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The Sales Funnel Series: How to Convert an Audience into Clients with Digital Marketing (Pt. 1)

It’s no secret that a successful business relies on sales. After all, without sales, a business is just a hobby. And hobbies cost money, rather than generating it.

Unfortunately, even if business owners are fantastic at their craft or trade, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re great at sales or the business side of things. And not being able to draw in leads and close the deal can really stunt the growth and success of a business.

Here’s the good news, though: Understanding how a digital marketing sales funnel works – and how to leverage it for your brand – can turn it all around, generating more sales and profits for your business.

So, in this multipart Sales Funnel Series, I’ll explain how to use digital marketing to convert an audience into new clients. Over the next few weeks or so, I’ll discuss the various ways to use content marketing, social media marketing and email marketing to cultivate more leads and new clients for your business.

To kick off this Series, I’m breaking down how an effective digital marketing sales funnel works.

Sales Funnels: What They Are & How They Work in Digital Marketing

“Sales funnel” describes the journey someone takes to become a business’ new client. Commonly depicted as an upside-down triangle, the funnel shows the different “awareness” stages a prospect will move through as they come closer and closer to deciding to make a purchase from a business.

Basically, a sales funnel can be broken down into three fundamental stages:

1. The “Know” Stage – This is the top/widest part of the funnel. This stage is focused on increasing brand awareness and building an audience. In digital marketing, this phase can involve getting more followers on social media, increasing traffic to your blogs and other content, etc.

The point here is to make people aware that your business exists and that your business has something they need or can benefit from. After all, you can have the best product or service in the world, but if no one knows you exist, you certainly won’t make any sales.

2. The “Like” Stage – This is the middle of the funnel, where you start to entice followers into becoming loyal fans of your business. In digital marketing, this can mean getting your audience to like, share or comment on your content or social posts, to subscribe to your emails, etc. It can also involve getting your audience to go out of their way to look for your business online, regularly visit your website and social pages, and generally try to learn more about your brand.

The goal here is to build your audience’s interest in the products and/or services your business has to offer. This phase can also be referred to as the “lead nurturing” stage of the sales funnel.

3. The “Trust” Stage – This is the bottom/narrowest part of the funnel, where fans, followers or subscribers develop enough trust in a business to become new clients. In digital marketing, this can mean getting your loyal audience members to respond to your call(s)-to-action, whether that’s completing a contact form, calling or coming into your business, downloading an offer, or even making a purchase online.

Here, the point is not just to acquire a client for a one-time transaction. It’s to instill trust to convert a new client into a repeat client who, ideally, will post positive reviews about your business online, refer others to your business, etc.

Can you concisely explain your business’ sales funnel? Are your sales funnels working? Have you run into any challenges or experienced any successes in using digital marketing to move your audience through your sales funnels?

Tell me about your experiences, challenges and successes on Facebook and LinkedIn. And don’t hesitate to get a hold of me on social media to ask any digital marketing question or just to say ‘hi.’ I look forward to hearing from you!

Content Marketing

Dollar Shave Club is a great example of how viral content exposed an unknown brand to millions and millions of people within a few months. Here are 8 tricks you can pull from their viral campaigns to help you boost your own content strategy.

8 Content Marketing Tricks That Helped Dollar Shave Club Go Viral via @neilpatel

To create a lasting relation with your leads, it’s very important to constantly engage with them via emails. The best way to do this is by having a well-constructed process that involves automated emails sent to different leads at a preset duration. Here’s what you need to know to develop an effective email lifecycle that can convert.

Prepping for an Email Lifecycle – From a Seed to a Fruit-Bearing Tree via @imkevin_monk • @getresponse

Are you or your team hung up on SEO when creating new content? Here are a handful of content marketing situations when you DON’T need to sweat SEO.

5 Reasons SEO Should Take a Back Seat With Website Content via @mikeonlinecoach • @CMIContent

Social Media Marketing

Last year provided fertile ground for social media goofs and gaffes made by marketers who didn’t think through their social campaigns. Check out this insider’s list of 2016’s biggest social media fails and the lessons we can learn from them.

2016’s Great Big Social Media Fails and Lessons Learned via @Melissa_iPR • @Marketingprofs

Being a social media manager requires more knowledge than simply growing up friending your classmates on Facebook. The trick is creating the perfect social media resume. Here’s how.

7 Ways to Make Your Social Media Resume Look Awesome & Get Hired via @maryclister • @WordStream

There’s been a number of case studies on the “best” times to post on Facebook and other major social networks. Here’s why those studies probably got it wrong and what you need to know to dial into the best posting times for your brand and target audience.

Why There’s No Perfect Time to Post on Facebook via @Ashread_ • @bufferapp