In 2018, digital advertising claimed 51 percent of all ad spending in the US. Globally, companies spent billions on digital marketing strategies.

Most businesses say they’re continuing to increase their digital marketing budgets. Marketers have to split their budgets between search and social, blogging and videos.

Whether you’re new to digital marketing or you’ve used it for some time, you might wonder if it’s worth all the hype. Experts report that ROI is higher with digital techniques, but you have yet to see the payoff.

If this sounds like you, don’t give up just yet. Digital marketing can take some experimentation to get right. One thing you should do is take a look at your digital marketing funnel.

In this article, we’ll go over the basics and share tips for super-charging your funnel for better results.

What is a Digital Marketing Funnel?

The first question on your mind is likely, “What is a marketing funnel?”

If you’ve talked to any of your sales representatives lately, you may have heard them talk about a “sales funnel.” This is a diagram that shows sales people where a potential customer is in the buying journey. It can also give them ideas about how to move a lead through each stage.

The traditional sales funnel has four stages. First, the customer has to be aware of your product, business, or service. After all, people can’t buy things if they don’t know they exist.

The newly aware customer becomes interested in your product in the second stage. They begin to ask questions and learn more. They might conduct research or compare products.

In the third stage, the prospect desires your product or service. They ask you for a quote or talk contracts with you.

In the fourth and final stage, the prospect makes a purchase and becomes a customer.

The Marketing Funnel

The sales funnel idea is helpful for your sales reps, but the marketing funnel is a little bit different.

Like the sales funnel, there were traditionally four marketing funnel stages. These were awareness, nurturing, conversion, and delighting the prospect.

Today’s marketing funnel has become much more complex. The buyer’s journey is much longer and involves more stages. Marketers do well to recognize each individual stage and offer support every step of the way.

The typical marketing funnel should address the following stages:

  • Engagement and discovery
  • Education and research
  • Consideration and evaluation
  • Purchase and adoption

Some marketing funnels also include steps such as retention and upselling and cross-selling.

Creating a Marketing Funnel

Now let’s look at how to create a marketing funnel for your business. The first thing you should do is define what the lead or prospect is doing at each distinct stage of the funnel.

Next, look at how you can support the lead and encourage them to take the next step. For example, what steps can you take to make people more aware of your brand? If a lead is doing research, what kinds of support can you offer them?

You should create detailed marketing personas for each stage. These will identify the typical customer, along with their concerns and pain points.

Now you can begin to address those pain points. If a customer has identified a problem, you can offer insight and collaborate on a solution.

Each stage requires a different blend of marketing tactics. People at the top of the funnel aren’t going to act on an offer to buy now. Your activities will need to support awareness and education.

You can categorize your activities as TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU. TOFU activities are designed to engage and educate. BOFU activities ask the prospect to act now.

Reaching the Right Audience

Now you have a digital marketing funnel. One of the biggest issues is that funnels yield many more leads than they do customers.

With the right digital marketing techniques, though, you can change that narrative. You can super-charge your funnel to get more conversions.

The first step is to make sure you’re reaching the right people. Digital marketing gives you the tools to reach a very wide audience. It also allows you to narrow your focus and find the people why care about your product.

You can take a broad approach and try to engage everyone on a social media platform like Facebook. The fact is that not everyone is interested in your product or service. If you try to reach everyone, you’ll find many leads that just don’t convert.

Now think about search engine marketing campaigns. By zeroing in on the right keywords, you can find people who are already looking for your product or service. They’re more likely to convert.

Finally, think about which platforms you include in your marketing channels. If your audience is senior management, you’ll find them on LinkedIn instead of Instagram.

Nurturing Relationships

No matter what stage of the funnel your lead is in, your focus should be on nurturing the lead. As we’ve discussed, people at different stages need different kinds of support.

No matter the stage, though, you’ll want to include the following kinds of activities:

  • Traffic-driving activities, such as tweeting and blogging
  • Activities that provide value, such as a community or knowledge base
  • Opt-in requests, like signing up for a newsletter
  • Engagement, such as personalized email offers

You should also test your efforts to find out what’s most effective with certain audiences.

At each stage, you’ll change the message. A TOFU video might explain how to complete a task. A BOFU video, by contrast, walks the customer through your particular product.

Level up Your Marketing Funnel and Drive Sales

By targeting the right audience and understanding their needs, you can create a better digital marketing funnel. Lead qualifying and personalized messaging help you convert more prospects into brand advocates.

Are you looking for other ideas to super-charge your marketing efforts in 2019? Check out the blog for tips and tricks, and get ready to take your marketing game to a whole new level.