Do me a quick favour and consider these statistics:
71% of consumers begin their shopping research phase with a search engine
97% of consumers go online to find and research local companies, products, and services (with a digital platform)
93% of all online experiences start with a search engine
So… if your business is not online or you don’t have the right customer journey mapped out, you will LOSE those customers.
Today, I talk about the Customer Journey when it comes to the Marketing Funnel, the Golden Rule of 7 and how you need to SOFT sell during this process.
Want to watch the video where I explain this? Click here
So, when I said search engine, did you know that social media platforms are being used as search engines these days.
Pinterest- how do you find new content?
Instagram, do you ever search for a specific topic there?
Youtube- How often do you search something specific there?
No longer is Google or Yahoo the only way for customers to find information. So the big question is---- What does your customer journey look like when they start looking for your services or products?
Are you ranking or even appearing in the searches?
Are you playing where they are searching?
When they find you, what is their experience?
This is why it is so important to understand the Marketing Funnel!
“A digital marketing sales funnel is a combination of marketing tactics utilized to generate traffic to your business and nurture them properly to become loyal customers who advocate for your business.”
It is the way in which we break down the customer journey all the way from the “awareness” stage (when they first learn about your business on that search engine) to the “purchase” stage (when they’re ready to buy your product or service) and very important is the POST Purchase follow up to build advocacy & referrals as well as increase customer retention and cross- and up-sells.
Because 92% of shoppers read online reviews before purchasing a product. So what will your customers say about your business to others?
With that said, not every person who enters your digital marketing sales funnel will turn into a customer.
However, you can greatly improve your odds utilizing this formula to establish a lasting relationship with the potential client.
Ok what are the stages of the funnel exactly:
The most common concept is AIDAA
As I explain the marketing funnel, something that is very important to keep in mind as you build out yours, is the Golden Rule of 7.
That is that your ideal client should hear or see the brand and the marketing message at least seven times before they buy it from you.
If someone heard about our brand once and thought “that’s a great product, but I just don’t need it right now”, would it be reasonable for us to expect them to remember the name of the company three months later if they never saw anything from that brand again?
That’s why the rule of seven is useful. Just because someone matches your target buyer persona doesn't mean they are ready to buy your product or service right away.
It may just be that at this moment in time, their pain is not great enough for them to prioritise a purchase.
You need to maintain visibility, remind prospects of your existence, and ensure that when that pain-point reaches a threshold, you are the company they think about – not one of your competitors.
And you do this through a consistent message, brand identity and the content you provide them throughout the marketing funnel.
So back to that funnel and starting with Awareness:
Your customer will have a pain point and they will start doing research about specific ways to solve that need.
When they come into first contact with your business or brand, it needs to speak to them and connect with them.
This is where content is key!
And did you know that 4x times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. So here is when you want to SOFT SELL, and really have a strong plan in terms of HOW your customers first find and then engages with your brand.
So definitely you should at least be on the top 2-3 social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, maybe Linked and Youtube→ depending on who your ideal client is and where they “search” for info.
This also means you might need some kind of Google Ads or very good SEO on your website and blogs to ensure you some kind of ranking.
You can also do Facebook or Instagram ads for added awareness and reach.
This way your customer will start interacting with your business more than once already, due to following you on the different platforms and learning more about your brand.
Once the customer finds you through the awareness step, they might then become interested in your business. And now is where you don’t want to lose them.
Deliver superb content (such as videos, posts, photos, testimonials, infographics, how to use your product etc.) and information to your followers > engage with them > deliver them content and information that continue building your brand, but now show them the value and worth that you have to offer.
This is still SOFT Selling because you are giving value, you are listening more than you are “talking” or selling and you are making them feel special. You are giving them a great experience with your brand.
You want to focus on building long-term relationships, cultivating trust and nurturing the audience.
Before I move onto Desire, let me know in the comment section how you discover new brands and how do you feel when they immediately start selling to you without giving you value?
Pop your answers in the comments below.
Because we know it doesn’t feel nice when you are just browsing and that shop assistant is immediately on your case trying to sell to you instead of really taking the time to understand your needs right?
But if they woo you, there should be Desire right?
And a good way to build out the Desire is by giving a little bit of something they want for free, but keeping the really juicy things for later.
One way to do this is through a freebie where you can get their email address in exchange for something of value to them. And connect this to your business.
Eg if you are a nutritionist, you want to give a 3 day meal plan or the supplements they can take to compliment your meal plans or some easy to make recipes for healthy foods.
Something they can use, that is easy to implement and will show them WHY they should trust you and purchase more from you.
Because if they see that something free can give them value, they will be more lenient to purchase from you.
And an interesting fact to note here is that most buyers are already 57% of the way through the buying process before the first talking or meeting with a representative.
Because they have done most of the research themselves before they ever even potentially talk to you or your sales team.
The psychology behind this is, the more a person interacts with and gets value from you the less objections they form when they need to purchase. So repeat exposure to your brand and great experiences will lead to building this Trust in their mind.
And Action is ultimately what you want them to take, right?
Now you can do more hard selling, making sure that all their questions can be easily answered. Make sure pricing, the steps they need to follow, how to purchase is super simple and easy to understand.
And the actual purchase action must be quick, efficient and effortless as well.
Because all the interactions and exposure they experienced in this funnel or customer journey will ultimately lead to Advocacy and returning customers.
You want them to come back and share their experience with others.
A returning customer costs almost half of what a new client costs, because they have already been through the funnel, they have already had the 7 interactions with the brand.
And a referral is at least 2 steps down your funnel already due to the feedback they received from your existing client.
So planning out this funnel and the journey the customer will go on throughout this funnel is KEY in your digital marketing strategy.
One of the most powerful outcomes of digital marketing is that customers who’ve purchased from you before will tell their stories and ultimately tell your story too. Make sure it’s a positive one.
Engage customers at every stage of the buying cycle. 7 could be your magic number and thousands of happy, loyal customers can become the new rule!
Ok, that is the marketing funnel and how it affects your customer journey.
I hope you had great takeaways, and if you think anyone else can benefit from this artcicle or the video related to it, please share.
If you are still at the beginning stages of your digital marketing strategy, make sure to catch some of our other videos & articles where we talk about your ideal client avatar, why you need to think like influencers when building your brand strategy or even the basics of digital marketing.
If you need some help with YOUR digital marketing strategy, you can book a strategy session with us where we help you map out this entire journey and the exact steps you need to take to see results.
Because we know we can help find a solution for your business needs!