As a business owner, you will need the help of a sales funnel before you can convert your website visitors to buying customers.
Failure to have a sales funnel will make your business lose a lot of money.
I will explain the basic principle of a sales funnel in this blog post
What is a Sales Funnel?
Let me define this in a simple term for you to understand so you can get started easily.
Sales funnel is the journey your online customers go through before they make a purchase from you. In an online marketing it is not all customers that start at the top of the funnel end up buying from you. In fact a lot of your customers will not buy from you instantly.
The more potential customers go through each stage of your sales funnel, the more it signifies their commitment to buying from you. Sales funnel is used by both offline and online businesses but it is mostly a guide for all online businesses that want to write a success story.
The 4 basic Sales Funnel stages are:
Understanding the 4 Sales Funnel Stages
Your potential customer passes through different stages of your marketing sales funnel before he buys from you. Most times each potential customer sales funnel journey might differ from another one; this depends on your prospect buyer persona, your niche, and your company product offering.
You can read my post here on the meaning of buyer persona and why it is important for your business.
It is important you have a clear business mission and vision before you start to build any marketing sales, funnel, or marketing strategy to promote your business, after this you can then define who your target audiences are so you can target them. For example, if you want to create an online book store, you will need to adhere to specific steps to help your business become a success.
Different businesses have different sales funnel, a sales funnel can be adjusted according to its needs and requirement, but I will talk about the basics for you to get started and start growing.
Awareness is an early stage of every sales funnel, your potential customers at this stage become aware of your product or service. They have a problem and they are searching for the solution online, so they find your business online through Google search engine, social media, or an ad you have posted online for them to see. That is when they can visit your website to learn more about your business and why you are the best solution to solve their problem.
Your potential customers are at this stage looking actively for solutions to their various problems and ways to solve them. They search for the solutions everywhere on the web, on Google search engine, bing, yahoo, and so on. At this stage, you can attract them with valuable content on their problems, which will make them trust you and show interest in your product as a solution to their problems.
This is the stage your potential customers have finally made the decision to buy from you but haven’t yet bought. At this point of the sales funnel your potential customers have chosen you over your competitor, they are more interested in what you offer so they can take the final step to buy from you.
Your potential customers at this stage have finally bought from you, they are pressing the purchase button and their money has been going into your bank account
It’s important to state that there might be additional stages to your sales funnel.
For your business not to spend more on marketing you need to learn how to retain your customers.
Customer retention strategy is a part of sales funnel that let you keep customers and turn them into repeat customers and advocates for your business. Making your customers happy will make them want to come back to buy from you and they will also promote and recommend your business through word of mouth.
Helping your customers resolve any problem they have when they purchase your product will make them happy and want to stay.
The Use of Content for Each Stage of The Sales Funnel
As a business owner if you don’t align your content marketing efforts with your sales funnel stages you will not have a lot of people buying from you.
Content marketing will help you build a strong and lasting relationship with your customers by creating and distributing valuable content that will drive more profitable customer action
Let’s take a look at the ways you can take advantage of content marketing for each stage of your sales funnel.
Blogging (awareness and interest)
Blogging will help your business website to generate awareness and interest in your product offering. Blogging is one of the best ways of engaging your customers with valuable and relevant content.
For you to bring traffic to your website through blogging you have to optimize your content with your niche keywords so you can easily attract your target customers from the search engine result pages.
Another method of distributing content to your customers is by posting it on social media for them to read.
Lead Magnets (interest)
A lead magnet is like a valuable offer you give to your potential customers in exchange for their email details. Email Marketing is necessary if you want your business to succeed, and before you start building your email lists for nurturing you will need a lead magnet.
Your potential customers will give you their emails if you can give them something of value in return. For example; Product free trial, webinars, Discount Codes, PDF Guides, e.t.c
Webinars (decision and action)
Webinar is also a great method of marketing that can also be used as a lead magnet. With a webinar presentation, you could share valuable contents that solve problems (Videos, Slides, e.t.c) with your potential customers anywhere in the world so they can buy from you instead of your competitors
People that sign up are already interested in the problem you want to solve for them, so they signed up to hear what you have to offer them to solve their various problems.
You must be well prepared before starting an online webinar because a lot of questions might be thrown to you by your potential customers.
The goal of the webinar is for you to share educative content that will allow your potential customers to see you as an industry expert and trust you enough to buy from you.
Adding a “one-on-one consultation” call-to-action in your webinar is always good so that your customers would be able to reach you for a further buildup of relationships.
Videos (awareness, interest, decision, action)
Videos can be used in all the stages of sales funnel because it has a high engagement rate and it is easy for consumers to relate to them and get the message quickly. The most popular and most powerful online video streaming platform is youtube. It is the most used video channel in the world and the second largest search engine.
For your video to be viewed many times you will need to optimize your video for the right targeted keywords. Your website link can also be added to your youtube video description to direct customers from youtube to your website.
Wistia is another video service you can use for adding videos to your website and blog posts about educating your customers on your product offerings.
The importance of social media in your sales funnel strategy:
Awareness and Traffic
Social media is a cheap method of attracting website visitors and building a strong audience. Small businesses with a low advertisement budget can take advantage of social media ad options; for example, on Facebook, you can take advantage of gender, age, demographic custom audiences when doing your marketing.
Facebook also has an option of you retargeting your website visitors by compelling them to take the required action.
The best option is to drive traffic from social media to your website and blog by creating an attractive copy that will make people share your content.
Generating Leads (lead magnets)
Social media can also be used for lead generation campaigns. It can be used to generate leads for both B2C and B2B companies if done properly.
All you have to do is include a link that will direct visitors to your website landing page for email capturing.
When it comes to marketing social media has a high engagement rate compared to any other platform and it is an important part of any marketing strategy. Social media engagement is also important for a company to be successful because it is a measure of how people interact with your content.
Engagement can be in any form such as
- Shares or retweets
You need to pay attention to your social media engagement because it can be used to build relationships; a lot of companies also use social media to learn about their customers’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction.