A marketing funnel is a buzzword phrase that we all talk about, but rarely put into practice. However, viewing your customers journey and how they move down the funnel is critical to your success. The question is… Can you correctly identify where your customers are in their journey?
This week is all about each piece of the funnel, which I view as Awareness, Activation, and Nurturing. Each of them are important, but some are harder than the other.
FYI if you have some time for another good read, check out my most recent blog post about an UnGoogled Android ROM called /e/ OS. Spoiler: I’m really impressed.
Grinding in the Middle
The top of the funnel is a fun place to be. This is where you get to be creative, out on the edge trying trendy tactics. Its also a major distraction. Top of the funnel is vanity metrics. Views, likes, brand mentions, followers, all numbers that can grow quickly and look great on a slide deck.
Real work happens in the middle of the funnel. Customers are aware but not ready to buy and you grind just to keep their attention. These numbers don’t wow anyone, but they are the most crucial numbers you have. The middle is where you prove your value. Its where you build trust and make relationships.
Its not glamorous, but you gotta put 5x, maybe 10x the work in the middle than you do the top.
A former manager once told me (back when I was in sales), “There are 3 tiers of a relationship with a customer – Breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you get breakfast meetings the customer is willing to give you 15 min. and a coffee, at their jobsite or office. Lunch meetings means the customer is willing to leave their site and meet you. Dinner means they’re sacrificing family time just to meet with you.”
The middle of the funnel is lunch. You get their undivided attention, but no promises. So start grinding.
Creating content is more than filling boxes
There are a lot of great gems in this article for both people who are “content marketers” and people managing them. Here’s a quote that sets the tone for the whole blog:
“You’re not just filling empty boxes with content. You’re contributing to the business. Many mid-career folks have told me that when they were able to prove their direct impact on the business, they were able to ask for more resources.”
There are lots of content farms that can churn out copy on just about any topic. Having a great content marketing team means they not only understand the business, but are invested in it. Definitely worth your time.
Give Twitter the right focus
Brands are terrible at Twitter. Either they’re constantly pitching their own content, adding little to no value, without doing any listening or they somehow think they can be Wendy’s.
You have to be willing to give more than you get, always adding value to the users feed. Twitter might be top-of-funnel, but its worth your efforts.
Side note: This site is annoying and has everything I hate in modern web experiences. I was very hesitant to share
You have an audience, now what?
As I mentioned earlier, the middle of the funnel is where you do 5x work to build value and grow trust. Having brand awareness is another one of those vanity metrics. You really have to work at customers associating and considering your brand.
Your goal as a marketer is to always move prospects down the funnel. If you’re always trying to build brand awareness you’re putting people into a bus with no gas.
Looking at the Macro – Get Better Friday
Do you get this feeling like you’re just coasting?
Sometimes you’re grinding away, at an all out sprint and then one day the tide goes out and suddenly you don’t have to fight the current any more. This feels like you’re doing something wrong. Why do I have so much free time? Am I forgetting something? Did something happen and now there’s a problem I don’t know about?
This is a feeling I’ve had recently and when it comes up I try to fight it. Instead this is an opportunity to take a step back and look at “what is the most important thing right now? Am I working on the most important thing?”
When you have space you can ask these questions for when it gets busy again you know your focus is in the right place. The key is to define what does success look like? When you’re grinding success is just clearing your todo list. But are you working towards what’s important to you at work? In life? If you’ve defined this when things get busy again you know you what success looks like and not lose track of what you need to do.
These moments when the tide goes out are opportunities to have the space to look at the macro, define what is success and how to incorporate that mindset into your daily process.
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