Digital Marketing Funnel: Build One that Drives Business

August 1, 2022
By Frank Rodriguez
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Digital Marketing funnels are like plumbing. You need them to survive and grow a business.

All marketing funnels are different and should be designed around your individual goals. You might want immediate sales or brand exposure to nurture long-term awareness. We discuss some fundamentals in creating a funnel that can work for you.

Table of Contents

1. Strategy

Strategies establish direction, give team members focus, and sharpen the process of creating precise targeted messaging, advertising strategies, and measurable goals. 

2. Awareness

Making a good first impression is still the foundation of any business relationship. Do you have quality advertising assets and a website showing up your competition? A company’s website must be a high-quality vehicle that establishes trust and authority, educates, and clearly states the company’s brand and value proposition.

3. Targeting

Businesses must identify and determine their core target market. Next, segmentation needs to occur in which specific groups of individuals (personas) are selected to introduce individual group solutions (products or services) are presented in a way that appeals to their interests and needs. Next, the company must choose the advertising methods and assets they’ll offer to their target markets.

4. Evaluation

Be innovative in raising your prospects’ awareness, and deliberate in creating and distributing your content. Develop a marketing strategy that outflanks your competition with product features or services no one else offers.

5. Consideration

Success isn’t measured by the number of emails sent out or by the number of social posts. The action taken by the prospects measures the overall success of the funnel. If prospects drop out of the funnel without making a decision or decide not to purchase, find out which stage is weak and make changes.

6. Measured Success

Marketing may be all about the numbers, but let’s focus on the number of business solutions the company provides to the marketplace, not the number of sales. Analytics, metrics, and KPIs tell the real conversion success story of how well the digital marketing funnel drives new business.

7. Tune & Retool

It’s time to talk about the Law of Continuous Improvement, which says never be satisfied with the results. Businesses must adapt and adjust their strategy to ensure their sales funnel produces the best possible outcomes.

The Digital Marketing Funnel

​​1.   Strategy

The Digital Marketing Funnel strategy spells out the journey the prospect takes from their initial encounter with the company’s brand throughout the education process until they arrive at the consideration stage of whether or not to purchase or engage with your brand. Think of the digital marketing funnel as a roadmap. Every stage, every piece of content, every message, every team member’s effort, and every opportunity must contribute to the journey’s final destination; “a positive outcome.” 

Check for digital marketing funnel leaks: Action without planning spells failure. No strategy equals limited success at best.

We recommend: Starting slow. Choose the best persona type, build content and messaging around that prospect and begin testing and refinement.

2.   Awareness

Take an honest appraisal of the competition. Does your competitor’s content have a professional look and feel? Are they being innovative? What about their tone and voice? Where do they have a strong presence? Are they taking advantage of Google’s paid advertising? If your content design is stale, the prospect will automatically assume your products and services are as well.

Awareness Assets: Paid Advertising, Blog posts, Infographics, Motion Graphics, E-Books, Landing Pages, Bite-sized Videos, SEO, or Guest Posts/Articles. 

Check for digital marketing funnel leaks: If there are typos in your email drip campaign or your website looks last updated in the early 2000s, don’t expect prospects to jump at the chance to engage in conversation with you.

We recommend: identifying and disseminating a brand awareness strategy that exposes the company’s brand to its most ideal prospects. Use Google Ads buys, leverage video and photography, become the industry expert through content creation, create a website that’s the go-to place for relevant, trusted information, and place well in Google search results; do what it takes.

3.   Targeting

There are several moving parts in the Targeting stage. Businesses must separate their prospects into groups based on their needs, interests, and desires. Next, align the messaging to those characteristics. The last two parts of the targeting stage are the content type and the distribution vehicle. Will the prospect respond better to motion graphics, pictures, videos, or expert opinion pieces? Will the group show more interest in infographics, Google Ads, blog content, copywriting, podcasts, eBooks, product reviews, or competitor analysis? The final part of the targeting stage is the advertising method. Will Paid, Native, or Programmatic Advertising show the best results?

Paid Advertising guarantees your message reaches the right audience; it’s excellent for boosting your brand and creating more opportunities for conversions. Native Ads are great for brand awareness; they are subtle, customizable, conversion-driven, and hard to ignore. Native ads boost purchase intent by 18%. Last, there is Programmatic Advertising can decrease your overall ad spend, give you the ability to optimize the ads in real-time, allows for cross-device campaigns, and is known for generating a higher ROI.

Remember, the Marketing Rule of 7 says a prospect must hear the brand’s message seven times before they’ll contemplate the buying decision.

Check for digital marketing funnel leaks: Use limited Google Ad buys to gauge interest in your product or service solution.

We recommend: Enlisting your existing customer base to see if the new product or service piques interest. Create a nominal version of your latest idea – don’t go the full-feature route until you’re sure people have more than a negligible interest in what you’re offering.

4.   Evaluation

Deploy every method possible to increase your brand awareness. Use Google Ads to gain branding traction. Create targeted content that’s relevant to their discussions. The two awareness goals here are to listen and understand the problems they’re trying to solve. Second, provide content vehicles (blog posts, white papers, case studies, LinkedIn discussions) they regularly go to for information. Do gap analysis to identify the “unserved” and “underserved” groups. Join in exchanges but don’t control the conversation.

Evaluation Assets: Social Proof, Discounts/Offers, White Papers, Case Studies, Google Ad buys, Email Drip Campaigns, Webinars, other Resources.

Check for digital marketing funnel leaks: Don’t assume you know what prospects want – research and do the due diligence. 

We recommend: Taking a two-prong approach. First, do a competitive analysis of what the other guys are offering. Do they appear successful? Second, use your existing customer base. What if they don’t have an existing customer base? If you don’t have an existing customer base, start sharing about your business with everyone in your professional network. Work hard to understand the audience you’re targeting, offer value in every engagement, and continue refining the process until your efforts gain traction.

5.  Consideration

People engage because they are somewhere along the consideration continuum. At this point, potential clients are somewhat familiar with your product or service and are beginning to ask: Does my problem need to be solved right now? Are these guys offering the best remedy? Is this solution a good fit for our company? It’s important to remember that some prospects will be closer to making their final decision while others are still in the initial research stage. People need to be engaged where they are in the buying process. 

Consideration Assets: Demos, Free Trials, Competitor Comparisons, White Papers, Case Studies, Webinars, and targeted ad buys. 

Check for digital marketing funnel leaks: Change your approach if engagement is not happening on the prospect’s side.

We recommend ensuring the engagement vehicle and language are appropriate for each persona.

6.   Measured Success

Your marketing metrics might be the number of leads, conversions, and ROI. Make sure the metrics are measurable. Marketing analytics tracks and analyzes marketing efforts data to reach a quantitative goal. Feelings cannot be measured; numbers can.  A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a quantifiable measure of performance. Companies may easily have more than a dozen KPIs in play. Measurements such as Return on Investment (ROI), Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), or Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV.) Create a list of KPIs that will spell success for your marketing efforts. Remember to watch a customer’s journey through Google Analytics or your preferred analytics platform.

Check for digital marketing funnel leaks: Closely monitor the analytics and insights.

We recommend: Rough-tuning your marketing funnel; then speed-tune it. 

7.   Tune & Retool

No marketing campaign ever performs flawlessly, nor does it function well forever. The marketplace is dynamic and constantly in flux – competition is coming and going, and new products and services are continually being introduced. Is it time to freshen the marketing content? Can the open or click-through rates be improved? All good questions to discuss from time to time. Marketing funnels are not static sales tools.

Check for digital marketing funnel leaks: Examine each funnel stage with a critical eye.

We recommend: Creating thresholds for each marketing funnel stage. When the numbers drop below those levels, take action. Create a schedule whereby wellness checks occur to ensure each step produces its best possible outcomes.

The Sale’s Never Over

Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more when compared to new customers. Don’t let your new customers become numbers on a monthly sales spreadsheet. Create Post-nurture Campaigns and develop after-the-sale content that short-circuits customer problems before they gain ground, fosters opportunities to upsell, and always be sure to announce new products and services to existing customers. These post-nurturing campaigns can retarget customers or re-petition undecided prospects.

The digital marketing funnel doesn't end once you convert. There's always ways to create repeat customers!

Build a Digital Marketing Funnel that Drives Business

If your company lacks the team or resources to build a digital funnel that produces results, we’ve been helping companies for almost a decade. We have deep experience in Marketing, Web Design, Branding, Digital Advertising, Motion Graphics, Google Ad Buys, and Graphic Design. Schedule a call today.

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