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You may have noticed that every marketer, salesperson, and online entrepreneur is highly focused on their online marketing and sales funnels–and for good reason. Let’s dissect why these funnels are vital for online businesses to thrive, and what you need to set up a consistent, effective marketing funnel for your business endeavors.

Why the fuss over marketing funnels?

Now more than ever before, consumers have access to tons of information and are research-oriented and discerning in order to make sure they get the right products and services for their purposes. This has not only driven up price competition, but it’s actually made businesses lower prices in order to attract new customers, but all that becomes is a corporate race to the bottom in terms of prices. Whoever sells their products the cheapest wins.

Bottom of Funnel Marketing

Image: Shutterstock By one line man

However, what online sales funnels do is drive traffic to your site and allow you to reach out and captivate new leads via your squeeze page. This method of marketing helps generate new sales, create return customers, identify dream buyers, and upsell potential customers on your products. Here are some methods you can utilize to drive traffic to your funnels, build brand loyalty, and make sales.

1. Getting to know your target demographics

Demographic information–that is, your audience’s average income levels, age, gender, vocation, location, and more–gives you a clearer idea not just of who’s buying from you and what they prefer to purchase, but how to effectively reach out to them.

An easy way to split this us is to focus on two core demographic markers and 1 to 3 secondary markers. Core markers help define your core market, while secondary markers are details that flesh out more about that core market.

If you keep your focus more specific, this will let you focus on your audience and what is most important to them, and aid you in building a clear, detailed buyer persona in order to target them effectively in your marketing.

2. Facebook Groups & adding value to your community

If you’re curious about what role Facebook groups play in establishing your marketing and sales funnels, think of it this way: they’re a perfect way to reach out directly to your audience and establish a sense of community and loyalty among your target demographics.

Not only can you share information with your base and directly address questions, but your followers can communicate with and support each other to truly build trust and a sense of belonging within your group.

Unlike a Facebook Page, Facebook Groups are tailored to notify your followers every time you host a live-stream or make a post, and you and your followers both can add value through the sharing and curation of relevant content. The sense of community found on a group page also makes it much easier to drive traffic directly to your pages and keep loyal fans, followers, and members up-to-date on your business. That doesn’t mean spamming them with every single bit of content or constant self-plugging, however. Keep it natural and always endeavor to add value to your followers’ day with relevant content, helpful links, and genuine care.

3. Using Instagram hashtags and engaging effectively with influencers

Instagram is a straightforward means of driving traffic: simply make posts with relevant hashtags and publish. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your hashtags:

  • Research niche-relevant hashtags to post with.
  • Limit your hashtags to one or two per post. Dozens of hashtags
  • Keep your focus on niche content that your audience will benefit from.

Something else that Instagram offers is the ability to engage directly with brand influencers, which can be a huge draw for new traffic while building up social proof for your business. Here are a couple of tips for building rapport with influencers:

  • Find influencers relevant to your niche.
  • Use their hashtags and tag them directly in posts.
  • Communicate with influencers directly and comment on their posts. Over time, they will notice.
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Or, of course, if you have the means, you can pay to have an influencer promote your business, and your sales funnel traffic will spike as well.

4. Using authority marketing to drive traffic to your site

Authority marketing, also known as content marketing, is easily the best free tactic you can use to gain new visitors and increase your visibility. All you have to do is build genuinely well-made, engaging anchor content wherever you like, whether it be on your own site or elsewhere.

While it won’t happen overnight in most cases, as you build an audience and keep it engaged, they’ll keep coming to you for the quality of your content and start hitting your sales funnels as you build trust and loyalty by giving them something they want for free.

5. Building an audience and documenting your progress with a podcast

Podcasts are arguably more popular than ever and cover a broader spectrum of interests than ever. What a podcast can do, even if you’re listening to archived posts, is take your audience on a journey with you, and let them really get to know you while learning about your niche, your interests, mannerisms, and more. This personal experience also provides informative, valuable content that keeps listeners interested in what you have to offer.

Podcasts are an excellent way to build trust with your audience and drive traffic to your pages. Better still, it’s not a huge amount of effort to craft one. If you’re not terribly technical, you can have someone publish it in your stead or take care of the audio hardware so all you have to do is focus on recording and reaching out to your audience.

6. Crafting informative YouTube tutorials

YouTube is an incredibly valuable source of driven, targeted traffic. Not only is it the world’s second most popular search engine, but it is absolutely massive in terms of the amount of content it holds. When done right, this can mean a near-endless stream of consistent traffic for your business.

So, if you’re looking to make informative YouTube content, think about relevant topics you can help your audience with. How can you add value to a potential lead’s day in video form? While it may seem a little daunting at first to make a YouTube video, it’s surprisingly easy and fun to do.

It’s okay if the first few videos aren’t amazing–most users’ first videos will be a bit rough. As you learn and grow, you’ll improve, and as you improve, you’ll be better equipped to build an audience invested in what you have to offer. Nurture your viewers with good content and they will give back in traffic and even sales.

7. Guest blogging on niche sites

You might be surprised to know that guest blogging isn’t a dead medium, but these days, it needs a special touch to give it more sincerity than a piece of content clearly meant to rank well with search engines. The key is adding genuine value to content. As search engine A.I. gets smarter and more intuitive, it will be able to better parse sincerity in published content.

With this in mind, avoid buying links or purchasing guests posts, and don’t trade links or posts either. Make sure you’re reaching out in order to provide genuinely engaging and valuable content, and simply leave a link back to your own page at the end. People–and search engines–are looking for sincere, natural writing that adds value, rather than just spamming links or keywords, which can come off as unnatural.

When you’re ready to try your hand at guest blogging, make sure you’re addressing an audience within your niche or that would be interested in what you have to offer. If possible, guest blog on a more popular site within your niche to establish domain authority, and thus, more traffic being driven directly back to your sales funnels.

8. Creating pins and boards on Pinterest

Pinterest is a potent way to drive traffic to your products with its highly visual focus and emphasis on curating related posts (“pins”) on boards. How can building relevant, niche Pinterest boards help you? Studies have shown that a whopping 93% of users on Pinterest have made an online purchase within the past 6 months. Better still, pins that feature prices get 36% more likes than those without. It’s easy to say that Pinterest works wonders for driving sales-oriented traffic.

When you first establish a page, it may take some time to gain traction that really drives traffic to your site. However, once you’ve built up a following, Pinterest is an incredible way to drive your audience to pretty much any sales funnel or offer that you have prepared. The key here is to be consistent, even if you have no audience yet. Don’t get disheartened. More eyes will be drawn to your content once you build up more to show them.

9. Jump-starting a relationship with your new leads

Once you’ve successfully made your new followers aware of your business, this is the time to jump in and start an active relationship with them. The easiest and most effective way to do this is by simply asking for an email address in exchange for valuable content.

Once you have that email address, you can give them more helpful and informative content over time, which helps not only build trust but keeps your business in the forefront of that customer’s mind when they’re ready to buy. The easiest way to gather new leads is by offering in-depth, supplemental content related to the post they were just reading on your site.

10. Continually building relationships with your leads

Once your prospective customers have given you an email address to work with, the next step is to make use of email marketing to reach out to them. After all, they’ve already expressed enough interest that they subscribed to you: give them what they need to see that their choice to give you their email was worth it.

The beauty of email marketing is in its ability to let you interact directly with your audience in a way that social media platforms can’t. Over time, this consistent interaction helps give new leads the confidence they need to become customers.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when drafting up your autoresponder emails:

  • Take advantage of social proof to build your credibility.
    Use everything at your disposal from external sources in order to build credibility in the eyes of your followers. You can use anything from case studies and testimonials to white papers and relevant interviews with trusted names in your niche in order to build up a solid repertoire of social proof for your brand.
  • Build genuine trust with your audience.
    Add stories about your brand and its history in your blog posts. Write naturally and honestly in order to build trust and deepen your relationship with readers.
  • Don’t forget to map your autoresponder.
    In order to properly aid customers in evaluating your product, make sure your autoresponder sequence is properly mapped out.
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Conclusion

When it comes to conversion funnels, keep this in mind: just because a prospective customer officially makes the jump to a full-on consumer doesn’t mean your work is done. In fact, this is where the real work will begin. You can expect your return customers to spend an average of 67% more than first-time customers! While building new relationships is key to growing your business, keeping existing customers happy and engaged will not only keep them buying, but will encourage them to advocate for your brand and help you grow even further.

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