How To Market At Each Stage Of The Funnel
Customer behaviors change constantly. We are used to the typical buying cycle or buyers' journey, but nowadays, we can’t be sure if the potential customers will follow it through. The buying process can either be a linear path or a complex road with many side roads along the way.
Earlier in the days, customers used to enter in the first part of the funnel. But in today’s digital times, customers are getting more and more informed and might enter the buyers' journey in the bottom phases.
This forces you to be well prepared and to know how to find them at any point of the buyers' journey and engage with them at each stage. Before we dive deep into the actions you could take at each stage of the funnel, let’s see what a buying decision process is.
What Is A Buying Decision Process?
The buying decision process is basically the funnel or journey the potential customer takes. Its shape is like the letter V: the wider part is where your customer finds out about you, and the narrower part is where the customer is getting closer to converting.
The typical funnel includes five stages:
Need or Problem Recognition
In this phase, the potential customer realizes that he has a problem or a need. At this point, the customer understands that the problem should be addressed, but he doesn’t know the solution.
This is the second phase in which the customer starts looking for information. This phase includes online research, so it’s crucial for you to be present online. The customer will try to find as much information as possible to find the potential solution.
Evaluation Of Different Options
The customer has found several potential solutions in this stage and is now comparing them. Here is when you will clash with your competition. The customer will evaluate and analyze different solutions regarding their quality and affordability.
As the title suggests, the purchase decision will be made in this stage. The customer has zeroed in on one solution and is now ready to purchase.
This is a super important phase since now the customer evaluates whether the product was a good deal or not. He will analyze the product quality and whether his expectations are met. If the buyer is satisfied with the product, he might buy it again or even recommend it to a friend. If your product fails to his expectations, you won’t be seeing a returning customer.
Actions To Take At Each Stage Of The Funnel
Now that we’ve covered the basics of a buying process let’s see what action you can take at each stage.
Phase 1: Guest Blogging
Make sure that your content appears in front of your audience before they even realize they have a problem or need. Guest blogging is the perfect way to execute this. Find out which websites your audience spends the most time on and place your content there. Here, your audience will passively see your content but will remember your brand later on.
Write blog posts that are informative and educational and provide them with solutions. Do not include salesy copy as you are in the beginning stages of the buying process. Try to be as thorough as possible so that your brand comes to your customers’ minds when they look for a solution.
Phase 2: Target Popular Keywords
Why it’s crucial to target keywords in this stage? Because the second stage is where your potential customer does his research. He is actively looking for solutions, and you want to be the first one that pops out to him.
The content you create should be focused on providing solutions for the particular problem by creating videos, infographics, blog posts, guides, or how-tos. But in order to do so, you must do keyword research. Use some popular tools like Moz or Semrush to create your keyword pool. Analyze the keywords you’ve gathered by search volume and popularity and define which keywords you are going to use and target.
Phase 3: Website Optimization
Keywords targeting and website optimization go hand in hand. You might find the right keywords, show in the SERP, get your customer to click on your URL, but fail to provide information on the landing page. You need to create MOFU content like guides, FAQs, case studies, and landing pages that provide answers to your customer’s questions.
You can use SEMRush Site Audit and the On-page SEO Checker tool to ensure your MOFU strategy is search-optimized. Analyze the overall SEO health of your website with the Site Audit tool. The On-page SEO checker would give you insights on the SEO health of particular pages on your website in terms of the targeted keyword.
Phase 4: Target Buying Keywords
As we mentioned above, the fourth stage is the purchase decision stage. Here you want to target buying keywords. To do so, you need to optimize your website content with transactional keywords such as buy, order, deals, coupon, etc.
To catch potential customers in this stage, you need to make their buying process as smooth as possible. You need to position your brand so that when the customer searches for a path to purchase, they find it right away.
Phase 5: Retargeting
If you think that your job is done once the customer makes a purchase, you’re fooling yourself! You are now entering a new phase with the buyer; retention. You need to make sure that your product meets his expectations.
In this stage, you have an advantage. Why is that? You already know your audience, what they’re looking for in a product, their pain points, and how your product can offer a solution. Create content related to your industry and place it where it’s more likely to be seen. Develop retargeting ads to target your past buyers.
When creating retargeting strategy, the main focus should be converting your one-time buyer into a lifelong customer.
It’s A Wrap
The buying decision process is rarely a linear path that customers follow from top to bottom. We’ve covered what the buying process represents and what actions you can take at each stage. Whatever you do, have your customer in mind. Follow these tips to create an outstanding buying experience.
Want to catch hold of your buyers in every stage of the funnel? Reach out to us; we would love to help!