01 November 2019 12:11:25 IST

What is a full-funnel marketing strategy and how do you build one?

Earn people’s attention, build credibility of your brand and focus on personalised communications

Any individual with even a passing interest in marketing is aware of the ubiquitous ‘marketing funnel’. According to this principle, a customer’s purchase journey can be divided into three categories: awareness, consideration and conversion. Most of a brand’s target audience is in the ‘awareness’ stage. They might or might not be familiar with a product, but they have no intent to purchase it. In the ‘consideration’ phase, they are contemplating making a purchase, but haven’t decided yet. In the final conversion stage, the audience member becomes a customer and purchases the product.

Clearly, in order to gain more customers, brands need to nurture their leads through every stage of the funnel. However, most digital marketing strategies today only focus on the final conversion stage.

The secret to lower costs-per-leads and a larger volume of customers is a comprehensive ‘full-funnel’ digital strategy.

Stage 1: Creating awareness at the top of the funnel

Most of a brand’s target audience are invariably at the top of the funnel, its widest part. At this stage, most leads are cold — might only be vaguely aware of the brand. To increase awareness, one of the best techniques to use is video content. Short videos on the legacy of the brand and its USPs can pique the interest of consumers and lead to higher brand recall. With rising disposable income among tier 2 and 3 cities, multilingual videos are proving to be extremely effective at generating awareness.

Ads to explore during this stage:

YouTube bumper ads, TrueView for reach and mastheads are great ways to build instant brand awareness on this massive platform. Reach and Frequency campaigns on Instagram and Facebook are also very useful ways to reach your target audience.

Metrics to track:

At this stage, you only want to track whether your campaigns are successful in creating awareness. Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and cost per video views are metrics which help you track this.

Stage 2: Building credibility in the middle of the funnel

At this stage, users are aware of your brand but haven’t decided whether to purchase the product or not. As marketers, your job is to now provide your audience with all the information they need to make this decision. Informative and educational content could be in the form of whitepapers, e-books, blog posts and explainer videos. Customer testimonials are also a great way to establish credibility in your brand and push users one step closer to converting.

Ads to explore during this stage:

True-View Instream ads are an excellent way to reach viewers who have already engaged with your brand in the awareness stage.

What metrics to track:

Cost-per-click, ad recall and landing page views are important metrics to track as it tells you which users are displaying the most purchase intent.

Stage 3: Nudging users towards making a conversion

Through your awareness and consideration campaigns, you will be able to separate leads who remain cold from those that are genuinely interested in your brand. This latter category is invaluable as they have the most potential to convert. The extent to which they do will depend upon your marketing strategy at this stage.

Since users are already aware and engaged, you can now showcase more product-centric content with clear CTAs. Some users might require a sharper nudge such as time-bound offers or discounts to actually make the purchase. You should also keep in mind that personalised communications tends to produce the best results. If you can show a user how your product is uniquely suited to them, you’re far more likely to turn your prospects into leads.

Ads to explore during this stage:

TrueView for Action can be highly effective in driving engaged users to convert.

Metrics to track:

Since leads are your pure motive at this stage, the main metric to track is cost per lead.

A full-funnel strategy certainly requires a lot more analysis and time than an off-the-cuff marketing strategy, but your brand is guaranteed to reap awards many times over. In this digital world where a wealth of information is available to marketers, the best strategy is to take this data, gain insights and use them to chart a winning full-funnel strategy.