The marketing funnel is the bread and butter of every marketer and advertiser there has ever been. It is the journey a customer takes from first hearing about your product or service to then becoming a loyal user. In essence it remains the same, however things change over time and in this piece we will examine this.
Social Media and Marketing Funnels
Social media was always seen as a way of creating brand awareness, now however it has become a critical tool. Creating engagement and nurturing those viewers into sales and beyond is now the key use of social media. The core of this marketing funnel remains the same even though others have tried to make adaptations. The words “cold, warm and hot” are often used to describe the funnel
Stages of the Marketing Funnel
The marketing funnel breaks down into four sections: brand awareness (cold), engagement (warm), consideration (warmer) and purchase/action (hot). We have two stages in the middle of the funnel and added action to the bottom of the funnel as not every funnel ends with a sale. Anyway, let us properly breakdown these stages.
This is just letting people know that you exist. Every social media can be used to achieve this, and it is what social media has been used for historically. Paid brand awareness is the cheapest option on most social networks to grow your audience. At this stage your only hope is to reach people who have never heard of you before.
Now, let the process of narrowing down your audience begin. This is when you start to narrow your funnel from complete strangers to those who actually engaged with your brand awareness campaign. Knowing a company exists is one thing, actively engaging with their message is another. This engagement may come in the form of watching a video, liking a post, or even just clicking on a post to read more. You may or may not get some web traffic at this stage.
Okay, so now you have caught a potential customer’s interest. They are considering buying from you and are interested in you but need that extra tip along to get them to convert. This can be done in a number of ways on social media. Social proof like testimonials from customers and reviews is one way to do it. Another is offering a discount on first time purchases using a code or an offer with an expiration date.
Every industry’s stage of consideration will be different and will need to be tailored to suit that business’s needs.
The last stage of the funnel where hopefully all of that work will have paid off. This depends on your business, some businesses will have a purchase at the end of their funnel, others will see arranging a meeting as the last step. This is if everything goes well. If the potential customer doesn’t finish their journey then you’ve to understand how to get them back and into the funnel again.
No Two Marketing Funnels Are The Same.
Every funnel will have it’s own intricacies. Some will take minutes to complete, others will take months. Some sales will happen at stage one, some won’t happen in stage 4. It entirely depends on the customer and the product. A cheap product won’t have the same journey as a high-end product. People may be in one stage of the funnel for a very long time before finally tipping into the next, there is no way to be sure how exactly it will work. They key, like all things in marketing is try and experiment constantly.
Facebook Ads and a Funnel
The best thing you can do for your funnel is to have it run as smoothly as possible. If you’re using Facebook Ads for your funnel they make this quite easy.
For your brand awareness audience you don’t want to waste money showing your ad to people who already know who you are. Therefore you should exclude people who have visited your website or engaged with your page before. Do this using Facebook’s Pixel.
For your engaged audience you only want people who saw your stage one ad, obviously. However, going beyond this you don’t want people who clicked straight through to your website from stage one. They are a step ahead, so exclude website traffic from this stage.
At stage three your audience is broken down into those who engaged with you in any way. We want to take the stage two audience and direct them to our website. The language used should also become more sales orientated.
Our final stage is converting these people into customers.
After the Funnel
Your marketing shouldn’t stop once customers have made a sale. Now you have to turn these customers from once off clients into loyal buyers. Offer them a different product or an incentive to become a lifelong customer and restart your funnel again. Keeping a customer is far cheaper than gaining a new one.