The sales funnel is a business term that has been around years. For many, it’s a way to help understand where a prospect is on their journey to becoming a customer. Are they new prospects? (top of funnel) Have they been there for a bit and are engaging with the company? (middle of funnel) Or are they ready to buy and talking with sales? (bottom of funnel)
The only problem with that last part is that this is where a lot of people stop when looking at the sales funnel. They simply use it to gauge where a prospect is, but don’t then use that information to steer their marketing strategies and efforts for those in each stage of the funnel.
I recently wrote an article on how companies can effectively nurture their customers through the sales funnel. In it we discussed the sales funnel as a whole and went over just a few strategies that could be implemented at each level in order to move prospects along. This post is the first in a series of three that will give you insights into developing specific marketing strategies that can be implemented at each level of the funnel. Here are the different parts you can look forward to over the next week.
Part 1: Top of Funnel Strategies
Part 2: Middle of Funnel Strategies
Part 3: Bottom of Funnel Strategies
So lets get this party started…
Each person that goes into the sales funnel is going to be different. They will have different needs for your service or product than others that are lucky enough to be in your funnel. Just as each person in your funnel is different, so should be the marketing approach you take at each level.
Top of Funnel Strategies
Many people are all too familiar with the top of the sales funnel. This is where the journey begins with prospective clients and where you really need to hook them. You’re goal in the top of the funnel is to help inform them of the problem they need solved (sometimes they know this already, sometimes they don’t) and make them aware of your brand and organization. Here are a few strategies for this:
At this early stage, you want to make sure that you’re using engaging pieces of content that will appeal to your audience and produce high levels of engagement. Things such as infographics and slideshares are great because it shows information that can be digested easy and are more visually appealing than something like a eBook or whitepaper. Another piece that I can’t emphasize enough is blogs. Blogs are great for giving relevant industry information without necessarily shoving your company down their throat. It also helps in building you as a thought leader. So if you’re company isn’t blogging, start now! Well, wait until you’re done reading this and then go start.
One of the most effective ways to get your engaging content in front of those who will be most interested is through social promotion. Many social platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, allow you push your content toward highly targeted and specific audiences. Use these platforms to promote your blog posts and infographics, which will then drive people to come to your website. It’s a great way to get your message in front of a large amount of people for relatively cheap.
Pushing your content out and getting people to come to the website is great, but we want to make sure that you stay top of mind after they leave; we do this through retargeting. Retargeting is the process of placing a tracking code on your website that will place a tracking snippet/cookie on the browser of those who visit your website. You can create custom audiences based on those who visit your website and run ads that will be specific to them. That way, once someone leaves your website, you can ensure your message and brand will go wherever they are online. This is one of the most cost effective strategies you can run and one that you should absolutely be running through every stage of the marketing funnel, not just the top.
A Few Notables
Just a few things to mention – as you are bringing awareness to people through these different efforts and driving them to your website, make sure to have other opportunities for them to learn while on your website. Have other engaging content for them to read, give an area that they can input an email to receive a company newsletter (we’ll talk more about email capture next time), and make sure your contact info is plain as day – because if they like what they see, they need to have information readily available to reach out.
Now that you have a few tricks up your sleeve to deploy at the top of the funnel, make sure to come back for the next part in this series that will cover specific strategies for the middle of the funnel. You won’t want to miss it.