You need a full-funnel marketing strategy for a successful lead-generation campaign. This approach focuses on each step of the sales funnel, from awareness to retention.
By taking a holistic view of your marketing efforts, you can develop a more impactful strategy that meets your customers where they are and guides them through the decision-making process.
This blog post outlines the key steps in implementing a full-funnel marketing strategy and provides tips for maximizing your results.
Let’s get started.
- Full-funnel marketing is an integrated approach that guides potential customers through all stages of the customer journey, from initial awareness to post-purchase loyalty, ensuring no steps are missed and maximizing the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
- Creating a successful full-funnel marketing strategy involves understanding your target audience, defining a clear marketing plan across different funnel stages (awareness, consideration, conversion, and retention), and employing the right mix of inbound and outbound tactics to engage and convert prospects.
- Implementing a full-funnel approach requires using various tools and techniques such as content marketing, paid advertising, CRM systems, and performance analytics, alongside hiring skilled personnel and aligning marketing with sales efforts to effectively attract, engage, and retain customers.
What Is Full-Funnel Marketing Strategy?
Full-funnel marketing is an integrated, data-driven approach that nurtures customers at all stages of the customer journey.
It’s called a “funnel” because it starts with a large number of prospects at the top, and as the prospects move through the stages of the funnel, that number gets smaller and smaller until only the most qualified prospects remain.
The goal of full-funnel marketing is to guide potential customers through each stage until they become paying customers and then continue providing value, so they remain loyal repeat customers.
While other strategies may work, using a funnel is crucial. It guarantees that your audience doesn’t miss any steps toward the end goal. Plus, you will have control over the content you use to market your business throughout the process.
Using your funnel to guide the rest of your marketing efforts, you avoid wasting as much time or money promoting your business to people who will never buy from you.
How to Create Full-Funnel Marketing Strategies
A full-funnel approach to marketing can be overwhelming as sales challenges may arise instantaneously. Hence, you need to have a clear plan and process in place.
Knowing where to find prospective customers and developing good marketing campaigns are crucial to build a successful funnel. That way, you can prepare the upper funnel to attract people, move them to the middle, and through to the last stage.
After knowing what full-funnel marketing is, you can start creating your customized strategy. Here are the key steps that work for most businesses.
Know Your Customers
Full funnel strategy starts with knowing your customer.
If you don’t know your target audience, your entire funnel won’t work right. Why? Because your marketing efforts will be directed toward this group of people.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can appeal to everyone and anyone. It’s not an effective strategy as it results in unfocused marketing campaigns that are not particularly effective.
So, how do you go about getting to know your customers so you can make them join your funnel? Let’s take a look at some methods below.
Begin with Existing Customers
Start with your current customers, if you have any. Think about the most popular products and how those customers found them. You can send a survey to each paying customer to get answers.
That way, you’ll be able to understand the customer journey. Now, customer journeys may vary from person to person based on their background. But knowing the journey that most people take to buy from you can help.
For example, maybe most people find you through social media. So you decide to set up your funnel on various social networks to get in front of more of your audience. Or maybe SEO works well, so you focus on using the right keywords on your site.
Conduct Market Research
One of the best ways to get to know your target customer is to conduct B2B market research. You can do this through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observing customer behavior. By doing this research, you will gain valuable insights into your customer’s perspectives – their needs and wants and how they make purchasing decisions.
When you get new customers to enter your funnel, you can help them to complete more steps within the funnel.
Define Your Target Audience
Once you have conducted your market research, you can narrow down your target audience. Creating buyer personas will help. After at least one buyer persona, you will better understand your target customer and what they are looking for.
As we mentioned before, trying to appeal to everyone is not an effective strategy. Instead, you need to tailor your marketing efforts to your target audience so that they are more likely to take notice and consider doing business with you.
Some things that you may want to consider when developing your marketing strategy include the following:
- The channels that your target audience uses most frequently
- The type of content that they are most likely respond positively too
- The time of day/week that they are most active on each channel
By taking the time upfront to get to know your target customer, you will be in a much better position to develop an effective full-funnel marketing strategy that delivers results.
Consider Your Budget
The next step in building your marketing funnel is determining your business budget. It will help you decide how much you can put toward paid advertising, such as Facebook ads and other paid marketing channels.
You can opt for an “organic” full-funnel approach. However, it is relatively limiting. Sometimes, a prospective customer may only find you due to an ad or other paid digital marketing efforts.
Fortunately, you don’t need a huge budget to start paying for ads. You can even start with performance marketing, so you only pay when you get results.
However, you should set a budget that you can keep up with over time. You must not run out of funds before your funnel can start to attract leads.
Understand the Sales and Marketing Funnel and Diversify
Another vital part of creating a successful full-funnel approach is understanding what it involves and diversifying tactics across stages.
The awareness stage is the first stage of the marketing funnel. Prospects in the awareness stage are becoming aware of a problem or need. For example, they may try to lose weight, save money, or find a new job.
At this stage, businesses need to provide prospective customers with helpful information that will educate them about their options and help them make informed decisions.
You can do this through content marketing, such as blog posts, eBooks, and infographics, or paid advertising, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
The awareness stage aims to get prospective customers to learn more about your business. Once they know more about you and are impressed, they’ll do business with you when ready to purchase.
Congratulations! You have made it to the consideration stage. It’s the middle of the funnel where prospects begin engaging with your brand. They are interested in your offer and are considering doing business with you.
It is important to nurture the budding relationship at this stage. Keep prospects reared so they move on to the next stage of the marketing funnel, the decision stage.
You can do several things to keep prospects engaged during the consideration stage.
- Developing relevant and targeted content
This content should be designed to help prospects research and evaluate their options. At this stage, they are gripped by your product or service but may not be ready to commit yet.
- Offering free resources and tools
Free resources and tools are a great way to add value for prospects during the consideration stage. Offering helpful resources shows prospects that you are invested in helping them succeed, even if they don’t purchase your product or service right away.
- Staying top of mind
Since there are often multiple options for products or services, it is important to stay on top of mind with prospects during the consideration stage so that they think of your brand when they are ready to make a decision.
After considering your product or service, some clients (hopefully a lot) will move to the conversion stage. This funnel stage is where you make a sale and earn revenue.
How to nail the conversion stage of the marketing funnel?
- Clarify Your Offerings
The first step in nailing the conversion stage is to ensure that your potential customers know exactly what you’re offering. Be clear and concise in your explanation, and highlight any unique selling points you have. If your product or service has no unique selling points, now is the time to create some.
- Create a Sense of Urgency
Another way to close more sales is to create a sense of urgency. If people feel like they need to buy your product right now, they’re more likely to take action than if they can wait. There are different ways to create urgency, such as offering time-sensitive discounts or running campaigns with limited-time offers.
- Make It Easy for Them to Buy
The last thing you want is valuable customers getting to the end of the funnel only to find out that buying your product or service is more complicated than it needs to be. Make your website easy to navigate, and include clear “buy now” buttons on every page. You should also offer multiple payment options so that customers can choose the one that’s best for them.
Many marketers treat this as the last stage, but there’s yet another stage.
Kudos—you’ve made a sale! But your work isn’t done yet. Just because someone has bought from you once doesn’t mean they’ll come back and buy from you again.
To turn one-time customers into lifelong fans, you need to nurture them through the retention stage of the marketing funnel.
There are a few key ways to do this:
- Offer excellent customer service
- Send out satisfaction surveys
- Reward repeat customers
- Keep in touch
Going back to the strategies.
Use the Right Tools
You can benefit from using tools and programs as you develop the perfect marketing funnel. You should use a content management system (CMS) to house and organize all of your content.
A marketing automation tool can also come in handy. The tool can help you manage and monitor social shares and email responses. That way, marketing teams don’t have to spend as much time on certain tasks.
You may also want to use a customer relationship manager (CRM). CRMs can track client activity, and you can collect data on the people who request free trials or who join your email list.
And as you use all of those programs, you may want to use another tool to track the results of your full-funnel marketing strategies. You may find some gaps, and you can decide how to fill them and increase leads and conversions.
Using a variety of tools can make running a funnel a lot easier. Then, you’ll have more time to review data and focus on how to improve your efforts for future campaigns.
Hire Great People
You may have the perfect strategy. However, running your sales funnel alone or with your current team (that you feel is not doing well enough) can be hard. If possible, consider hiring new people to work on your marketing approach.
A marketing department doesn’t need tons of people. But purposefully hiring people can help you work on various marketing channels. And you can get fresh ideas from your new hires regarding your strategies.
For example, maybe you hire an expert on social media ads. They help you determine the right ad spend budget for the best results. Then, you hire a video marketer to help create engaging video advertisements.
You should vet all potential employees. Make sure they have the experience you’re looking for and that they can help you reach your goals.
Don’t stop looking for the perfect person to work for you. If an applicant doesn’t fit all of your requirements, you can find someone who does and who can help you build a good marketing funnel.
Combine Marketing with Sales
You should have your marketing and sales teams work together. The marketing team will be able to find leads and get their information. Then, the sales team will take those leads and speak with prospects about their problems.
If the teams work separately, they may focus only on their roles. The marketing team may spend all their time generating leads but never nurture them. The sales team may get frustrated because they can’t close any deals.
When the teams align their efforts, they’re more likely to focus on the same goals and help each other out.
Use Inbound and Outbound Marketing Strategies
Inbound marketing can be an excellent way to attract potential customers. They can use branded search terms or generic terms to find a blog post you wrote. Or they might find your landing page through search results.
But also, using outbound strategies can help you get more traffic to your funnel. Reaching out to people can help round out your full-funnel marketing approach. You don’t have to rely on prospects finding you, so you can get more leads quickly.
Be sure to create good marketing content to draw people in. However, don’t neglect contacting leads and other potential buyers. Then, you can grow your funnel to increase the chances of making sales.
Prepare Your Products
As you build out your funnel, you should prepare your products and services for sale. The last thing you want is potential customers to go through your sales process with nothing to purchase.
Think about exactly what you plan to sell. Then, you can make sure your funnel content leads to that paid offer. For example, if you sell dog grooming services, it wouldn’t make sense to focus on the benefits of dog toys.
Knowing what you will pitch to people at the bottom of the funnel can help you build each step. That way, you can make sure every ad you purchase, post you publish, or email you send focuses on that end offer. If you have multiple very different offers, you can create content for multiple funnels.
Each step of the funnel should target the particular offer it will lead to. That’s especially important if your offers are quite different. But even if you sell similar offers, you may have existing buyers who already own the first offer.
Creating a new full funnel can help you target those interested in that one item. Then, you can have a better chance of making sales.
Target the Right Customers
As you build a funnel to capture potential customers, you need to make sure they’re the right people. Ideally, you will know many details about your target buyer, such as their age, location, income, and interests.
However, within that, you need to think about purchase intent. Someone may love your business and the products you offer, but the chances of them buying something could be low because of their income.
Be sure to focus your marketing activities on leads more likely to buy in the short term. Look for people who are farther along in the customer journey. Then, you can create content or ads that encourage them to move down your funnel.
While you should also target cold leads to build awareness, you don’t want to focus too much on the top of the funnel. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to get people to the buying stage.
Set Yourself Apart
If you want to stand out in today’s competitive market, you should know what your competitors are doing. Then, you can develop a marketing approach that will help you reach more new customers than other businesses.
For example, maybe your biggest competitor isn’t using display advertising. So you decide to incorporate that into your marketing activities. You may then see results because you’re advertising somewhere that your competition isn’t.
You can also work on creating the perfect targeted ads to encourage clicks and sales. If you find your competitors are only using generic ads, targeting your ads to specific types of people in your audience can help people remember you.
They may purchase something immediately. Or they might decide to wait, but they’ll think of your business when they’re ready to buy what you sell.
Grow Your Reach
Even if your customers use certain methods, you may want to use them, too. Of course, you must ensure you can reach your ideal buyer. But you can look for different ways to promote your marketing funnels.
For example, maybe you find that a big portion of your audience uses their mobile devices more than a computer. You know many of them also use social media, so you decide to promote your business with Facebook ads.
As you set up the campaign, you should focus on purchase intent. So, you focus on marketing to people who follow you or have visited your website.
While you should aim to stand out, you can do so even when using the same platforms as your competitors. Instead, you may use bright colors to capture someone’s attention and get them to click on your ad.
While you don’t need to use every possible platform, you should try a few. You can always stop using them if they don’t provide the desired results. But you’ll never know what might work until you try it.
Use Different Tactics
To grow your reach with your funnel strategy, you should consider the marketing tactics you want to use. What works for attracting potential customers may not work to convert them into buyers.
At the top of the funnel, you may use search ads to show up in front of more people. Paid search can help you show up first without waiting for organic SEO to work. Then, you can get results more quickly.
Later in the funnel, your marketing plan may focus on retargeting people in your audience. That way, you can focus on people who have already interacted with you. No matter what you do, consider a few things to try for each stage of the process.
Create Video Ads
TV ads can be an excellent tool to build brand awareness and get people to the top of the funnel. Video advertising is great because people don’t need to read something or put effort into learning about your business.
Plus, a good video ad can be catchy and get you thinking. For example, think about a McDonald’s commercial. The ads almost always include the “I’m lovin’ it” jingle at the end. When you think of that phrase, you probably think of McDonald’s.
You can do the same thing with your video ads to help people remember you. However, make sure that any videos you use to advertise fit into your full-funnel marketing approach. That way, you can lead people to the next stage easily.
Focus on Engagement
Going back to consideration stage, your customers are actively seeking a solution. They know who you are, and they may want to buy from you. But something keeps them from buying and moving to the next stage in the funnel.
Be sure to go through your customer journeys. Look at successful sales to determine what makes people move from consideration to conversion.
Along with remarketing ads, engagement shows people you care, that you know about them, and that they know about you. If you take the time to answer their questions and relieve their fears about your offer, they may be more likely to convert.
The more personal you can get at this particular stage, the better. You can take some of your engagement strategies and continue using them. For example, maybe someone clicked on your previous remarketing ads but didn’t buy.
So you decide to show them the same ad again. Sometimes, people need to see something multiple times before they take action.
Don’t be afraid to target ads based on the specific customer. Many platforms let you track someone’s activity, so you can create different ad copies or images. Then, you can show the copy and image you think will do the best.
Prioritize Current Customers
Your existing customers are the qualified leads that can help your sales team get more sales.
Before you let them exit your funnel, think about how you can retain them as buyers.
For example, maybe you offer various products that provide different solutions. You might have one customer who bought your lowest-level offer to solve a part of their problem. Now, you can move them into a funnel for a product that offers a bit more help.
Keep doing this with each new product, service or brand you launch. You’ll be able to increase sales and revenue, but it won’t take as much work as attracting leads from scratch.
Review Your Data
After you’ve been marketing your business for a while, take a look at your funnel. See how well the system is doing and if you can improve anything.
Take a look at your analytics for your website, email list, and social media accounts. Then, you can figure out which strategies are getting you more results. You’ll be able to put more energy into high-performing strategies.
Then, get rid of things that waste your resources. Make any changes necessary to your funnel to improve it in the future. Review your monthly data to ensure the funnel works properly and fix any problems.
Generating leads can be difficult, but a good full-funnel marketing strategy makes that process easier. By attracting people who don’t know you to those who know and love you, you can encourage people to move through the funnel and become a customer and life-long fans.
If you still have questions about a good marketing funnel, here are your answers.
Full-funnel content marketing covers the whole marketing funnel from top to bottom. You can use blogs and social posts to market your business and attract people at various stages of your full-funnel marketing approach. The content can educate people about your business and offer and why they should buy.
Traditional marketing tactics often focus on one stage of the buyer’s journey, such as generating leads or closing sales. Full-funnel marketing takes a more holistic approach and aims to guide the customer through every step of their journey.
Personalized messaging has been shown to greatly improve conversion rates at all stages of the funnel, so it’s important to incorporate personalization wherever possible in both online and offline channels (such as targeted email campaigns or direct mail). It includes using personalized images or language based on demographic information or past purchasing behavior.