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What is the Marketing Funnel and How to Harness It to Get More Business

What is the Marketing Funnel and How to Harness It to Get More Business

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min read

The marketing funnel sounds like a mysterious marketing term that has nothing to do with your small business. But in fact, it’s a term you should get familiar with so you can leverage it to get new business. A “marketing funnel” describes the process through which a potential customer becomes a paying customer, this can take time and have multiple steps. The marketing funnel is a model that reflects these steps and makes it easier to understand your customer’s journey towards a purchase. By understanding how people become paying customers, you can also accelerate this journey and drive more people towards a purchase. Read on to discover the 3 stages of the marketing funnel and how you can leverage each stage to your advantage:

First stage: Discovery

In this stage, the customer first becomes aware of your business. This can happen in several ways: through your website, social media profiles, online or offline ads, etc. This is your customer’s first introduction to your business, so you’ll want to give a good first impression and show off the products and services which may interest them.

To that end, you need to make sure you have enough information for the customer to continue their journey. This means that your website and social media profiles need to include detailed information about your business. This includes your business hours and address but also an About Us page with the story of your company, how it was started and what it offers.

To make a positive first impression, invest in good-quality images and engaging, error-free copy. Feature pictures of the business owners and staff members and give as many details as possible. All this information will engage customers to keep considering your business for a purchase.  

Valuable content is another way to drive people to the next stage in the marketing funnel. By featuring interesting and relevant blog posts on your website, you will be establishing your business as an “authority” in its field. For example, if you’re an accountant specialising in payroll, you can write a blog post about payroll regulation and how it affects companies of different sizes. When reading your content, your potential customers will trust you as an expert in payroll and become more likely to consider your business.

Second stage: Consideration

At this point, the customer will have a basic idea of your business and be looking further into what you have to offer, to see if they should make a purchase.  

For this stage in the marketing funnel, you need to create a detailed catalogue of services and products that the customer can browse through. Make sure to include compelling images and descriptions.  

Another important element at this point is the trust your website inspires in your customers. They need to feel that you are a serious, established business with quality services and products. One of the best ways to convey that is by including customer reviews and testimonials on your website. You can display reviews from external websites, such as Google Business and Facebook, or create a review section on your website where you can insert the reviews you’ve received.  

Third stage: Decision

This is the stage where potential customers turn into paying ones. To help them make the decision to buy from you, you need to understand their set of buying criteria.  

Pricing is one of the biggest deciding factors for customers, so make sure this is clearly stated and explained on your website. Most businesses will have a separate section, clearly sign-posted, in the top navigation of their website. If you have a monthly retainer, make sure to create a detailed list of services included in this. If you enable customers to buy from you or book your services online, then make online booking and shopping available for them. Alternatively, if the purchase happens offline, then make sure to include contact forms through which the customer can leave their details and request a quote.  

You can also create comparisons between your offering and those of major competitors. You don’t have to name names, but, for example, if you run a small bookkeeping firm you can list the advantages there are in working with your firm vs. a larger firm with a less personal customer service.  

Once you have a clear understanding of the steps in a marketing funnel you will be able to finetune your own to make the process seamless for your customers, and yourself as a business. Investing time into this will only benefit your business in the long-run as you will have more time to investigate where to spend your efforts in the future.  

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