’ll find them slowly taking you away from the initial promise. As a result, you’ll feel betrayed and may never subscribe or buy their product in the future.
Your marketing messages must be consistent across your marketing funnels.
Make sure you’re repeating any promise made to the subscriber, prospect or customer. Doing this will increase their trust in your brand.
Create Contents That Attracts The Right Audience
This is another important point many marketers miss when creating their marketing funnels.
Lots of marketers are selfish.
They think about the next hot topic that will drive thousands of visits to their website.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Driving lots of visits to your website is worthless if most of them won’t convert.
What you need are more customers. Not more visitors.
By creating the right contents, you’ll drive highly-targeted visitors who are more likely to buy your product or service.
It starts with the right content.
How can you create the right content?
To create the right contents, you should think about your target audience.
For example, Wistia is killing it with their content marketing campaign.
Wistia is a video marketing platform for business.
They created a library of high-quality contents that teaches businesses how to use videos to grow their business.
Their contents draw in the right visitors that need their service.
Farrow & Ball is a 70-year-old UK-based paint-and-wallpaper supplier.
The company turned to blogging to attract the right audience to their product.
So they created a separate site called The Cromologist (a chromologist is someone who interprets color).
All the content on this blog follows the idea of owning color. From showing how to paint a door to what a sunset looks like.
The Chromologist embodies the idea of consistency and providing value on a wealth of topics on color — not just paint.
Don’t forget that this draws highly-targeted visitors to the Farrow & Ball website and brand.
You can do the same thing for your brand.
You could create a separate website to create valuable contents and promote your products and brand.
Keep in mind that the contents you produce must be related to the needs of your audience.
Put them first when creating contents that promote your brand.
Selfishly publishing contents for the purpose of gaining high traffic from search engines and social media won’t help your marketing funnel convert most of your prospects.
Surprise Your Customers By Making Them Feel Special
Converting a prospect into a customer doesn’t mean you have them for life.
First, you have to make that customer happy.
People tend to ask themselves after buying a product:
Is this product really worth the price?
Making a customer happy is very important to your marketing funnel.
An unhappy customer is more detrimental than a prospect who is still on the fence.
When you make customers happy, they are more likely to recommend your product to their friends. That creates more customers.
No marketing can beat word-of-mouth.
A well-written thank-you letter after purchase could put a smile on a customer’s face.
Do you have a thank you page in your marketing funnel?
Perhaps, you can help customers learn something new. I mean something valuable for free.
Or, you can just wow them with a surprise.
Surprising your customers doesn’t stop after the first purchase. You should keep surprising them. That way, you will keep getting more customers.
For example, In 2011, Joe went out for a drive in his 1990 Honda Accord to celebrate the car hitting the one million mile mark.
When he got to the center of his small town, he was met with a parade, congratulatory banner…and a new car!
Enjoy the video:
You can use all these tips to create better marketing funnels that generate higher ROI for your company.
Thanks for reading.
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