If you want to get leads into your business, then you need to understand the marketing funnel. If you’ve never come across this before, then it could be a reason why you’re not seeing the success you deserve. It’s all about understanding the process of how we buy as people. When you have that knowledge, you can then use it to best effect.
The biggest mistake that a lot of businesses make is that they want to run before they can walk. You’ve opened your doors, you’re ready to sell. Why are people not buying? It could be because they simply don’t know you exist.
Before you have any chance of convincing anyone to buy from you, they have to know you exist. You have to put in the time to do that brand work. That’s why the top of the funnel is all about awareness.
1. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is a long game in marketing. The more people know of you and about you, the more you’ll be in their minds when they want to buy your products or services. But when you’re doing marketing, you have to realise that we live in a media heavy world. Everyone is trying to grab everyone’s attention. That means it’s much harder to get noticed.
On average, we see something seven times before it starts to sink it. We don’t tend to notice new things straight away. That means you have to be in front of your customers’ eyes for seven times as a start point before they even begin to be aware of you. That’s seven times before they even reach the top of your funnel.
There is no way to cheat this. Go in with a hard sell and you’ll put your customers off. You need to warm your customers up with marketing messages that will grab their interest and encourage them to want to find out more about you. You have to let them freely want to find out more about you, rather than trying to force them to pay attention. This will take time, but when you get it right, that’s when you will start to see the big successes.
Your message has worked. You’ve encouraged someone to take an interest. Yippee! But that still doesn’t mean they’re going to buy. How often do you buy from a business that you know barely anything about? You don’t. So the next step is about nurturing that interest.
How can your prospective clients find out more about you? How can they get all the information they need? Websites are great for this. They can tell your whole story. You can also track visitors to your website so you can start to see what pages are working and what content isn’t.
Walk in your customers’ shoes. Ask yourself: if I wanted to know more about my business, what questions would I have? What do people need to know about us? How can we get them to trust us? Then make sure you include all the relevant information on your website, in your brochures, and anywhere else they might be looking. It’s not until they’ve begun to understand you that they will move on further down the funnel. They’re still not ready to buy yet, but now they’re showing desire to.
3. Serious Consideration
This is where you might start to see leads. And by leads, I mean people who are showing a genuine interest in working with you. They’ve gone beyond having a general snoop around your website, and they’re now asking further questions, requesting a meeting, or asking for a quote. Now you’re in the serious territory, and you need to impress.
This is where marketing starts to blend into sales. Whilst us marketers don’t tend to partake in sales conversations, we need to make sure that this part of the journey has all the right supporting materials. What literature do you need? Do you have a presentation? Does a demo need setting up? What are the next steps? Carefully consider this part of the process to ensure it’s as informative and smooth sailing as possible.
4. A New Customer!
It’s only now, after that whole journey has been taken, that you will be able to see new customers.
I work with a lot of businesses who are trying to dip straight down to the desire part of the funnel. They skip the brand awareness bit and send out seemingly enticing messages that appear to promise the earth. If you got a message from someone you’d never heard of telling you that they can solve all of your problems, even though they probably aren’t aware of what your problems are, would you trust it? Would you click on that link?
No. Neither would most people.
To give yourself the best possible chance of winning those new customers, you need to understand the funnel and you need to make sure your marketing plan is set up to cater for it. It might be unappealing to think that you need to do weeks (if not months) of brand awareness work before you can really hope to get leads in, but there is no way to circumnavigate this. And the more you try to speed on ahead, the longer you’re delaying the inevitable.
Put in the work and you’ll be reaping the benefits.
If your lead generation is looking a bit thin, why not set up an exploratory call with Lindsay Woodward Marketing. We can review what you’re currently doing, offer tips on how to improve, or even work with you to get you where you want to be.