I’ve always liked the concept of the marketing funnel because it’s so honest. In digital marketing, you often begin by collecting up as many people as possible who could possibly be interested in your website or product, you ply them with every convincing thing you have, and then you are eventually left with the comparatively few who make up your customers or user base.
It’s not like so much of marketing which tells startups and small businesses, that you “if you build it, they will come“, but instead is more like the movie Rudy – which tells you that if you try your hardest you can be successful at your own level. And the marketing funnel scales – making it useful whatever your potential level of success is, or whatever type of marketing you are doing.
It’s also great because you can see the marketing funnel in action on even a single campaign. You show your ads, or emails, or posts to anyone who could be interested. Out of everyone who you saw your message a relatively small percentage of those people take the bait and click. Then out of that relatively small percentage of clickers, an even smaller percentage follow through and take an action (such as buying something).
For a single campaign, your ads/emails/posts are your Top of Funnel content, creating awareness and interest. Your landing page is your Middle of Funnel content, allowing people to consider and evaluate your brand. And your sales page (or product detail page, or even just embedded sign up form) is your Bottom of Funnel content – converting people into customers or your user base.
Having a great ad/email/social campaign *can* drive a lot of conversions. If you use these same principles on a larger scale however, you can create a system where conversions are a byproduct of how you work. Thinking about all your content and activity in terms of what it is intended for helps you focus on who the audience for each set is – as well as the journey you should have taken them through to ensure they move on to the next step.
If you make a quiz – it should probably be broadly aimed at your whole target market for you to get the most value out of it. If you make a product video, it would probably help if the people who are watching have already heard of you, so that you can focus on being convincing rather than having to introduce yourself. And while it is often useful to have sales pages that would convince *anyone* to buy, it’s even more useful to have targeted sales pages that are focussed on people who are likely to buy but just need a push over the edge.
So take a look at this infographic, and consider your own content and user journeys. Are they funnelling people towards a conversion? Is your content aimed at the right set of people? Is it doing what it would be best at doing?
Honestly – stare at this thing for a while. Think about your digital marketing and content, write down what you think it’s doing and to who, and then look at it some more. It’s a really simple concept, but it’s applications are deep and extremely helpful.