Understanding Digital Marketing Part 2: The Buyer’s Journey

Vernon BoldickSocial media

Last week we discussed sales funnels. This week, we are covering the components of a sales funnel, so you know where your potential customer is in the buyer’s journey.  

Warning: This does get technical!  But, I believe if you finish reading it, you will have a better idea of how digital marketing can help your brand. 

Defining A Sales Funnel 

The Top of Funnel, Middle of Funnel and Bottom of Funnel (ToF, MoF, BoF) are the three tiers of your sales funnel. Each tier represents a section of where your potential customer currently is in their relationship and purchasing potential with your brand.  

Top Of Funnel 

People who are in your ToF are only starting to learn about your brand. They haven’t heard of you before. In this stage, you are working on creating a relationship so they can know, like and trust your brand. Within this stage, you are sending potential customers to a landing page using: 

  • Social Media Marketing– They were captivated by a post you made and followed your call to action. 
  • Pay-Per Click Ads– They clicked on a Google or paid for social media ad. 
  • SEO– They have Googled products or services related to what you sell and your website came up as it had proper SEO (Blogs, Google My Business, etc.) 

Middle Of Funnel 

The MoF is where you begin to collect useful data like emails, names, phone numbers, etc. from potential customers. You do this by offering individuals a downloadable incentive in exchange for their data. Incentives could include: 

  • E-books– Highly valuable information is given to a customer to read on their own time. 
  • Templates– Useful tools that your customer can use such as a social media calendar. 
  • Online Class– Educational value is given to the potential customer. 
  • Instructional Videos– A video that helps solve a problem your potential customer has. 

Bottom Of Funnel 

Only once your potential customer enters the BoF do you go for the sale, as this is when your cold lead from the ToF has become a warm lead. This is where email marketing or retargeting comes into play.  Some strategies to help your customer hit the buy now button include: 

  • Free Trials– Allows the customer the safety of trying before buying. 
  • Online Audits– Shows the customer what they are missing with a free audit, which usually leads to paid work. 
  • Discount– Give the customer a discount on the product or service they are looking to buy. 

Next, you work on growing the relationship with your customer so they become a loyal advocate. This happens in the BoF after they have purchased from you. Here you can: 

  • Create Rewards Programs– Thank previous customers and encourage them to send you referalls. 
  • User Generated Content (UGC)– Feature UGC of your customers enjoying the benefits of your product or service. 
  • Word of Mouth– Teach your loyal customers how to be word of mouth advocates for your brand. 

Depending on certain variables, such as industry and buyer’s needs, this process can vary. It may take days or years. This blog is meant as a guide so you can have a basic understanding of the buyer’s journey. Someone looking to fix their furnace in –40C weather is going to be quicker to buy, compared to a couple who are considering building their dream home. In the first example, your ToF post may convert right away. In the latter example, the client could stay in your MoF for years before converting.  

Next week, we will dig deeper into which online mediums you should use for each stage of your sales funnel.