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How much do you know about your target market? Even if you don’t have all the data and insights, you probably know that your leads go through multiple stages and touchpoints before they become your valued customers. This means understanding your marketing funnel.
Customers at various stages of the funnel have unique search behaviors, intent, and qualifiers. With 61% of B2B buyers starting their research with search engines and 80% of C-suite executives doing product or service research in the evenings at home, it’s not surprising that Accenture reports B2B buyers are already 57% of the way through the sales process before they even speak with a representative.
So, as the digital landscape has changed and accelerated how buyers buy, marketers have to adjust how they approach this new norm. Building a website and then sitting back waiting for traffic and sales won’t work.
Attracting and nurturing B2B leads
Did you know, around 73% of leads aren’t ready to be sold to? Even when you narrow down the prospects that are qualified, half of them aren’t ready to make a purchasing decision. Which stacks the odds against you, right from the start.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom…
Businesses who optimize their funnel to attract and nurture their target market see a 450% increase in qualified leads. And, the ones who take the time to grow those customer relationships at each stage of the funnel, double their sales at a third of the cost.
So how do you stop people from dropping off and bring in more leads: the answer is clear.
When buyers are certain that you understand and can anticipate their needs, they’ll trust you with their business.
Marketing Tactics for the Different Funnel Stages
When it comes to lead generation and optimizing your funnel, you need to know your target market and understand what they’re looking for at every stage from Awareness through to Purchase. Despite several benefits to identifying and developing your B2B marketing funnel, 68% of businesses aren’t tracking their buyer's journey, which leaves 79% of leads forgotten and unconverted.
So, where do you begin?
You need to do keyword research for each stage and target these keywords in your search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) strategy. And, you need to make sure you can meet them where they’re looking for information by creating your website content - from blogs and brochures to landing pages, product demo videos and FAQs- with the entire customer journey in mind.
As potential buyers move through the funnel, their needs change. In fact, according to CMO, 90% of B2B buyers now dip and dive through the sales funnel, circling back and replicating at least one task in the conversion journey. In response, you must evolve your marketing tactics and strategies too. Content, messaging, and offers that are appropriate for the Purchase stage are lost in the Awareness stage. Mapping and readjusting your marketing strategy and tactics are as important as mapping and examining your customer journey.
At the top of the funnel, in the Awareness and Interest stage, your customers might not be solution-aware yet. They may be researching to find out more about what they need, but rarely know what they really want yet. Now’s the time to educate. Creating personas at this stage is crucial and your SEO, content marketing and lead generation tactics must be laser-focused on your target audience’s pain points. This is where articles and eBooks with detailed information and instructional videos help buyers begin to see possible solutions to their problem and raise solution awareness of your product or service at the same time.
Then comes your Evaluation and Engagement strategies. Arm your leads with the right information by answering FAQs and providing brochures or fact sheets. You want to really show your track record with case studies, testimonials, and reviews. A personalized email drip can keep you front of mind and connected with your customers while a webinar event may help you answer burning questions and really put a face to your brand.
Finally, the Purchase stage. All too often, B2B marketers offer incentives like free trials, demos and consultations too early in the funnel, when cold leads aren’t yet warmed to making a purchase. By waiting to give an offer when the lead is in the prime position to purchase, you will have a more direct impact on the buyer making the decision.
This is one of the best ways to make sure you are serving the right sales messaging, at the right time, for maximum conversions.
Future Proof Your Marketing and Sales Funnels
It’s crucial to remember that your conversion funnel is always evolving. The B2B buyer process is continually changing and your conversations with your audiences provide new insights. What satisfied their pain points and suited their needs in the past may not be right today.
Digital marketing can and will deliver huge B2B growth, new sales opportunities, and tangible revenue impact when you’ve created a strong framework. Optimize your funnel and skyrocket your online business to success. At Online Marketing Gurus, we have made it easy to get started with a Free Digital Audit. Claim yours today to get a free 30-minute strategy call with one of our Growth Gurus, a comprehensive free audit of your online marketing AND a free 6-month multichannel game plan.
Author: Jon Bennion
As CEO of OMG USA and The Search Assembly, Jon’s job is to ensure the growth of these two companies by helping their clients get great results. He’s a long time practitioner of SEO, with 15+ years of experience helping companies grow their revenue online. Over the years, he has also trained 1,000+ sales and account managers and developed SEO programs with big brands like GoDaddy and Homes.com.