Marketing strategies are hard to master, not just because the best practice is constantly changing but because they can seem incredibly complex. The digital marketing funnel is one you should master, but it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Instead, to get the best from your PPC marketing funnel, it needs to be correctly aligned depending on the stage you are at. Now, if that sounds complicated, don’t panic because, by the end of this article, you will understand exactly what we’re talking about.
PPC marketing funnel 101.
The PPC marketing funnel represents the journey your customer makes. It begins with the awareness of your company and products, moves through an interest in what you do, then as the funnel narrows becomes a decision and finally an action. It is often drawn in infographics as an inverted triangle.
At each stage of the journey, it is up to you as a marketer to ensure that you are pushing the correct information, at the right time, to the right people on every stage of this journey.
We are used to the concept of differentiating art funnels depending on the type of customer or the buyer persona they line up with. Still, it is vital that we start aligning the campaign itself with the funnel stage, not just the person involved.
We need to think about each stage as a step on the journey, and there are three steps we need to target correctly:
- Awareness is at the top of the funnel;
- Interest and consideration we deem the middle of the digital marketing funnel;
- Action is the bottom of the funnel campaign area
So not only do we need to be taking into account who our buyers are, but we need to be pushing out information and meeting them correctly as they move through the PPC marketing funnel.
The top of the digital marketing funnel (TOFU).
At this stage, it is vital to make people aware of your service or product. Please don’t waste time with a call to action at this point, as it isn’t particularly applicable.
Your best approach for the top of the funnel is to be increasing adverts in the form of social media marketing, shopping adverts, search adverts, video adverts and display adverts, all of which have a broad target interest at this stage. Remember, we are generating awareness and platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest can all help.
When someone is searching for a service or product at this level, they are unlikely to be using brand keywords instead generically looking for a product with search terms like ‘high-definition television‘ or posing a question like ‘What is the best tablet for streaming television?‘.
It would help if you were using topic targeting or contextual keyword targeting, which you can find more information on in other blogs. With Facebook, this is the perfect time to create lookalike audiences where you are most likely to find customers interested in your product or service.
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KPIs for the top of the PPC marketing funnel.
The question is, how can you tell if your attempts are working at this stage of the funnel?
The key performance indicators that give you the data you need here are:
- Time spend on site
- Bounce rate
We expect to see a low conversion rate and a high cost per acquisition at this stage, but that is normal.
Yet with the one size fits all approach, people use those metrics as a reason to fail the PPC marketing funnel and go back to the drawing board with the whole campaign, not taking into account the fact that clients are still at the top of the funnel.
The middle of the digital marketing funnel (MOFU).
Now we approach what is known as the middle of the PPC marketing funnel; here, customers show interest and consider making their decision. You may hear this referred to as ‘the thinking stage‘.
Once your buyers reach this point, you need to think about the fact more specific information. Your call to action at this stage is specifically: Find Out More, See More, and Learn More, which should drive traffic to the website and offer more information.
So, using your same ad channels, you can build on what they already know about you. Your search ads are now becoming more directed. By this point, they have decided that a high-definition television is for them and are now homing in on other criteria they want to match with. Perhaps ‘high-definition television with 4K‘, or ‘which is the best high-definition television for streaming television services?‘.
When it comes to displaying ads, you are looking to develop customer intent audiences, and your video ads should be more in-depth and offer more detail about the product.
This is also the point where you can deal with soft remarketing, including blog readers, those who have been on your site for a small amount of time, and people engaging with your videos that can be gleaned from your YouTube engagements to create remarketing list search ads.
KPIs for the middle of the PPC marketing funnel.
The key performance indicators when it comes to analysing your performance at this stage of the funnel you should be using are:
- Cost per click
- Cost per view
- New user metrics:
- Conversion rate
- Avg. CPA
Remember, the point at this level of the funnel is to push them to the next stage and convert them when they reach the bottom, back out the top. You can also use the Google ads report for ‘Attribution’ by focusing specifically on the assisted conversions metric.
The bottom of the digital marketing funnel (BOFU).
We’ve reached the final push. Your customers are now heading for the bottom of the funnel and the all-important conversions. You must feed the bottom of the funnel with the correct campaigns at this point.
So going back to our television it is now time that customers will be searching by brand. For example, ‘Sony high-definition television‘ or ‘Samsung 4K TV‘.
Your keywords should fall into search terms that include buy, call, quote, or other purchase and contact related terms. This is where things like how much, what is the price of, and others come into play.
Your call to action is clear, and this is the time to include free trials, demos and incentives.
In terms of your remarketing, this is the hard remarketing stage, and you can target the stage of the customer. For example, abandoned carts, customers who started to checkout, customers who even got as far as adding payment details before dropping out.
KPIs for the bottom of the PPC marketing funnel.
So, let’s check out the key performance indicators for the bottom of the funnel. You should be focusing your attention on your:
The bottom of the funnel is where you will find the best metrics for making your future decisions. This information can help you optimise the strategies you use for the top and middle of your funnel.
Do not forget retention.
Once customers have passed through the funnel, you must remember your attention. These are the key to your success; the more they convert, the more they become strong advocates for your company.
Taking care of existing customers is as important as finding new ones. Be sure to include remarketing to anyone who has bought from you before. You can use their data to create lookalike audiences. With this lookalike audience targeting, you return to the top of the funnel.
The importance of alignment.
Hopefully, this demonstrates the importance of aligning your digital marketing funnel and how vital it is to create your personas and understand how your customers take a journey through the process of finding and purchasing what they need.
One other thing to remember is flexibility; your campaigns will constantly change, so you must continuously check-in to make sure you are on the right path.
A few essential tips:
- Ensure that you keep your adverts relevant this means keeping those all-important buyer personas at the forefront of everything you do. The skill of crafting adverts that read the buyer’s mind and make them feel as if you know exactly what it is they are looking for.
- Keep testing the all-important advertising message; you can recycle and reuse content but be careful that it hasn’t reached advertising fatigue.
- Make use of your Google Analytics, and use them to build remarketing audiences for Google ads.
- Always keep testing and referring to your KPIs.
Marketing is a journey where you never stop learning. Your goal is to create your persona buyer and deliver the perfectly formed message depending on what stage of the funnel they are at.
The best teachers we ever have in life are experience and observation, and PPC marketing can teach us so much. You are unlikely to find impressive results if you try the one size fits all approach, so you need to break it down.
Remember, we are always here to help, so if you struggle to apply this technique to your marketing strategy, get in touch and see what we can do to make things easier for you.
Download our infographic below which can help keep your customers on the right path for your PPC marketing funnel.