As a business owner in 2019, it’s important to have an online presence. Your customers are going to be checking your website, social media, and third-party websites to gather information, data, and reviews depending on where they are in the buying process— or where they are in your marketing funnel.
What is a marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel describes the stages and steps a potential customer takes to go from unaware of either your company, product, or service to pay for your product or service.
There are three main steps in the marketing journey for a potential customer.
- The top of the funnel is the awareness stage where potential customers will enter. Here we assume they are a “cold” audience, as in they are unfamiliar with your company, the solution, or even the problem that needs solving.
- The middle of the funnel is both the interest and desire stages. In these stages, potential customers are educated, gain awareness, and are “warmed up” to the solution to their problem(s). Those in this stage are a “warm” audience.
- The bottom of the funnel is where customers know they need a solution to their problem and are ready to buy right now. Here we call them a “hot” audience.
There are different ways to nurture your audience and potential customers at each stage. Nurturing your audience means you are giving them extra attention. This TLC can help them become more loyal to you, your company, products, or services.
Here are three ways to nurture your audience at each stage of the marketing funnel.
1. Raise awareness by being present where your ideal customer is
Where does your ideal customer and target audience hang out? Where do they discover the answers to their questions? This is where you need to be. Social media is an obvious example so let’s take a look at that first.
People use social media for different reasons, but most customers are on some form of social media. Find out where your ideal customer is hanging out on social media and establish a presence there. The key to social media is posting regularly, predictably, and engaging with your followers.
Other ways of raising awareness include other marketing campaigns such as:
- optimizing your website for search engines like Google
- being present on Pinterest if your ideal customer uses Pinterest
- participating in traditional marketing campaigns like direct mail and TV, radio, and/or print advertising
- trying digital advertising on social media platforms or on other websites
- being present on third-party review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor
- working with influencers who can become a brand ambassador or spokesperson for your products or services
2. Increase interest and desire by educating your ideal customer
Your ideal customer may not know they have a problem much less that there is a solution to their problem. This is where education campaigns come in to help them in their buying and decision-making journey.
One of the best ways of educating your ideal customer is by putting articles on your website. These articles should be written for the benefit of Google and other search engines--this process is called search engine optimization. Your website should have at least four to five articles on your website that will tackle the following questions:
- What problem your product or service will solve
- Why and/or how your product or service will solve that problem
- What are the benefits of using your product or service
- What stands you apart from competitors
Answering these questions in articles with at least one thousand words will help search engines more accurately display your company’s website in search results. You can then share these articles on social media and Pinterest. The more you share the content, the more you will increase your visibility with your ideal customers. Lastly, the articles are educating your ideal customer and keeping them on your website—and in your world—for longer.
3. Increase action by keeping things simple for your ideal customer
When it comes to your website, it’s easy to get carried away by the design process, the multitude of options, or shiny object syndrome. In reality, your potential customers need your website to be as simple as possible. Too many options can be overwhelming and they might go down the wrong path on your website or leaving it altogether (and exiting your funnel). Website users need to be told what to do and guided through the website experience as easily as possible to get their questions answered.
The checkout process also needs to be as seamless and intuitive as possible. Creating too many steps might overwhelm them or even frustrate them making them second-guess their decision. Just because an ideal customer is ready to take action doesn’t mean they will jump through hoops to get through your full process.
Once they do go through the checkout process then you can start adding on the popular upsell or cross-sell. These are popular because in one-click your customer can add a similar, upgraded, or bonus buy to their purchase.
After they go through the full buying process with you, make sure you continue to nurture them. Nurturing them can include thank you emails, personalized offers, and tailoring new content to their needs.
Amy Smith is a brand strategist and creative freelancer specializing in web and graphic design and content marketing. She has been in the industry for over a decade and is passionate about teaching and working on projects. Amy calls Atlanta, Georgia home where she lives with her daughter but she enjoys getting into nature to hike, kayak, or scuba dive.