Digital Marketing Funnel Comprehensive Guide: What Is It & Why You Need It?

Categories: Guides, Sales FunnelsBy Last Updated: April 16, 2024

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A digital marketing funnel is a process that enables marketers to identify the right audiences and make them aware of their products or services.

By boosting conversion rates, businesses can have more profit. If you don’t make enough conversions with your digital marketing approach, there’s something wrong.

The digital marketing funnel may assist you in achieving this goal. This blog post will discuss how the digital marketing funnel can be used in various industries, such as retail, advertising, publishing, etc.

We will also provide some examples of companies that have been successful with this strategy. Let’s get started!

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What Is A Digital Marketing Funnel?

Digital Marketing Funnel is a process that enables marketers to attract, engage, and convert customers. This allows businesses to cultivate leads into sales by leveraging the internet as a medium for communication between customers and brands.

The first step of the digital marketing funnel starts with target audience research. The next step is creating content specifically targeted towards them which helps build their trust in your company or product.

The third stage is social media engagement or other channels where you can reach your existing community members through online platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Following are the three primary goals of Social Media Engagement:

  1. Drive Traffic
  2. Increase Brand Awareness
  3. Grow Community/Audience
  4. Increase sales

Marketers narrow down the audience set by a marketing method where they try to identify the most suitable target audience. This narrow down set reaches out to potential customers through Social Media, Email Marketing, etc.

The process happens through an attention campaign. For example,  marketers create a post which is about an upcoming product. This post attracts the attention of people who are interested in that kind of product.

This post will discuss the whole process step by step and also some tools which can help marketers to implement the whole process more effectively. Stay tuned to the end to find out the best method of digital marketing funnels.

What is the importance of a Digital Marketing Funnel in Business?

Businesses need a Digital Marketing Funnel because it helps them to market their business and product more efficiently. The whole process gives an opportunity to businesses to communicate with their target audience and build long-term relationships with existing community members.

This process also allows marketers to monitor customer behaviour and focus on what works and improve upon the steps which prove to be ineffective. It is a continuous process that starts with Lead generation and ends at customer retention. Marketers can use this funnel as a framework to communicate with their target audience.

For example, normally people are very busy in their day-to-day workflow so they don’t have time for reading lengthy content online. Here comes the main point of a digital funnel, marketers create a post that is about an upcoming product. This post attracts the attention of people who are interested in that kind of product.

This helps them to build a long-term relationship with existing community members and other users who could be potential customers for their products. Based on customer behaviour marketers use data collected during the funnel to optimize their overall performance.

In short, Digital Marketing Funnel enables marketers to drive traffic, increase brand awareness and improve overall business performance by understanding customer needs and behaviour at each stage of the marketing campaign.

After that, they slowly and gradually build a relationship with them and finally help them to convert into sales.

By collecting huge data, marketers try to find out the most suitable target audience and follow the customer behaviour at each stage of the funnel. There are two important things that a Digital Marketing Funnel can do.

Better segmentation of marketing actions

A digital marketing funnel can create better segmentation of marketing actions such as lead generation, customer enablement, nurturing, and conversion.

You can measure the whole performance at each stage of the funnel and plan your next step accordingly to ensure the successful implementation of Digital Marketing Funnels.

This can help marketers to increase overall efficiency by creating a framework that is very easy to understand and implement.

Better communication and customer experience

This can also make better communication between marketers and customers.

With a better understanding of the user behaviour, marketers can improve their overall customer experience which is helpful for both communities from an engagement perspective.

To summarize, Digital Marketing Funnels help marketers to accomplish goals with ease by finding out the best target audience and creating a suitable plan for further business growth.

Efficient lead generation

This is another method to increase the profit of any business by reaching customers through efficient lead generation.

By reaching out to potential leads through keywords used in search engines or websites helps marketers to engage with specific target audiences and improve overall business performance in a short period of time.

Loopholes identification

All the marketing activities don’t end up with good results. But it can identify each small thing that has gone wrong in the marketing campaign.

This process will help marketers to improve their marketing funnels. So it can also identify loopholes for better business results and performance. But make sure you know how to make your customers happy.

Sometimes customers may not buy products even though the funnel reaches them. This is mainly because they want to get more information about your business and potentially be a part of a community with that company.

Can anyone create a Digital Marketing Funnel?

Anyone can create a Digital Marketing Funnel, but you need to have some kind of knowledge about digital marketing. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert coder or marketer to implement this funnel properly. You can always use free tools which are available online to make your life easier.

In a nutshell, Digital Marketing Funnels is an essential element for all online business owners and marketers because it helps them to build a long-term relationship with existing community members and improve overall business performance by understanding customer needs and behaviour at each stage of the marketing campaign.

The New Vs. The Old Digital Marketing Funnel Model

As we all know that the marketing world is evolving every day with various kinds of new technologies, platforms, and tools available online to get better results for businesses.

There are so many drivers working behind the success of any business such as engaging customers at each stage, improvising product features and services, bringing innovation in business processes, etc.

But one thing which has not changed over time is “Digital Marketing Funnels” basics. The marketing funnel consists of several stages like lead generation, customer engagement, and sales conversion.

It’s useful for marketers to identify important parameters during each stage while dealing with digital marketing campaigns.

This process became more powerful over time because technology advances every day marketers found out some effective ways to improve business performance over time. There are some main factors that have changed in this field over time.

New Digital Marketing Funnels

More focus on Lead Generation: As businesses need more leads to grow exponentially, it has become more important for marketers to concentrate on lead generation over other processes. This way they can achieve their goals with ease by connecting customers to business right from the start of the marketing funnel.

But there are also some factors that need to be considered during this stage because if not managed properly then it may result in poor performance of any campaign or even loss of potential customers online.

Social Listening and Social Engagement: Social listening and engagement is the most important part of the marketing funnel model because social media is the most powerful way to reach out to more targeted customers.

Technology Changes over Time: There are so many new technologies available online for marketers to achieve better results in a shorter period of time. This is the main reason why Digital Marketing Funnels changes over time because these updates ensure more effective engagement with potential leads and an improved understanding of their needs and requirements.

Improve ROI by tracking digital footprints: Marketers can improve their Return On Investment ratio by analyzing various digital footprints such as web analytics data, social media data, etc which helps them to understand customers’ behaviour and accordingly engage with them at each stage of the marketing funnel model.

New Funnel Approach: Remote Customer Engagement is a new method. Modern-day marketers found a new approach for lead generation and customer engagement which is known as remote customer engagement.

In this kind of approach, marketers can engage with potential customers from a distance and make them feel part of the business by sharing their experiences and suggestions online. This way they can achieve their marketing goals.

Content Marketing: Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach out to a more targeted audience at each stage within the marketing funnel model because it generates high-quality leads which are an important parameter for every business growth.

Marketers simply need to invest time and money to create interesting content which has a viral effect among internet users these days.

Maximize Your Customer’s Interest: Successful businesses need highly engaged customers over time so marketers have to find out a way how they can maximize their customers’ interests during various stages of the marketing funnel model.

Customers are the only source where businesses generate revenue so it’s important for marketers to keep them engaged right from the start without frustrating them at every stage within Digital Marketing Funnels.

Use Social Media as a Promotional Tool: There are now so many online promotional tools available such as paid ads, social media apps, etc which helps marketers to promote their brands and business in a short time frame.

Customer Engagement on Social Media: Social media is the most powerful promotional tool available online these days which helps marketers to engage with their customers at each stage of Digital Marketing Funnels.

This way modern-day’s marketers can achieve their goals easily by following the right steps within the marketing funnel model so they can stay ahead of others who are in traditional marketing.

So if you’re an internet marketer then you should follow some effective Digital Marketing Tips to get better results from various marketing methods.

Grow A Successful Business with The Help of The One Funnel Away Challenge

The Old Digital Marketing Funnel

AIDA is quite an old marketing funnel. Here’s what AIDA means in a witty word:

The acronym “AIDA” stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action).

It is a marketing approach utilized in consumer packaged goods industry advertising. It refers to a sales and marketing plan that aims to engage consumers’ emotions and sentiments to elicit the response “I must have this!”

Here “Attention” stands for the first step in the Marketing Funnel. Attention means having an awareness of something, typically by seeing or hearing it. It is often used as a synonym for “notification.” Marketers can use digital marketing to increase attention but there are many other ways to get attention too so this shouldn’t be difficult for them.

For instance, you can write about interesting topics within your niche. Then share this content by posting on forums, guest blogging, and social media, etc.

You’ll start getting visitors who will then be directed into the next stage i.e interest (visitors become interested after reading/listening to your writing). The more people like what you’re saying, the more effortless it will be to bring their attention to your products and services.

Once your visitors become interested, you have to add interest to their desire to get potential customers on your sales funnel so they can buy from you without wasting too much time.

You have to create high-quality content that helps people understand how it can help them in some way or the other so when they read or hear about it, a desire for something will arise within them.

A good example here is a video review of a product. If done correctly, then people will start longing for that particular product after watching the video and making an evaluation of whether it’s perfect for them or not.

This way marketers can maximize their chances of converting visitors into buyers by helping them make better decisions about products/services through consumer reviews before finally taking action (buying something).

So, the whole idea is to help people become aware of what you’re offering and then create enough interest in their minds regarding your products/services. This way they’ll develop a desire for buying something after doing some research on it.

Finally, marketers should make sure that consumers convert into buyers by taking appropriate actions like calling for purchasing quotes, etc.

Because if all these steps are not taken in order i.e attention, interest, desire, and action within the digital marketing funnel model then chances of getting visitors into customers will greatly reduce hence affecting your sales/profits negatively too.

The Old Marketing Funnel Isn’t As Effective Today

Traditional marketing funnels were indeed effective in bringing relevant traffic to websites but things have changed greatly over the last few years.

For instance, it’s no more enough just to post content on social media platforms for getting people’s attention because there are so many companies who do this these days and they have got tremendous amount of audiences too.

By posting content on social sites alone you can’t achieve good results these days. As a result, many companies have started using mobile marketing techniques to improve their sales because mobile devices have become the primary choice for surfing the internet among people these days.

No need to tell you how huge of an impact new-age digital channels like Instagram and Twitter are having on businesses today either. A one-way communication strategy on the internet won’t be enough anymore.

You have to start engaging with your customers by posting “conversational content” to get noticed these days rather than just being a spammer.

Why Did The Digital Marketing Sales Funnel Change?

When digital marketing first started, the old marketing funnel was still effective as compared to today because consumers were not aware of how digital channels could help them in getting results.

For instance, back in the day when email was a new medium for online marketers, everyone used to struggle with ways on how they could make their emails interesting enough so that people would become interested in reading their content.

Moreover, they also didn’t have access to any reliable way on which they could figure out whether people wanted to read their emails or not rather than just guessing about it through research/surveys.

However, all these things have changed now and marketers can easily find ways on which they can boost their sales within shorter periods by using more engaging content and advanced techniques like A/B testing, etc.

These days, the majority of internet users spend their time on social media sites and mobile apps rather than visiting websites because they’ve become aware of the fact that Facebook and Twitter can help them in getting relevant stuff without wasting any time.

What kind of problems does digital marketing solve?

The main problem that marketers face today is selling their products to customers as fast as possible because there are many companies who’re competing with each other for the same customer pool which is resulting in the formation of huge marketplaces where people offer similar stuff at very competitive prices.

Moreover, consumers nowadays have got more control over what they buy since they have access to a wide range of information online through social media platforms and review sites, etc.

These things lead the marketers and business owners about thinking differently to change the methods. There are some pillar points that indicate the reason for changing the behaviour of the Digital Marketing Sales Funnel Change.

1. Misconception: “Customer buying journeys are linear.”

Back then, people thought that the customer buying journey would always follow a sequence. That means all the product selling systems will go from the AIDA method. But these things are changing.

People can be motivated by a directed awareness stage or they can jump to the Action part just by the ads. It depends on the customer behavior and also the product types.

2. Customers can enter the buying journey at any stage

We have talked about it just now. People can buy products from any part of the process. This is because now people are watching and spending more time on the internet. So they are consistently watching their preferred products and items.

3. The old funnel ignores what happens after customers’ purchases

Here is the main thing that arrives to rethink. The old funnels don’t value or judge the customer what they are buying or where they are giving more interest which leads them to buy more products.

This simple thinking and making the change on it can make a great impact. The new funnels are designed that way with the help of strategy and advanced tools.

Here, the funnel will help to understand whether the customer will be interested in the next product or not. So, giving some more effort and spending money on them will return good feedback.

4. There is a lack of granularity

The simplification of the customers’ journey sounds helpful. You will make assumptions that all customers behave the same way and require the same treatment.

In the end, your results might not be as good. Being specific means, you need to cover all bases and scenarios, such as challenges and barriers for different customers at each stage.

3 Types of Digital Marketing Funnel

Let’s have a look at the digital marketing types that are commonly familiar in most kinds of businesses.

1. Hourglass Digital Marketing Funnel

We are discussing one new hourglass digital marketing funnel that is suggesting that contemporary marketers should focus on pre-purchase and post-purchase focal points.

The middle part of this hourglass funnel is nothing but customer retention and building a valuable relationship with customers.

So in order to solve the problems faced by marketers these days, they should focus more on the website’s ability to retain customers through identifying individuals that might not convert into a sale right away and then targeting them for future sales.

Moreover, marketers should also try to create long-term relationships with customers since they play a vital role in taking the brand forward.

2. Looping Marketing Funnel

Looping Marketing Funnel

The concept of looping the marketing funnel was made by McKinsey & Company who is a worldwide management consulting firm.

The Looping marketing funnel is a four-stage sales cycle that converts a potential consumer from brand recognition to purchase action through four stages: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, and Post-purchase experience.

This marketing funnel suggests that companies should try to keep their customers by doing more than what is expected of them by offering some unique and valuable benefits.

Moreover, after purchasing a product, a company should also offer some incentives such as free shipping or money back offers so that they can retain those customers for longer durations.

  • Awareness – This stage starts when a potential customer first becomes aware of the existence of your product or service.  The customer may be hearing about your product for the first time or he/she might be aware of it and thinking about buying it.
  • Consideration – After the initial awareness, the customer will start considering your product/service among others.
  • Purchase – Before purchase, there is a final phase in which the customer makes all final considerations before purchase.
  • Post-Purchase – This is the last phase in which you need to make sure that they are satisfied with the product and purchase was worth it for them.

3. Micro-Moments Digital Marketing Funnel

Moments Digital Marketing Funnel

The micro-moments digital marketing funnel is a new approach that focuses more on mobile-based customers.

The traditional marketing funnel usually focuses on attracting, engaging, and winning over customers for the longer term but this micro-moments digital marketing funnel suggests that marketers should try to attract their customers for shorter durations as it’s more difficult to hold their attention long-term.

Components of An Internet Marketing Funnel

Foundation is the first part of the internet marketing funnel.  It comprises the components like website, landing pages, etc.

These are usually free or low-cost tools while some other tools in this funnel might require more investment. Some examples of these types of paid tools are pay-per-click ad management services, email marketing software, chatbots, etc.

The second part is Floodgates. This is usually used to capture information from customers. The type of software and tools required for this part can vary widely depending on goals, budget, and desired level of automation. Some common types of tools include web forms, landing pages, auto-responders, etc.

The huge number of traffic can come from various channels. It can be from Youtube, Instagram, SEO, Twitter, Email, or any digital platform.

The Conversion stage is the next step in which you need to convert your website’s visitors into your customers. Here you need to acquire the email address of your visitors either using lead magnets or web forms etc.

This will work very well for businesses because the customers who will provide email addresses must be interested in the business.

Digital Marketing Funnel Stages

As there are so many types of digital marketing you have to plan the stages carefully. But every funnel has mainly three stages.

  • The Lead Magnet: This is the process of giving free values to potential customers to get the email address or phone number. This way they also like to give their info because they are getting value.
  • Amplifier: After getting in touch with the new potential customers you have to get in touch with them to make them stay longer. That’s why you will definitely need to send some offers or send some free values to be in touch.
  • Conversion: In this stage, you will need to create attraction for the newly connected customers. That’s why you have to send some offers to them to sell. The highly interested customers will buy the products for sure.

Common Mistakes In Digital Marketing Sales Funnels

  1. Treating A Sale As The Conclusion of The Funnel: One of the most common mistakes that marketers do when they create a digital marketing sales funnel is that they treat a sale as the conclusion of the funnel. Instead, you need to think about retaining your customers for future purchases.
  1. Letting Prospects Go: It is another mistake letting the leads slip away without reminding them. Once they register for your offer, you can follow up with them to build rapport and eventually help them in converting into customers.
  1. Not Integrating the Funnel into Content Strategy: If you do not integrate the sales funnel with your content marketing, then there can be a huge drop-off in leads that can cause fewer conversions. Integrating the funnel with your content strategy will help to keep the leads engaged and you can also gain momentum in your sales.
  1. Not Updating Your Marketing Funnel Strategy: It is crucial for marketers to update their sales funnel strategy as they need to optimize it after every campaign. Updating your strategy will help you in producing better results and convert more leads into your customers.
  1. Having A Weak Call-to-Action Message: When your offer is weak, then it’s likely that leads will not convert into customers. You need to take a careful approach to create a message for your call-to-action button. That will be the reason for anybody to convert into your customers.

Final Thought

This article has discussed the importance of understanding how your customers think and what they want. Now you can use this knowledge to create an engaging marketing campaign that will keep them coming back for more!

As you already know, the Digital Marketing Funnel is a useful visualization tool to keep in mind while creating your marketing campaign.

By visualizing how your ideal customer uses and interacts with your product or service, you can now create a path that will guide them towards becoming loyal customers.

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About the Author: Masud Sarker Rana

Rana is a writer and researcher who loves to share his knowledge with the world. His focus is on web development, SEO, and digital marketing—as well as other related topics.