When it comes to marketing, one of the best strategies to maximize any campaign is to understand the industry you are in and the consumer buying process in that industry. At each stage of the buyer's process or journey, customers have different needs for content, information and support. When you can get inside their minds, you can better serve their needs and lead them down the path to purchase. Are you ready to start tailoring your marketing to the buyer's funnel? Try these key tips.
What is the Buyer's Funnel?
The buyer's funnel, or the marketing funnel, is the process that customers go through as they decide whether to make a purchase. Consumers go on a journey as they decide what elements they need to include in their purchase and what is most important to them. They want a solution that is going to solve their problem - which is hopefully your product!
The Stages of the Buyer's Funnel
The buyer's funnel has several key stages that you must consider as you're preparing your content and deciding how you want to approach your target audience. The funnel stages are the same for each industry but the importance of the different stages varies depending on the industry you are operating.
The Awareness Stage
At the top of the funnel, the consumer is no longer oblivious to your company as an option for their need. During the awareness stage, consumers may know that they have a problem, but are not exactly aware that you have the solution. Common awareness-stage advertising strategies include:
- TV commercials
The Interest Stage
As consumers move into the interest stage, they align themselves with company values or concerns. Based on what they’ve learned so far, they “would buy” from the company if they had to. Effective tactics for the interest stage consist of:
- TV commercials & Broadcast
- Programmatic display
- Local pre-roll
- Streaming audio
The Research Stage
During the research stage, the prospect’s interest has peaked and additional information is being sought out. They’re looking for pricing, visiting your website and reading reviews to determine if your business is a good fit for their needs. Research-stage tactics include:
- Social media posts
- Local Display Ads
- In content integration
The Consideration Stage
During the consideration stage, the consumer’s need has arisen and the proper preparations are being made, such as saving and making decisions about which brand within the industry they want to purchase from. They want more education about your products and services and how it helps them solve their problem. Common tools used during the consideration stage include:
- Email marketing
- Special offers to help draw in consumers
- Website retargeting
- Search engine optimization and search engine marketing
The Purchase Stage
During the final stage, the consumer has come to the conclusion of purchase and is now going through the motions. Whether they’re driving to your location or filtering through your ecommerce site, you can help move the consumer through the final stage with:
- Product demos and comparisons
- Payment options
- Contact with the sales team or customer service team directly
- Email with ecommerce Inclusion
6 Tips for Tailoring your Advertising to the Buyer's Funnel
As you improve your understanding of the buyer's funnel, you can develop a better idea of exactly what your prospects want to see and how you can best reach them. Try these tips for tailoring your marketing efforts.
1. Define your buyer personas.
Know who your customers are. Many industries will focus on more than one buyer persona. For example, a restaurant might tailor specific ads toward older individuals who eat out early in the evening and different content to younger consumers who are looking for a great place for date night.
2. Identify your customers' goals.
At each stage of the buyer's funnel, you need to know what your consumers want to accomplish and what's important to them. What consumer pain points are you trying to solve and how are you communicating that through your marketing efforts?
3. Align your business goals with the appropriate marketing channels.
What is your goal as a business? If your company needs brand awareness and larger market presence, then it’s best to focus top of the funnel tactics. If you need to increase closing percentages within marketing campaigns you are currently running, then bottom of the funnel tactics could help move the dial. Specific marketing channels will reveal themselves based on your company’s needs.
4. Brainstorm content ideas for each stage of the funnel.
Many marketers inadvertently focus on specific stages of the sales funnel. While building your brand, you’ll want to focus on providing content for the awareness stage of the funnel. A closer look at your marketing will allow you to create content that reaches people at each stage.
5. Use SEO strategies.
On average, 85% of customers do research online before making a purchase. By focusing on organic search optimization, marketers can cultivate content that speaks to their prospects' needs at each stage of the buyer’s funnel while simultaneously building brand authority.
6. Engage in customer relationship management.
Your business needs to provide the content your consumers are looking for and offer solutions to their problems. Through relationship management strategies, you can develop a deeper rapport with your customers and build trust. This encourages them to turn to your business and increases the odds that they will return for future purchases.
Using the Buyer’s Funnel
Although the funnel stages are standard for each industry, their importance varies depending on the industry you’re operating in. Law firms place heavy importance on the awareness, interest, and purchase stages, but not so much on research or consideration. On the other hand, the automotive industry focuses heavily on awareness, research, and consideration.
The key to optimizing your buyer’s funnel is to understand your company’s needs and the marketing that you already have in place. If you have a strong presence in one part of your funnel, you can put your energy toward building the other stages around it. For example, a strong SEO strategy already in place lowers the need to bolster the purchase part of your funnel leaving room for you to focus on the other four stages.
Are you looking for more ways to enhance your advertising and ensure that you're reaching customers at each stage of the funnel? A media partner can provide you with vital information about how to customize your marketing efforts and reach consumers as you move them through the buyer's journey.