Throughout this page we will introduce you to what a conversion funnel is in addition to its inner workings and benefits to your sales and business as a whole.
At a top level, your business will have mapped out a funnel of conversion in which all leads will filter through. In a nutshell, leads are what enter your conversion funnel at the top and customers are what come out of the bottom as soon as a sale is made.
By breaking down the funnel you can further target each segment of your audience making the conversion of a lead to customer easier. This is called hyper-targeting. The goal of your conversion funnel should be to look after and nurture your leads throughout the entire ‘journey’ whilst passing through the funnel to ensure they progress efficiently into a paying customer.
The conversion funnel itself can be described as the content pipeline your business has created to guide a potential customer through lifecycle stages. At this point it is important to consider what people care about at different stages of the journey.
Audio 9.39 Minutes
The awareness stages of a customer lifecycle
This initial stage involves understanding a customer’s problem and how they are going to look for it’s solution. This is a stage where potential customers will be searching on Google and through several websites to understand their problem. It is important to realise this is where the process begins.
Throughout this awareness stage, your blog content is the most likely website area to be engaged with. That’s why using call-to-actions (CTAs) is useful as it invites potential customers to move on to the next logical step in the funnel. Following CTAs directly allows these potential customers to further understand their issue in an attempt to solve it.
At this stage it is more likely leads are in the mindset of ‘there are a wide variety of solutions to my problem, let me identify the one that fits me the best’. It is worth noting because of this, at this stage, you should give the lead some space for consideration, but at the same time let them engage in content that will help them progress.
This explains guiding people to the right solution, which coincidentally, your company can provide. This initial level of communication lays the foundation for when the lead is at a buying phase. By engaging with this type of informational and sales material, the lead can develop an understanding of your company whilst still tyre-kicking.
How does your company differ from its competitors?
In our digital age, your competitors are likely to be hosting a similar conversion funnel method. Your competitors are likely to be just as close to your customer. Therefore, it is at this stage you are aiming to build trust and a foundation for purchase, particularly of higher-ticket items or services. In addition to this, proof of your previous sales and high standards from other customers is invaluable here.
Your business will be the one delivering these resources so you will naturally be biased in their benefits and your ability to deliver. This is why reference to this high standard from other customers is important. In this same way, reviews are also equally as important. You want to provide a product or service that your customers want to leave a review. Allowing potential customers to see this feedback can be the difference between a sale or not.
Sometimes with reviews, it is even worth incentivising these to existing customers. Even without an incentive, don’t be afraid to be direct and ask your customer how they found the product or service.
In this way, you must first understand what content you need, then as a secondary aspect, how this content should be presented. Then you can map out how long there should be before each lead engages with a new piece of content in the process of turning them into a customer.
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Steve ( Growthlytics) has dedicated his career to Digital Marketing and his knowledge and skills in this area are second to none. These skills married with a solid knowledge of lead generation make him a huge asset to any online business.
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What is the correct order of marketing funnel stages?
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What types of content are most important?
During the process of creating a new content library, you should first conduct a deep dive into the personas of your buyers. This can help you to determine their challenges and which appropriate solutions your company can provide. Throughout this, you can also consider how leads are reacting to and moving through your current content funnel of conversion.
It is here you can understand whether potential buyers engage with your content as you intended them to. If they are not readily engaging, it is likely there is a gap in your content preventing the conversion funnel process as a whole.
The process of creating a ‘path’ for the customer should push the potential buyer closer to a sale rather than confuse them. If the journey makes sense, the customer will filter through the conversion funnel subsequently, if they do not ,it is likely something is missing. In this way, content guides the buyer.
A conversion funnel is an art and a science.
In the sense of art, your content should be direct to communicate its message. A good artist would not paint an abstract piece if they were intending to communicate something directly. In terms of conversion funnels, you are trying to lead your potential customers down a direct path, so why give them an abstract road to follow? Be clear in your direction.
How to fill your gap in content?
After you have identified there may be room for improvement in one area, you must next create the content to fill this aspect. There are a number of ways to generate ideas for what this content could look like.
Firstly, conducting keyword research will help identify what people are searching for. We recommend making the most of Google Search Console through your landing pages to understand the main keywords people were searching for to land on your website.
Secondly, review the types of content your competitors are distributing. If your competitors are discussing issues it is likely they are also providing a solution to potential customers in the same piece of writing. These types of pieces are useful and it’s likely they should be on your website as well.
Finally, the types of content you should use to fill your gaps can be generated from within. By asking yourself what it is people need to see that you do not already have can spark valuable content ideas. Try taking a step back from the granular detail of your website and approach it as a wider holistic piece. Understand the types of content from a customers perspective.
These three methods can be useful in helping you find new content that fills the gaps in your conversion funnel, but marketing is like a science. Most of the time, this will require you to test different methods. By building hypotheses about each content gap and the types of content necessary you will be able to test for the highest rates of conversion. Optimising your conversion funnel based on these hypotheses can take time, so be patient.
— Conversion Funnels
The timing of your content presentation
There are two aspects to the timing of your content. The first being the order it’s presented and the second being when it is presented in the customers overall journey.
The main issue you will face here is everyone is different! Whereas for some people it may take 30 days before the subsequent piece of content is engaged with, for others it could be minutes. Here for example, in the first scenario you would want to wait before sending the consumer a follow up ‘offer’ email, whereas with the latter, this could be sent immediately.
It is important to give your potential customers an appropriate amount of time to understand and digest the content. Then you can gently push them only the conversion funnel at their own pace after this nurturing process.
Gaining a wider understanding on when content should be presented, also involves understanding the order it should be presented in. This is why the initial research stage is so valuable, as now you can fall back on this in depth analysis to understand how customers are moving through your conversion funnel. You can understand what types of content are being consumed previous to them becoming an opportunity. For example, by looking at anyone who has downloaded a specific interactable piece of content or download and then identifying what they look at next, you are opening your conversion funnel up to endless possibilities.
This helps you to understand which outcome of each conversion funnel is most valuable from a business perspective. Knowing where each of your prospects has originated from is extremely valuable as you can begin to improve each funnel accordingly.
Many experts will begin this process by focusing promotions around ‘pain points’ throughout the funnel. You can adjust these offers accordingly to each point of the conversion funnel and to individual personas. Providing offers and content in this way will help nurture leads helping them continue down the funnel.
The importance of a wider insight
Would this conversion funnel work on yourself?
It is important to remember at the end of the day you are only human! So, consider whether a specific content or offer would tempt you to move to the next level of the conversion funnel. Also remember that your customers are human too, if they missed your first ‘offer’, don’t give up because of this! It could be they didn’t even notice it.
If your customers haven’t engaged with this piece of content immediately, what would the next best piece of content be to deliver to them? Keep both a primary and secondary focus in mind, with a simple approach to both.
— Successful Conversion:
Your successful conversion funnel
We live in an online world where harsh sales tactics no longer work. Potential customers want the freedom to explore information and options by themselves before making a decision on what to buy. The key is to make the process from awareness to sale as easier and effective as possible, in turn increasing your rate of conversion.
When optimising your conversion funnel, you can prepare leads for the following sales process. You will always find companies with a strong lead nurturing program will generate significantly more sales. And not only that… they will do it at a lower cost.
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