A marketing funnel refers to the journey that potential customers to find your brand and eventually purchase your product or service. The term marketing funnel is often used alongside terms like sales funnel and customer journey funnel. We have a shocking revelation for you: each of these funnels refers to the same basic steps since sales and marketing need to corporate and understand the same customer journey to ultimately close a deal.
Identifying the marketing funnel will allow you and your team to figure out ways to better attract and communicate with your customers. Marketing funnels apply to any industry, brand, or company type, and though they may diverge on finer points, they include the same basic stages:
Bear in mind that your customers may follow a less linear path, and that’s okay. Your customers might also follow a different customer journey depending on whether you're part of a B2C or B2B company, and you can customize your marketing funnel to that journey, as shown in the template below.
Before you work on refining your own funnel, first refresh your knowledge about what should be happening in each of these phases.
During this phase, your potential customers don’t yet know your brand exists, so your first task is to introduce them to it. Consider tactics that introduce potential customers to who you are as a brand, such as:
If you don’t make your brand accessible to potential customers in the awareness phase, they can’t progress any further into the funnel.
Once your customers are aware of your brand, you want to show them how it fits their needs. Your goal should be to build relationships with customers and introduce them to positioning. Try these strategies:
As customers move toward consideration, your job is to make their decision to buy your product or service an easy one. At this point, potential customers will compare your product or service with other brands, so you should demonstrate the ways you stand out. The right materials and incentives could be just enough to convince the prospect to commit to, rather than just consider, your product. This stage often involves:
If you do well in the consideration phase, commitment should follow naturally. Potential customers may need to justify their purchase to themselves, but if you’ve created an emotional connection with would-be customers, that justification will come easily.
During this phase, you should position your company to be readily available to handle any of the customer’s needs, whether they have questions or need purchasing help. Once a customer commits to your brand, you’ll have an easier time convincing them to make purchases in the future.
Potential customers become actual customers at the moment they decide to make a purchase, but your job doesn’t end there. Your marketing team will need to work to retain each customer’s loyalty with ongoing efforts, seeing them through the funnel multiple times as their needs change. You can send existing customers marketing materials such as:
Some companies have also considered that satisfied customers are likely to bring in new customers through word-of-mouth. Give existing customers an opportunity to pull new prospects into the consideration stage. You could ask them to leave a review, share pictures of them using the product, recommend a friend for some sort of reward, etc.
The next mega-trend shaping the future of marketing in 2018 is the notion of Purpose. High performing marketing leaders say they’ve become more focused on purpose-driven marketing. Top marketers are 2.2x more likely than underperformers to leverage purpose-driven methods. The reason is simple, consumers demand it. Recently I worked with a team of researchers at the Economist and found 79% of consumers prefer to purchase products from a company that operates with a social purpose (data to be published by the Economist Insights Team early 2018). Purpose-driven marketing is a holistic approach to growth and the new heart of marketing.
While traditional marketing tells about products and services, purpose-driven marketing is contextual by aligning with conversations our audience cares about past just our products. Just as Tesla did with the conversations about moving away from fossil fuels, brands like Cotopaxi are aligning with their consumers by supporting social issues such as healthcare, and sustainable living. Cotopaxi uses their platform to talk about improving the welfare and education of their workers and those in their supply chain. This aligns with their eco-conscious adventure bound customers by focusing on improving the world, not just selling more products. They are happy to read about why Cotopaxi uses Lama wool, and their efforts to save the farmers of Peru.
With purpose driving the conversations Cotopaxi is able to create authentic experiences their consumers are looking for allowing them to break through in the highly competitive outdoor sports arena. As a result, they sold over $900k of a single sweater in under 30 days, then repeated this success with a backpack a few months later! Profits of business must be expanded to included stakeholders such as employees, and our communities. This change how we view the profits of the business allows brands to relate to their worlds in new and powerful ways, allowing them to break through where other methods can’t. Marketing of the future must have a heart.
With many businesses facing a growing global audience, varying time zones have become a growing concern, especially when it comes to the best times to post.
To start, let's take a look at the U.S. About half of the country's population is in the Eastern Time Zone, and combined with the Central Time Zone, that accounts for over 75% of the total U.S population.
Given that sizable share, if you're targeting a U.S. audience, try alternating posting times in Eastern and Central Time Zones -- we'll get into those specific times in a bit.
If you're targeting users outside of the U.S., conduct some research to find out where they live and which social media channels they're using. That kind of data is available through studies like Smart Insights' Global Social Media Research Summary, or We Are Social's annual Digital Global Overview.
1. Best Time to Post on InstagramInstagram is meant for use on mobile devices. Half of its U.S. users use the app daily, though it would appear that many engage with content more during off-work hours than during the workday.
2. Best Times to Post on FacebookPeople log in to Facebook on both mobile devices and desktop computers, both at work and at home. How it's used depends heavily on the audience.
3. Best Times to Post on TwitterLike Facebook, people use Twitter on both mobile devices and desktop computers, both at work and at home. How it’s used also depends heavily on audience -- but people often treat it like an RSS feed, and something to read during down times like commutes, breaks, and so on.
4. Best Times to Post on LinkedInRoughly 25% of U.S. adults use LinkedIn, largely for professional purposes, during weekdays and the work hours. It's used with slighly less frequency than some of the other channels on this list, with more than half of users visiting less than once a week. Aim to post toward the middle of the week, between Tuesday-Thursday.
5. Best Times to Post on PinterestPinterest users skew heavily female, and 25% of users are active on this channel daily.
6. Best Time to Post on Google+People love to debate whether or not Google+ is a social media channel worth investing in -- though according to my colleague Chris Wilson, some marketers have experienced success with it.
But if you're going to use it, you might as well do so effectively -- which includes posting at the optimal times.
When Facebook opened its guest list to businesses in 2008, marketers were presented with a new opportunity to connect with their customers. Since its beginnings in a college dorm, Facebook hasn’t stopped growing, and over the years has made a number of changes to improve profitability while offering new ways for businesses to engage with customers and attract new ones.
Shortly after Facebook added Pages, businesses were able to run paid ads. But not all jumped on board. For some, paid advertising seemed both expensive and complicated. And many companies assumed they could continue posting without paying. Not so. Facebook changed its algorithms and free brand pages were no longer given priority.
Today, Facebook is an advertising channel for businesses, pure and simple. It can be one of the most effective ad platforms for your business, whether you're a B2B or B2C organization, but to get the most from it, you need to master some critical best practices for creating and managing your ads.
First – should you advertise on Facebook?
As of June 2017, Facebook has more than 2 billion active users. And with all those users comes a ton of competitors jockeying for a slot in your prospects' news feeds. So, if you're fishing for new clients in the Facebook sea, you better go in equipped with the right data and the right tools.
Before you start your first Facebook ad, make sure you've tightly defined your target audience and created well-researched buyer personas. This will focus your efforts and reduce wasted spend on users that aren't your ICP (Ideal Client Profile). Next, determine your ad objectives and spend. For example, B2B companies often use Facebook ads to promote educational content on their websites or drive traffic to a product demo. Finally, be ready to measure, test, and optimize as you go.
When you know your marketing strategy, Facebook's ad manager provides an interactive tool to help you determine which ad campaigns to execute. Here are the Facebook campaign objectives in the tool that you’ll need to choose from:
Once you've dialed in how Facebook ads will help you reach your goals, the following best practices will help you get the most from your ad spend.
The 3 Best Practices to Launch Facebook Ads1. Experiment – targeting, pictures, ad copy, budget
After you post your ad, monitor its performance and start testing different approaches to learn what resonates best with your buyer personas.
Targeting: Facebook’s large audience makes it easy to cast a wide net, but many times, a big net also catches a bunch of trash fish. Facebook does a great job gathering details about its users, and you can use that information to create ads that understand and relate to your target audience. Experiment with the targeting controls Facebook provides: age groups, geography, interests, etc. Make sure to use your buyer personas to create ads that will speak to them effectively, and be persistent in testing different targeting controls provided in the Facebook ad manager to fine-tune your results. Be methodical and you'll learn what interests and behaviors to target to attract and catch your ideal prospects.
Visual: The first thing people see when they’re scrolling through their feed isn’t your carefully worded copy; it’s the image you use. Is the image engaging and appealing? You may want to switch out photos if your ad isn’t performing well.
Ad Copy: Once you’ve grabbed attention with your photo, your ad copy needs to be simple and relevant and include a value proposition. If you’re not getting the clicks or engagement you’re looking for, the problem may lie in your copy. Don’t over-complicate things, but also make sure the copy reflects what you’re offering.
Budget: When you start paid ads, you want to get the most bang for your buck. HubSpot has an Ad Calculator to help you determine what your overall budget should be. Once your ads are running, adjust your spend as much as your budget allows, particularly if one ad is performing better than others.
2. Rotate your ads
Users see ads every time they sign into Facebook. Ad fatigue is real. How do you keep your ads fresh and optimized? Start by rotating your ads every week or two. This is where experimenting with your images, ad copy, and CTA comes in handy.
3. Include a CTA
When scrolling through Facebook, your ad could get passed over without the right call-to-action. Be sure to make the call-to-action clear and concise. Your audience wants to know what they’re in for. You should also try multiple CTAs, but always keep them simple.
Once you’ve experimented and found what works best, you can optimize future ads and be on your way to becoming a Facebook advertising expert!
Social media—once a competitive, dynamic space—has gotten predictable. Facebook added a hundred million users in a quarter? What else is new? Facebook is in trouble for failing to stop fake news, extremist messages, and child pornography? Par for the course. Facebook shamelessly copied another Snapchat feature? Yawn.
It’s all been going on for years. And you’ll notice I only brought up Facebook news, since it’s now by far the most significant social media player.
In 2016, Facebook accounted for almost two-thirds of all social media ad spending. Expect that share to increase because, according to a recent BI Intelligence report, the network has added a million more advertisers to its already sizable roster in the last seven months.
That said, there are still plenty of important assumptions surrounding social media that make the rounds in marketing circles. eMarketer’s latest report on social media, the US Social StatPack, brings some much needed clarity to the space.
Here are six social media trends that marketers should know about.
1. Facebook’s mobile transformation is almost complete
Mobile was a huge buzzword a few years ago, but recently it seems like many marketers have forgotten that we’re still in the midst of a massive transition away from desktop devices.
In 2012, in the midst of an IPO, Facebook made a concerted effort to transition from desktop to mobile. Five years later, that transition is largely complete. By 2020, eMarketer predicts that 59 percent of U.S. users will access the app only through mobile. And 80 percent of the company’s revenue already comes from mobile ads.
It’s not a coincidence that the largest internet service in the world is increasingly mobile-only. Add in the fact that most of Facebook’s user expansion is coming from the Asia-Pacific region, where mobile-only access dominates, and the company’s early focus on mobile seems remarkably prescient. An increase in mobile ad spending should follow, albeit slowly. By 2021, eMarketer predicts that mobile will rise from 24 percent of total media ad spending to 37 percent.
2. Video, the present and future king
Along with mobile, video has become Facebook’s latest major crusade. According to a recent Verge article on the troubles of Instant Articles, “the camera is the keyboard” has become “a popular refrain” among Facebook employees. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly made clear his intention to transform Facebook to a video-first platform—one executive went so far as to say that the app will be “all video” by 2021. Most of the changes focus on “adopting”--some might say copying—popular Snapchat features such as Live Stories.
Snapchat, meanwhile, has been video-oriented from the start. The company has long classified itself as a “camera company” rather than a social network, which sounds remarkably similar to Facebook’s new refrain.
Twitter has emphasized video as well, releasing a native video publisher, integrating live streaming platform Periscope into the app, and purchasing network television deals. Pinterest, likewise, has integrated video throughout its platform. LinkedIn has quietly introduced video features as well, though only for influencers thus far.
Text-based content will stick around, but for marketers hoping to survive on any social platform, it’s obvious what format they need to pursue.
3. Social isn’t just for millennials anymore
Social media used to just be a playground for the young, wild, and free. Now, platforms across the space are being colonized by older demographics. That’s largely thanks to Facebook, where 53 percent of U.S. users are now 35 or older. (On Twitter, the age split is relatively even as well: About 45 percent of users are at least 35.)
Instagram and Snapchat, meanwhile, remain a haven for the young: 69 percent of Instagram users are under 35, as are an incredible 82 percent of Snapchat users. Every platform is expected to get older by 2020, Snapchat and Instagram especially.
4. The line between “internet user” and “social network user” has blurred
If you use the internet, there’s a good chance you also use social media. That may seem obvious, but in 2009, only 46 percent of online adults used social media, according to Pew Research. Today, that figure sits at about 70 percent. The rise is largely thanks to those aforementioned Gen Xers and baby boomers, who have flocked to social media services (and the internet at large).
At this stage, social media penetration has plateaued in the developed world. The percentage of social media users to internet users will only increase about 2 percent over the next four years. Now, the focus for social networks is wringing as much money as possible from those users.
5. Average revenue per user is the new focus
While every social platform wants user growth—sans maybe Snapchat, who is too cool for user growth—growing average revenue per user (ARPU) has actually become the new metric of choice to gauge success.
Facebook, for example, has boosted its ARPU from $13.7 to $19.81 in just one year. Snapchat, likewise, has promised investors that growth per user (not user growth) will provide returns. The company bumped its ARPU from $0.67 to $2.15 in Q4 2016. Twitter saw its ARPU decline in 2016, a sign of the platform’s poor fortunes.
Marketers should be happy that growth is now more about building value from each user rather than growing the entire user base. While brands may have to pay more to promote as ARPU rises, social platforms will need to justify higher prices with better targeting, more ad slots, and improved features.
6. Martech dollars are flowing into social
As social takes over, marketers across industries are taking the platforms seriously. Money is beginning to flow more to software that promises to organize, optimize, and manage a brand’s social presence. According to a study on the state of marketing technology by Walker Sands, a PR firm, marketers plan to purchase social media software more than any other type of marketing technology in 2017.
The market for social media software is evolving as well. Sprinklr, perhaps the biggest player, recently rebranded itself as a “customer experience cloud.” The move, which is a reflection of the increasing importance of customer experience, demonstrates how marketers are viewing social media as more than just content distribution channels. The emphasis is becoming about software that can manage relationships with customers. Even if social media is predictable at the moment, that martech investment could make the space more interesting in the next few years. Because whether you’re advertising, marketing, or providing customer service, platforms like Facebook will do everything they can to be a marketer’s best friend.
Most people think running a blog is a totally easy activity. All you want to do is to frequently publish articles on your weblog and you're all set. Alas, this isn't sufficient to lure massive amounts of visitors into your website. Some of the bloggers who realize a piece about blogging attempt to promote their blogs with the aid of the usage of article directories and social media web sites. However, you may nevertheless have a few problems and this will save you your website from getting the site visitors that it deserves.
This is maximum especially authentic when you have devoted grave mistakes along the way.This article will provide you top notch data approximately the commonplace mistakes that bloggers devote while promoting their blogs. Take a look at these so you can keep away from those as an awful lot as possible.
1. Protecting back the good stuff:
Ever experience like a number of your ideas are simply too precious to give away without cost on your blog? You’d rather package them up into an eBook or audio direction and transform them into your flagship product.Big mistake.If you don’t offer real cost from the get move, nobody will ever communicate approximately your weblog, and it’ll never develop. You’ll be preserving onto those thoughts all the time.The higher method? Faux like all and sundry is paying you to write down, and make each blog submit really worth at least $a hundred. Make it so astonishingly treasured they could’t assist however talk approximately it and then think up something else to promote later.
2. All you’re considering is cash:
Just because the predator caricature man or woman visualizes its lovely, bushy prey as a piece of steak, you spot your reader as a source of cash. Your blog is not anything more than an ongoing pitch fest. You need to sell your “remarkable” content material, not deliver it away totally free. And you’re constantly pitching your present day e-route or eBook.Not a very good idea! Here’s why: Promoting something, online or offline is about agree with. If all you’re doing is pitching stuff, human beings gained trust you, and that they’ll write you off as just any other sleazy internet marketer. First provide advice, insight and answers. Make a distinction. Entertain. Humans will need to buy from you later, without you having to do an awful lot selling.
3. Making empty promises:
Is your blog submit promising to assist the reader make an additional $5, 000? Lose 50 pounds? Reignite the ardor with their spouse? Properly, you better lower back it up. Not just with a story and some platitudes, however a actual step-through-step guide to making it take place. At some stage in the early days of the internet you may are becoming away with imparting cotton sweet content material. Now although, people expect real meat and potatoes.So, be cautious of what you promise. In case you make a large promise, lower back it up with recommendation human beings can take motion on right away. Otherwise, humans will simply unsubscribe from your weblog. They could even stop by your feedback phase and go away you a few choice phrases.
4. No longer being worthy of the crowd:
Consider you’re about to supply your subsequent put up in individual to a packed conference corridor of 5,000 people. You wait nervously in the back of the massive, heavy curtains with the stage manager whispering remaining-minute instructions for your ear. Your palms are sweaty, your heart is pounding and your mouth is dry.Your call is announced and you step out from the curtains, like a scared rabbit, into the intense lights to rousing music and deafening applause.
The crowd falls silent as you stand in the back of the microphone, center-stage.If this was your arena — if you were now not invisible — how tons more effort might you install? How lots tougher might you put together, studies, write and edit your posts? What might you do to craft the sentence shape, punctuation and pauses to get the proper tone, flow, rhythm and emotion? That’s what you have to be doing now with every publish you write. You then’ll get the consequences you so desperately crave.
5. Being bored:
In case you’re tired of your writing, your target market might be bored through it too. In case you now not feel passionate and enthusiastic about your topic, you is probably going for walks low on innovative energy. And the most effective manner to restoration that is to permit that strength to recharge. You have to take a wreck.Sure, I know you want to get to the end line early. However you want to take a damage to get excited once more. In any other case your readers will feel your boredom, and be bored too. We can’t be having that now, are we able to?
6. Waffling on and on and on and on:
Why say something in 10 words when you could impress with 50? You love the sound of your very own voice and so that you end up repeating your self through announcing pretty a lot the identical thing, again and again, however in a slightly exclusive way. You upload pointless info into your writing.You lose consciousness and don’t take enough time, care and interest to genuinely trim your writing down to the critical message. Be low-cost. Trim the fat. Make your writing lean and powerful. Enough stated?
7. The Ego has landed:
Don’t fall into the entice of creating your posts all approximately you. I hate to break it to you, but it’s now not about you in any respect. Your readers aren’t interested in you! They’re interested by useful, timely advice, revolutionary answers and unique memories… with a few greater thought and motivation for correct measure.Your blog doesn’t exist so you can percentage unnecessary, non-public tales about your cat. You had pasta for dinner? Who cares? You’ve had a migraine all week and your companion/kid/mother is using you loopy. Something…in case your story doesn’t have a point immediately associated with the message you are trying to deliver, please shop us the element. Cater in your readers, or you gained have any. Work difficult to understand them. Know them. Recognize what keeps them awake at night time. Now pass and write for them…
8. No longer infusing your character into the content:
There’s a turn side to the advice inside the previous factor… You can’t dispose of all of your character out of your posts, or it will be bland. It nonetheless desires some relevant testimonies, funny comments, and other personal touches. So, sprinkle it in. Communicate about what your audience is interested in, however do it your way. Yes, there’s a exceptional balance, considering the fact that it may’t be all approximately you, but don’t disappear completely. You may share your tales and reports at the same time as nonetheless focusing very well for your readers’ needs.
The most important sin at the net is to be dull. Don’t be guilty of this, or you’ll soon be forgotten!
9. Preaching from the pulpit:
You’re smart proper? Maybe the usage of complicated sentence structure and commonly showing off your God-given writing abilities makes you sense fabulously essential and superior? You pompously supply your 10 Commandments from on high for your lowly, unworthy followers. Err… How can i placed this…? Human beings hate that! If you need your target audience to like and accept as true with you, you need to understand that you're the servant, no longer the grasp.
Write with a touch humility, and people will love you for it.
10. You assume you’re funny:
Yep, and absolutely everyone wishes to understand about it! But chances are your readers have a unique humorousness to yours. Or maybe they’re in a serious mood these days… Maybe they’re even a touch concerned or worrying. It takes a high-quality writer to specific sarcasm and wit. In case you attempt too tough, you might just encounter as insensitive or downright impolite. If you’re uncertain, don’t use humor.
Try and keep away from these mistakes and your blog will in reality get it’s a good deal wanted interest!