Marketing Funnel Strategy How Always-On Marketing Can Drive Brand Awareness and Revenue

In today’s competitive market, it’s crucial for marketers to be top-of-mind for potential buyers at every stage of their buying journey. Research conducted by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and LinkedIn’s B2B Institute reveals that at any given time, 95% of your potential customers are not actively looking to make a purchase. This means that traditional advertising methods often miss the mark, as they primarily target buyers who are not ready to buy yet.

To overcome this challenge, marketers can adopt an always-on marketing strategy, which aims to build awareness and create brand-relevant memories through continuous messaging. By implementing this approach, marketers can ensure that their target audience is familiar with their brand and its solutions even before they are ready to make a purchase. Always-on marketing focuses on enhancing brand awareness and boosting brand equity, using metrics that span the entire marketing funnel, from reach to revenue.

Why Always-On Marketing Matters

Many marketers tend to prioritize short-term lead generation campaigns, which often result in temporary revenue spikes followed by stagnant growth. These campaigns are driven by the immediate revenue needs of businesses, demanding quick results. However, this short-term approach fails to capitalize on the long-term potential of always-on marketing.

Always-on marketing programs, on the other hand, incorporate full-funnel campaigns that span extended periods of time. By embracing this approach, marketers can shift from being reactive campaign executors to strategic brand builders and revenue drivers. Although always-on marketing requires more planning, content, creativity, budget, and time compared to short-term campaigns, it offers the potential for long-term success and growth.

Paid search is a key component of any comprehensive marketing strategy, and it can be optimized to align with the principles of always-on marketing. Instead of focusing solely on conversion metrics, always-on paid search campaigns consider the entire marketing funnel, from top of funnel (TOFU) to middle of the funnel (MOFU) to bottom of the funnel (BOFU).

To execute an effective always-on paid search campaign, several elements need to be considered, including:

1. Content Strategy

Develop a content strategy that aligns with each stage of the funnel. TOFU and MOFU landing pages should contain ungated content that speaks to your brand, describes high-level category offerings, addresses customer pain points, and provides social proof. BOFU content, on the other hand, can be gated if it offers highly valuable and original data.

2. Messaging Alignment

Ensure that your messaging aligns with each stage of the funnel. TOFU messaging should focus on creating brand awareness, while MOFU messaging should engage potential buyers and encourage them to consider your solutions. BOFU messaging should be geared towards driving conversions and generating revenue.

3. Ad Creation

Create ads that are tailored to each stage of the funnel. TOFU ads should be attention-grabbing and focused on brand awareness, while MOFU ads should provide more information and encourage engagement. BOFU ads should emphasize the value and benefits of your products or services.

4. User-Journey Development

Map out the user journey for each stage of the funnel. Determine the touchpoints and interactions that potential buyers are likely to have with your brand, and optimize the user experience to guide them towards conversion.

5. Lead Nurturing

Implement a lead nurturing strategy to stay engaged with potential buyers throughout their journey. Provide valuable content, personalized recommendations, and timely follow-ups to nurture leads and keep your brand top-of-mind.

6. Metric Identification/Measurement

Identify and measure the relevant metrics for each stage of the funnel. TOFU metrics may include impression share, while MOFU metrics may focus on click-through rate and website engagement. BOFU metrics should be centered around revenue generation.

7. Budget Allocation

Allocate your budget strategically between funnel stages. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 60% of your budget to TOFU and MOFU keywords, and 40% to BOFU keywords. This ensures that your brand has visibility throughout the entire search journey, building awareness and driving revenue.

Always-On Paid Search Keywords

Segmenting keywords by funnel stage is essential for an effective always-on paid search campaign. While it is not an exact science, there are keyword research tools that can assist in this process. Here are some practical recommendations for segmenting keywords:

TOFU Keywords

  • Branded keywords: Protect and promote your brand by bidding on your own brand keywords.
  • Competitor keywords: Bid on keywords related to your competitors to increase brand awareness among relevant prospects.
  • Industry-level keywords: Bid on keywords that reflect your industry to capture a broader audience and increase impressions.

MOFU Keywords

  • Category-level keywords: Target keywords that focus on specific categories within your industry to engage potential buyers.
  • Comparison keywords: Bid on keywords that highlight comparisons between companies or solutions within your space.

BOFU Keywords

  • Product-level keywords: Target keywords that are transactional and product-driven to drive conversions and revenue.

Always-On Duration and Budget

For always-on marketing to be impactful, it needs to be both full-funnel and long-duration. However, it’s important to be strategic with your budget allocation, especially if it is limited. When faced with budget constraints, focus on adjusting the budget based on the performance metrics relevant to each stage of the funnel. Avoid the temptation to solely allocate budget to BOFU keywords, as this can lead to a cycle of short bursts of revenue followed by flat growth.

To champion always-on marketing within your organization, consider implementing a six-month or nine-month-long paid search pilot. Move beyond short-term campaigns and embrace a full-funnel, long-term view of paid search. While implementing this trial may present challenges, start by socializing and advocating for the idea. As a paid search marketer, you have the opportunity to be more than a reactive campaign executor – become a strategic brand builder and revenue driver by championing always-on marketing.

In conclusion, always-on marketing is a powerful strategy that can drive brand awareness and revenue by keeping your brand consistently visible in the market. By implementing an always-on approach in paid search, marketers can optimize their campaigns to align with the different stages of the marketing funnel. This includes developing a content strategy, aligning messaging, creating targeted ads, optimizing the user journey, nurturing leads, and allocating budget strategically. By championing always-on marketing, marketers can elevate themselves from reactive campaign executors to strategic brand builders and revenue drivers.

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