Sales and marketing funnels provide a conceptual framework for how your customers convert and reconvert. In the midst of implementing your sales or marketing funnel, it must be as complete as possible. We’re not going to cover a nuts-and-bolts guide on how to have a full sales or marketing framework, but rather, why you can’t have any gaps in your funnel.
1) You Never Know Where a Lead Might Come From
There are copious amounts of data and statistics about various forms of marketing and how they send messages to your target audience. And you must send the right message to attract customers.
You must plug gaps in your funnel because you never know where a lead might come from. Someone might see your ad on a coffee break when checking a social media feed. Another person might be frustrated when trying to cook dinner and look for a new kitchen tool. A business person could look for an automation tool to make their job easier or to save on costs.
The key is the different ways in which these people find your brand. A business professional on a coffee break would use a smartphone. A business owner in an office likely uses a desktop. A busy parent in the kitchen could use a smart home assistant. And all three people might use various search terms to find what they want.
2) You Don’t Know When a Pain Point Might Happen
One aspect of plugging the gaps in your funnel is search intent. Someone looking for informational intent might want to read a blog about the top 10 ways to make a car last longer. But someone looking to find the closest car repair shop (navigational intent) has a more immediate problem.
As such, you need to align content for each kind of search intent that your business needs because you don’t know when someone’s passing interest might turn into a more immediate need to buy something.
And there are overlaps in search intent! Someone looking for the most efficient ways to dust furniture might be looking for tips. But you also want content that points to a solution, such as buying a handheld dust vacuum. You can have keyword-rich content that speaks to the problem, but it must be two separate pieces of content. One piece of content is for looking, and the other is for buying.
A guide for dusting is educational, with keywords, photos, and videos with less intent on conversion but still having a conversion point. An ad and product page have similar keywords, photos, and videos. But the phrasing would include much different information, like how to buy the dust vacuum, the price, and the feature/benefit copy. Your educational guide can point to the product, and the product can point to the guide, giving Google a much better sense of how you want people to move through your online presence. You could also feed both pages to your chosen paid advertising platform to see which increases conversions.
You need separate content for each search intent because you don’t know when someone’s interest might turn into a need to buy something.
3) You Don’t Know Who Is Watching
You don’t know what you don’t know, which is dangerous for any sales or marketing funnel with gaps. Hopefully, you know your target audience well enough to understand how they can find you easily. But what about people outside of your target audience who could help you expand your audience?
To wit, news media outlets will cite relevant, statistics-heavy sources in their online stories. But your content has to stand out from the pack for them to find it. Do you have some case studies or white papers that other people might find interesting? Someone posting a story on another website might link back to your content, generating more leads.
Also, people on social media will share an engaging video or post. While you never know what could go viral, it always helps to have organic posts on your chosen social media platforms.
Case studies and social media videos are two vastly different types of content. But you never know who might find either source of information to generate a lead.
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