Going down the Marketing Funnel
A marketing funnel shows the purchase journey of a customer from the moment that they come in contact with your business till they decide to buy or get your service. A marketing funnel helps you to look at every stage of a buyer’s journey and takes appropriate steps to lead them to take a specific action. Marketing funnels act as a metric to evaluate the customer’s choice and preferences and take necessary steps to improve your services. There are many depictions and interpretations of the marketing funnel and now it has evolved into a non-linear structure. This is because customers are exposed to different stages several times before making the decision and can abandon their interests altogether any time they choose. The Digital era has changed marketing completely and has opened up several new avenues for businesses.
The digital marketing funnel, for the sake of explanation, can be divided into three, of which the first time a person hears about your business is called Top of the Funnel(TOFU). This is a wider stage as a large audience comes in contact with your business. You use a lot of marketing strategies to create awareness and attract prospective customers in this stage. Some of them might be interested in the product and services that you offer and take the next step. In this stage, they might have a desire to continue and evaluate their choices. This stage is called the Middle of the Marketing Funnel(MOFU). When the customer takes the decision to get your service and takes action, we can say that they are on the final stage called Bottom of the Funnel(BOFU). This also includes steps for customer retention.
What Happens at the Middle of the Funnel?
So, you do a lot of digital marketing tactics and generate a lot of new leads. Many people visit your website but they leave without doing anything. This is a problem that you face in the middle of the marketing funnel. You are losing a lot of leads. In this scenario, your marketing funnel can be said to be leaky or broken. In the middle of the funnel, you have a specific audience that has taken interest in your product and services. Once the customers find you and take interest in what you have to offer, you have to keep them engaged. You have to provide them consumable content to convince them that your product or service is right for them. You can gain their trust and provide creative solutions and help them make the decision to take action at the middle of the funnel. The marketing tactics in this stage can be something like offering a free trial for a limited time so that your customers can get to know the service and pay for it later.
How to Nourish Your leads?
Most customers research more about your business before making the decision to use or pay for the services. This is why this is called the evaluation stage. Here, you have to identify the problems of your audience and offer them a good solution that satisfies them. You have to educate, persuade and convince them with reasons to choose your services over your competitors. There are different digital marketing techniques and tactics that you can use at this stage. Some of these tactics are listed below.
You can use Emails and newsletters to engage your customers with informative content. You can remind customers who have signed up for trial offers to make purchases. You can give them personalized offers and discounts. Email marketing campaigns are a very effective way to engage customers at the Middle of the Funnel and it also helps in remarketing. Automated marketing also helps in making digital marketing campaigns effective.
Case Studies and White Papers
Case Studies are recorded proof of the services that you have provided till now. Case studies can let customers know more about your business process, the result you gave, and also let them understand that you can provide the right solutions to their problems. White papers can show how efficiently you solve problems.
Testimonials and User Stories
Reviews from real customers are always better than paid advertisements when it comes to trust. People trust real user stories and testimonials rather than advertisements. You can use user-generated content, customer stories, videos and interviews, product reviews to persuade people to make the choice.
Webinars and Expert Guides
Organizing webinars can help people understand your expertise in the field. If you can give them the right directions, show your skills and knowledge, it would help to gain their trust. You can also use in-depth videos, podcasts, and courses on related topics to reach the customers and give them consumable, quality content.
Social Media plays an important role in every stage of the marketing funnel. You can gain followers who are interested in the content that you provide on social media platforms. By engaging them with more quality content, you can nurture leads and create a customer base. You can interact with them and find out more about what they want, get real reviews, and improve your marketing plan.
SEO and SEM
Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing are the two important digital marketing tactics to increase your visibility. The key idea is to keep your websites and pages user-friendly, search engine friendly, and relevant. So optimizing your service and product pages is important when it comes to the middle of the funnel. Providing FAQs on-page can also answer common questions and doubts that users have about your services.
Blogs and Gated Contents
Regularly publishing quality blogs is a great way to engage customers and stay on top. You can also provide some quality content for free and keep others exclusive for paid customers. These are called gated contents. It is an effective way to give customers a taste of what you have to offer and prompt them to get your paid services. Lead magnets, free demos, and trials are also effective ways to nurture leads.
Creating the Right Plan for Marketing at the Middle of The Funnel
In the middle of the funnel, you have interested customers who are considering and evaluating your services. They are your prospective customers and by providing them the right solutions you can convert them to loyal customers. You can use more focused digital marketing tactics at this stage, as the people at this stage are clearly interested in your services.
Identifying specific needs of customers through research and creating the right mix of strategies is essential for nurturing qualified leads.
If you are an online designer you can post videos on your Instagram about how to wear scarfs in different ways, how to choose the right dress for occasions, write blogs about fabrics, alterations and introduce new designs. You can use Email marketing campaigns for sending newsletters, offers and discounts. You can start a program like offering discounts on first and third sales. Posting videos and having a gallery on your website will also help to keep your customers engaged. You can come up with a lot of creative digital marketing solutions for lead nurturing and conversion.
Once you have gained the interest of the prospective customers, you are in a crucial step where you are being compared with your competitors. This is called the Middle of the Funnel. This is where you provide the customers with reasons to choose you over others. Not all users at this stage move down to the bottom of the funnel and make the purchase decision. But, the aim at this stage is to maximize the number of customers who complete the purchase lifecycle and take necessary efforts to retain them. At the middle of the funnel, you must take the necessary steps to nurture leads and engage the target audience.