As per sendpulse.com, a marketing funnel is a model that shows the way a potential customer goes from becoming aware of your brand to purchasing a good or service. This model involves several stages of customer engagement with a brand. Companies use marketing funnels to understand their customers’ needs in each stage, optimise their marketing efforts, and generate more sales.
“The sales team owns the sales funnel. But as a B2B marketer, you feed the top of their funnel.”– Doug Kessler
Are Marketing Funnel’s effective in B2B businesses?
As discussed above, funnels form some steps through which customers buy a product or service. Although there are dozens of ideas and models of a funnel, but the core model is AIDA which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Every stage of the AIDA model acts as a funnel by itself as it allows customers to either pass on to the next level or drop off. Hence proper marketing communication in each of the funnel stages becomes critical as to restrict the customer from dropping off.
The basic Idea of this model is to produce a sense of awareness among the customers. For this a firm must work hard to understand the need of the masses. And then launch or market a product. And then you can, market it through funnels or by some other marketing activity. All you need to do is to create or observe a need of that product or service.
If we talk about the effectiveness of a marketing funnel in B2B businesses then you can get a rough idea from that as 70% of B2B transactions happen across different stages of the sales funnel as they move from top of the funnel to eventually being a customer, as already mentioned that in general B2B products and services have longer sales cycle. Hence by following an effective funnel marketing strategy, the marketing department can focus on the communication in the various stages of the funnel in order acquire a higher sales conversion rate.
Hence funnel marketing in other words can be a strong content marketing ploy at every stage based on the amount of relevant information to be passed on which eventually makes the sales journey of a customer sound viable, logical and value driven.
Why must businesses create an effective content marketing strategy for each stages of the funnel?
As per Content Marketing Institute report, it shows that around 58% of B2B marketing companies use content marketing to generate, feed and transform leads into paying clients. It demonstrates that creating content that will help a target audience as a B2B brand, is useful and valuable.
Here are some other ways that B2B content marketing in a sales funnel helps the company:
- Less investment in paid advertisements – As it’s a content marketing ploy your focus as a business is not on inbound or outbound advertisements, rather in creating relevant content which is valuable to the prospective customer to close on to his purchase / decision making process. It’s the most cost – effective form of marketing to every business be it in the product or service space.Give complete clarity on your offerings.
- Increasing Brand Awareness – It’s no denial that a satisfied and educated customer is an asset both being a customer and also being a brand ambassador for the brand helping in brand advocacy. Right content helps not only in sales conversion but also in cost reduction as the relevant content itself becomes the tool for brand amplification.
- Gain perceived authority in your business vertical / industry – The more content you generate that meets the needs of your prospect, the more authority you create. Those who see prospects as authorities have confidence. As per recent data around 84% of the B2B prospects buy a product or a service online after thoroughly going through all the relevant details available about a business both online and offline.
- More Organic Search Traffic and improved SERP Rankings – Marketing content drives your traffic in organic search across search engines. In fact, your organic search traffic will increase if your content marketing is good, so that your website pops up when one of your prospects enter one or more keywords in Google or any other search engines for that matter. You will drive organic traffic to your website if you create content such as Blog Postings, Informative Videos, Whitepapers and relevant Case Studies on your website, and other social media platforms.
- Marketing in every stage of the funnel gives more conversions and hence long – term business viability.
- Content marketing within every stage of the sales funnel is cost effective and offers one of the best ROIs among all the paid marketing initiatives.
- Finally, a funnel marketing strategy which nurtures the prospects with relevant and timely content becomes a true winner and enjoys brand advocacy throughout the product or service life cycle.
Hence in the age of online sales and reputation, it is imperative for any business to have a defined content marketing strategy for every stage of the sales funnel in order to seal the gaps and stop the leakages in the form of customer drop off’s, from the entire buying cycle.