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SEO for Sales Funnel: Everything You Need to Know
In this guide, I’ll show you everything you need to know about marketing funnels. Let’s get started.
What is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel illustrates the buyer’s journey. It shows how people go from first learning about your brand to becoming customers. People naturally drop out at each stage because not everyone who knows your brand will become a customer. This creates the funnel shape. The marketing funnel is based on the Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action (AIDA) model, first developed by E. St. Elmo Lewis, an advertising advocate.
The Stages of the Marketing Funnel
1. Awareness Stage
The Awareness stage is when people first learn about your brand. For example, they may be searching for something on YouTube, chance upon your video, and watch it: They now know you exist.
2. Interest Stage
The Interest stage is when people start to engage with your brand. For example, they may watch a few more of your videos, subscribe to your YouTube channel, browse your website, and even sign up to your email list. They now know what you do or sell and are interested in it.
3. Desire Stage
The Desire stage (also known as Consideration) is when people evaluate your product or service. Just because they know who you are and what you do doesn’t mean you’re their final choice. They’ll evaluate alternatives, read reviews, talk to friends and family, and compare.
4. Action Stage
The Action stage is when people have decided they’re going to buy from you. You’re the chosen one. They’ve added your product to the cart. Your goal is to make it easy for them to take action and click “buy.”
In the real world, people don’t follow the funnel linearly. They may bounce back and forth, stay in one stage without progressing, and more. Therefore, the marketing funnel simplifies the and serves as a mental model for businesses to tweak their marketing. You’ll be able to ensure you’re executing at each stage. Without this intentional focus, some stages of your marketing funnel will get neglected and you’ll end up with “holes” that cause more people to drop out than necessary (i.e., a “leaky” funnel).
Creating an Effective Marketing Funnel
Every business has a customer journey and, therefore, a marketing funnel. So in theory, you can’t “create” a marketing funnel—you can only tweak and improve it. Practically speaking, “creating” a marketing funnel means executing at each stage. To make implementation easier, many marketers further simplify the funnel into three stages:
- Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
- Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
- Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
Here are the tactics you can implement in each stage:
Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
The top of the funnel is the Awareness stage. Your goal is to “open up the funnel,” i.e., introduce your brand to as many relevant people as possible. Here are some tactics to do that:
Content Marketing: Your prospects are almost certainly searching for information related to what you sell on Google. So you’ll want your website to be visible in the search results. In the Awareness stage, you’ll want to create content targeting keywords that your target customers are likely to be searching for early in their journey.
Social Media Marketing: Leverage the reach and influence of social media platforms to introduce your brand to a new audience. Engage with your target customers on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to increase brand awareness.
Partnerships and Collaborations: Some people in your industry have built a large audience of loyal readers, listeners, and viewers. You can leverage that audience and expose your brand to a new group of people. Collaborate with influencers, appear on podcasts, and co-create content to reach a wider audience.
Paid Advertising: Whether it’s YouTube ads or sponsorships, thousands of brands have been built using ads. It’s one of the most tried and tested tactics for increasing brand visibility.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
The middle of the funnel is the Interest stage. Your goal is to capture their interest, nurture it, and convince them you’re the right product for the job. Here are some tactics to do that:
Educational Content: Create content that educates your target customers about the benefits and features of your product or service. Provide valuable and actionable information that helps them understand why they need your product.
Lead Generation: Capture leads by offering free content, such as e-books, webinars, or email courses, in exchange for their contact information. Use lead magnets and calls to action to encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list.
Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers can build trust and credibility for your brand. Encourage customers to leave reviews and respond to them promptly to show that you value their feedback.
Product Demos and Free Trials: Allow potential customers to try out your product or service before making a purchase. Offer free trials or demos to showcase the value of your product and give them a taste of what they can expect.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
The bottom of the funnel consists of both the Desire and Action stages. Your goal is to:
Address Objections: In the Desire stage, people are evaluating. They’re comparing, asking friends and family, and reading reviews. Create content that addresses their objections and provides them with a compelling reason to choose your product over competitors.
Create Urgency: Encourage potential customers to take action by creating a sense of urgency. Use limited-time offers, discounts, or scarcity tactics to motivate them to purchase immediately.
Provide Exceptional Customer Support: Excellent customer support can make a huge difference in converting potential customers into paying customers. Make sure you have a reliable support system in place and respond promptly to inquiries and concerns.
Follow-Up and Retention Strategies: Once someone becomes a customer, your job isn’t done. Implement strategies to retain and upsell existing customers. Offer exclusive discounts, loyalty programs, and personalized recommendations to encourage repeat purchases and referrals.
As you build your funnel, assign metrics to each stage to measure its effectiveness. This will help you identify areas for improvement and fix any issues that may be causing people to drop out of the funnel.
Remember, the marketing funnel is a model that provides a framework for your marketing strategy, but it should be constantly tweaked and optimized to fit the unique needs of your business and target audience. Keep experimenting and analyzing the results to find ways to improve your funnel and drive more conversions.
Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to us or leave a comment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Marketing Funnels
1. What is the difference between a B2C and B2B marketing funnel?
The difference is that, in B2C, customers usually navigate the funnel alone. In B2B, more decision-makers are involved, so more people navigate the funnel. As a result, the marketing tactics used in each stage will be different. For example, in B2B, the Desire or Action stage may heavily involve salespeople, but this will be unlikely in B2C.
2. What is the difference between a sales funnel and a marketing funnel?
They’re the same, just terms used interchangeably. However, there may be differences in how responsibilities are split between marketing and sales teams. For example, traditionally, marketing teams were in charge of the top of the funnel, whereas sales teams were in charge of the bottom of the funnel (with MOFU split between both).
3. Are there additional stages in the marketing funnel?
Some marketers have found the existing model to be incomplete because it focuses solely on converting a prospect into a customer. After all, conventional marketing wisdom states that it’s cheaper to retain customers than to acquire new ones. So two more stages are added to the funnel: Retention and Advocacy.
4. How can I measure the effectiveness of my marketing funnel?
As you build your funnel, you should assign metrics to each stage. This can help you improve the funnel and fix “leaky” funnel issues. The exact metric to measure will depend on your strategy, but here are some ideas:
- Click-through rates
- Conversion rates
- Cost per acquisition
- Customer lifetime value
You can track most of these metrics via tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and social media analytics platforms.
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