The phrase “marketing funnel” might sound like a trendy business buzzword, but if you’re looking to increase profits and work with a steady stream of clients, you need to prioritize it. This funnel serves as a concrete strategy to draw in prospects and guide them through each stage of closing the sale. When done right, you’ll be able to meet (and exceed!) your revenue goals consistently.
Unfortunately, those who lack an understanding of the marketing funnel are left with their wheels spinning and a scattershot approach that sometimes works but is generally inconsistent. Unpredictability is best avoided in business, so you must learn how to use each stage of the marketing funnel to your advantage as soon as possible.
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From attracting your clients at the top to closing more deals at the bottom, it all starts with optimizing your messaging and building trust with ideal clients. So if you’re hoping to deliver the right content at the right time, here’s what you need to know about the marketing funnel.
Stage One: Awareness
In this first stage of the marketing funnel, your prospects become aware of their problems and educate themselves on how to solve them. This is the top of the funnel, where you’ll want to focus on attracting ideal clients to your business. It’s about showing them you exist and are there to provide solutions to their pain points.
Inside this stage, your marketing efforts should encourage your audience to learn more about you. Therefore, it’s vital to create captivating content that keeps them wanting more. There are a few things you’ll want to do first when it comes to this part of the funnel:
- Develop a marketing strategy. Get clear on your ideal client and what kind of offers they need. Define your brand messaging so you have a deep understanding of how to engage your audience. You’ll also want to define your sales goals to understand the results your efforts will help you achieve.
- Build your email list. Create a valuable lead magnet to entice new subscribers and set up an account on an email marketing platform to keep in touch with them.
- Create an engaging brand. Develop a high-converting website and ensure you have a strong, consistent visual brand across all marketing platforms.
It’s important to note that this stage focuses on education. You’re sharing why your audience should work with you over someone else. Communicate the value you’ll bring to their lives and the transformation they’ll experience upon working with you.
Your prospects aren’t quite ready to purchase a product or service in this part of the funnel. Instead, they’re simply learning more about solving their problems and looking for someone to answer their questions. That’s why you must focus on introducing yourself as a potential solution during this phase.
Stage Two: Connection
The second stage of the marketing funnel, the connection stage, is about developing relationships with your customers. It’s about getting them to know, like, and trust you. Those who excel in this part of the funnel rarely struggle with sales.
Prospects enter the middle of the funnel once they’re aware of your brand–they may follow you on social media or have signed up for your email list. They’re exploring their options as they’ve defined their problem and are looking to investigate potential solutions. Strong marketing in this stage focuses on delivering high-quality content and further engaging with prospects.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Become a helpful expert. From blogs to podcasts to YouTube videos, meet your customers where they’re spending the most time and deliver valuable content to them regularly.
- Engage consistently. No ghosting anyone here! Create a content calendar to ensure your ideal clients hear from you and begin to understand your expertise.
- Get social. Wherever your audience hangs out online is where you need to be. Research which platform(s) will have the most significant impact on your sales and start sharing content accordingly.
High-quality content is about more than a pretty picture or two–it’s developed with care and offers advice on how users can begin to solve their problems. This type of content is a must-have in the second stage of the marketing funnel.
Stage Three: Sales
Now that they’ve clearly defined their problem and explored possible solutions, your prospect aims to make a decision. They’ve entered the final stage of the marketing funnel–sales. You’ve gotten their attention and gained their trust, so now it’s time to seal the deal.
Use this part of the funnel to convert ideal clients into actual clients, giving them specific reasons to choose you over a competitor. You’ll likely need to resolve sales objections that may be holding your audience back. Try approaching it by:
- Demonstrating authority. Sharing social proof such as testimonials and case studies is an excellent way to prove to others that you’re the best choice. Tell a clear story about the problems you solve and how you solve them.
- Asking for the sale. Creating a sales process framework will help you sell to the right prospects at the right time. Document the sales objections you receive and make a note of any patterns. This way, you can address them earlier on in the marketing funnel.
- Harnessing the power of your email list. Ask subscribers how they heard about you and where they entered your funnel. You can also create specific sales sequences to sell to new and old prospects.
Once you’ve developed content and processes for the entire marketing funnel, you’ll want to be sure to measure each stage’s success. This means analyzing data to determine what’s working and what’s not. Then, when you carefully curate content for all three phases, you can easily guide prospects through the funnel–ensuring they become loyal customers at the end!