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Marketing funnel strategies: How to Fix 5 common mistakes

Understanding your business’s marketing funnel is key to a successful marketing campaign. Thanks to tools like Google Analytics, it’s easier than ever to see how your customers go from being curious prospects to loyal patrons. Still, there are common beginner mistakes people make when they’re new to the world of marketing funnel strategies.

marketing funnel strategies

These mistakes aren’t always fatal. However, fixing them is necessary to unlock your funnel’s full potential.

What Exactly is the Marketing Funnel?

The marketing funnel is a helpful way of visualizing how people make the decision to purchase (or not) a product or service.

The idea is to imagine how customers approach the business at three different stages in the purchase process: the awareness, the consideration, and conversion stages.

  1. The top of the marketing funnel is the awareness stage. This is the point with the biggest pool of potential customers — that’s why it’s the widest part of the funnel. Here, people are discovering a product or service for the first time. They may not have prior knowledge of the business or its solution. Sometimes, they aren’t even aware they have a problem that needs solving.
  2. The middle of the marketing funnel is the consideration stage. People in this stage know the business and what it offers, but they aren’t ready to buy. There aren’t as many potential customers here as there is in the top of the funnel, but they’re closer to purchasing.
  3. The bottom of the marketing funnel is the conversion stage. The bottom represents the potential customers who have already decided to buy — now, they just need to decide who to buy from.

Why visualize customers using the marketing funnel? Because each different stage calls for a different marketing strategy. Customers at the top of the funnel are easier to reach, but they need convincing before they’ll buy. There are fewer customers in the conversion stage, but they’re the ones who are most receptive.

Your marketing efforts will generate better returns when you understand where to find people at each stage in the funnel and what resonates with each of them.

Fixing Common Marketing Funnel Mistakes

A marketing funnel strategy involves tactics to target potential customers at different points of the marketing funnel and move them closer to making a purchase. Data on user activity from platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights can help you understand what’s working (and what’s not) at each step along the way.

However, even a robust strategy backed by good data is susceptible to a few common mistakes.

Keep these points in mind when you’re working on your winning marketing funnel strategy.

1. The Funnel Doesn’t End with Conversion

What happens at the end of the funnel?

Ideally, the person converts, whether that means buying a product, hiring a service, or taking some other action that benefits the business. The prospect becomes a customer.

What next? That customer doesn’t just vanish — they become one of the business’s biggest assets.

Assuming the product or service met their expectations, those customers more receptive than anyone to the business’s other offerings. They can become loyal fans and advocates for the business. Finally, they’re going to spread the word about their experience, so it’s in the businesses interest to keep them happy.

It’s a mistake to forget about customers after the conversion stage. Instead, use what you know about their needs and preferences for effective customer retention.

2. Market at All Points of the Funnel

When potential customers are close to converting, don’t be afraid to give them an extra ‘nudge’.

Many businesses make the mistake of focusing only on acquiring leads at the top of the marketing funnel, since people at the bottom are already close to converting. But conversion is not a guarantee.

It pays to invest in appealing to customers at all points in the funnel, especially the ones who are already eager to buy.

3. Don’t Let Prospects Go

Just because a prospect left without buying doesn’t mean they weren’t interested. There are dozens of reasons why someone might bounce. It could be they forgot what they were doing, wanted to check out competitors, or needed more time to think before making a decision.

With tools like AdWords and Facebook’s Pixel, you can retarget these potential customers and bring them back.

Retargeting is a fundamental marketing funnel strategy. Use what you already know about the customer to deliver a message that reminds them of your business.

4. Integrate the Funnel into Your Content Strategy

Content plays a big role in moving prospects through the marketing funnel. People don’t like ads, but they’re willing to consume content that delivers something of value: humour, entertainment, authenticity, information, empathy.

Blogs are a great example. Blog posts can raise customer awareness at the top of the funnel and provide ongoing value to those who have already converted. For example, an orchard could publish seasonal recipes that get people craving Ambrosia apples; an agency could share insider tips on their areas of expertise.

Don’t think of content strategy and marketing funnel strategy as two worlds. The marketing funnel gives content direction. Content is the current that ferries customers along.

5. Continuously Update Your Marketing Funnel Strategy

Marketing funnel strategy is not a one-time effort.

As technology evolves and customer habits change, your approach should pivot along with them. Ten years ago, mobile e-commerce was an emerging trend. Now, it accounts for $1.4 trillion in annual sales and 58% of e-commerce worldwide. Businesses who caught on to the change and optimized their strategies for mobile devices reeled in the benefits (see: How to Make Sure Your Site is Ready for Mobile).

Keep track of the changing ways customers are discovering and interacting with your business. Otherwise, your funnel won’t be in the right position to catch the stream of potential customers.

Marketing Funnel Strategy

In sum, remember these tips to avoid the common beginner marketing funnel mistakes:

  1. People who make it through the funnel once already are some of your best prospects. Keep customers coming back after they convert.
  2. Don’t focus exclusively on the top of the funnel. Prospects in the conversion stage still need that extra push.
  3. Use retargeting methods to bring prospects back into the funnel if they bounce.
  4. Treat your content marketing strategy and marketing funnel strategy as one.
  5. Your marketing funnel strategy is never complete. Keep adapting to consumer habits and buying trends.

Need a hand? Send us a note and we’ll be happy to help you out.

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5 Steps to Getting a Journalist’s Attention

 

Media relations refers to the relationship a brand develops with journalists or influencers. Although the media landscape continues to shift, media relations remains an important aspect of any public relations strategy. Traditionally, media outlets consisted of TV, radio, and print, but now, media has expanded to include more digital channels.

Digital media channels

When executed properly, media relations can influence every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. It plays a complementary role to content marketing efforts, helping to increase brand awareness and educate the public. Media relations can also have a significant effect on your SEO strategy, driving traffic to your website and maintaining authority. Finally, third-party articles make for perfect social media content and help to amplify your messaging.

Let’s be honest, getting media coverage is hard – but necessary. So, we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks that can help you garner more attention.

What’s Your Angle?

You only have a matter of seconds to grab a journalist’s attention before you’re ignored, spammed, or deleted. Off the top, it’s important to highlight what’s newsworthy or unique about your story.

Do your research to identify and present the right media angle for each outlet. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to prepare several angles – if your first approach doesn’t resonate, try a different story angle.

E-mail, Call Only If You Must

Trust us, there’s a reason why the ‘Contact Us’ page is so hard to find on a media site. Journalists and influencers would much rather be contacted by e-mail. So, unless you’ve been invited to have a phone conversation, call only if you must.

Short & To the Point

Keep it simple. The optimal length of a pitch is anywhere from 100-150 words, or three short paragraphs. You don’t want to give away too much information at once — pique their interest and have them come back for more.

Personalize Your Pitch

Do your research. Target journalists who have covered similar stories and ensure that their beat hasn’t changed. Familiarize yourself with their news coverage, follow them on social media and align your story with their interests. Use your findings to give your pitch a personal note, which shows you’ve taken the time to get to know them as a person.

At the end of the day, a significant part of public relations is creating and maintaining relationships that add value to all involved.

Follow-Up

There’s a fine line between being politely persistent and pushy. We like to wait about a week before we reach back out to the media following a pitch. Your follow-up is a good opportunity to provide a bit more information and attach a press release.

 

Let Traffic Soda Help Your Company Get The Press’s Attention!

 

Making Social Media and Content Marketing Work Together

Social media is a powerful marketing tool, helping businesses of all sizes and in all industries, reach their target audience. It’s the most effective way for a brand to connect on a more direct and personal level. While simply having a presence is good, developing a plan and tailoring your social media content to your industry and audience is the best way to optimize these platforms.  

What is Content Marketing?  

Traditional marketing tactics have become less and less relevant with the emergence of today’s digital landscape. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a “…strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”  

So, instead of traditional practices like pitching your product, content marketing allows you to provide truly relevant and useful content to your audience like video, blogs, etc. By focusing on sharing quality content on social media, a business can achieve great things.  

Building Relationships  

Posting quality content on social media can help a brand establish and build relationships with desired audiences.  

In life, the best relationships are built over time, based on mutual interests and philosophies, and grow strongest when tended to. The relationship between your brand and its audience isn’t much different.  

By doing your research, catering to your audience’s interests and producing quality content, you can build strong and long-lasting relationships.  

Amplifying Your Message  

Content marketing allows a brand to connect to its desired audience and build relationships by providing valuable information. The beauty of using social media platforms to share your content is that once it is out there, there are few limits to where it can reach.  

Brands can use social media to encourage users to share content in a variety of ways. Visual content usually gets more views, clicks, shares and likes than text-based material. So, turning that lengthy blog post into an infographic or finding the perfect image to accompany a post are two tactics that can further your content on social media.  

Quality content is meant to be shared and social media is the perfect vehicle to get your material noticed.  

Trust & Credibility  

Posting quality content on social media can help establish a brand as an industry leader and expert. 

Credibility online comes from a mixture of visibility and opinion. If your audience sees your brand out there, beyond your website, they will naturally find it more credible.  

When you take the time to educate, help and share through quality content, it reaffirms that your brand is trustworthy and credible. Using social media and content marketing in unison can significantly increase brand authority.  

Gain Valuable Customer Insights  

Brands can leverage social media to better understand consumers and gather insights to improve content. Social media has made it possible to glean information from authentic, real-time conversations that audience have with one another.  

As well, using these platforms to see what other brands are talking about lets you stay atop of industry trends. When developing quality content, it is important to develop ideas that are on trend and align with your audience’s interests – social media can help you gather these insights. 

At the end of the day, your brand should make social media and content marketing work together. By doing this you can build stronger relationships with your audience, amplify your messaging, develop credibility as a brand and gain valuable customer insights.