The process of attracting potential customers and motivating them to make a purchase is not a simple two-step job. Digital marketing is based on the idea of the sales funnel, the multi-step journey that people take from being unaware of your brand to deciding to spend their money on it. Understanding the concept of the sales funnel helps you to craft a powerful digital marketing strategy. When you see how all the steps flow, you can design a clearer and easier path for people as they move from first noticing your brand to making a purchase.
A funnel represents the sales process because of its shape. At the start, you have a large number of people. That’s the wide end of the funnel. Far more people will visit your website than will make a purchase. So the number of people decreases further along, and the end point is the narrow end of the funnel. You draw people through the funnel with a combination of marketing strategies, each one honed for the specific point in the sales funnel.
Initially, search engine optimization and social media marketing are how your draw people to your brand’s website. You need to make it easy for interested people to find your site, and you need to have it shared on social media so it comes to their attention. Having your social media posts and blog content shared is a great way to drive traffic to your website.
Once people know about you, the next step through your sales funnel is engagement. This is actually not one step, but a series of steps as the funnel narrows. People interested in your field will start to follow you, to read your blog regularly and to trust your brand. From there, you can offer them special deals and downloads. Generally, they will need to give you some personal information such as their email address to obtain these things. Then you can send them very targeted emails directly related to their specific interest to build your brand’s relationship with them.
As sales leads move through your sales funnel, you are directing increasingly targeted and specific information at them. You are personalizing what you send more and more. You can send material addressing their individual barriers to making the purchase, whether it is a lack of certainty about the benefits or how to use a product or concern about cost. Making one sale isn’t the only goal. The idea is that you are forging a relationship with someone, developing some brand loyalty by meeting their needs well. The goal is that they will make further purchases and recommend your brand to others in their online and off-line circles.
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