A Digital Marketing Funnel. Why Does Your Business Need One?

Understand your local business’ digital marketing in terms of a digital marketing funnel. Terms and tactics like SEO, Google Ads, the Map Pack, retargeting are all far easier to understand if you think of them in terms of your whole marketing funnel, and that’s exactly what I cover in this short video.

Don’t rely on agencies and service providers to tell you what you need. A little digital marketing knowledge will go a long way as you interact with them.

Rather read? Video transcript below:

So, a digital marketing funnel. You know, I speak to a lot of clients and prospective clients who are overwhelmed with their digital marketing.

I can hear it. I mean look it’s a huge topic so it’s no surprise. What I do is I roll out a very simple metaphor that I think helps to–as most metaphors will do–take a complicated situation and make it way, way easier to understand, okay?

So with this video that’s exactly what I’m going to do for you.

By the end of it my hope is that you’ll have a much better handle on what terms like SEO you know the Map Pack, retargeting, Google Ads, how all these strategies that you may not fully understand what role they play–or should play–in your internet marketing.

You may never run your own Google Ads campaigns or SEO your own website, but there’s a real value in understanding the big picture.

This video will empower you to not just be reliant on you know service providers and agencies telling you what you need. So what is the metaphor? The metaphor is a simple funnel, a funnel. A digital marketing funnel. I’m Tom from Working Funnel, LLC–let’s get going.

The top of a digital marketing funnel is Discovery, with a capital ‘D’.

Look there’s a segment of the population out there that needs what you have, your services or products. Our job as marketers in the beginning is to get discovered by them.

So after all these years the best way to do this if we have a need as users and we have no idea who or where to turn to get this need solved, we enter terms into a search engine, there’s a good chance that search engine is Google.

80%-90% plus of all searches happen on Google so I’m just going to use Google and discovery synonymously.

Because if we can nail the first page of Google that discovery function at the top of our funnel is going to be largely taken care of. For local business digital marketing the first page of Google’s ‘experience’ as they call it, are actually three distinct marketing channels: Google Ads , the Map Pack just below the ads–or the ‘local pack’ or the ‘three pack’–and then the organic listings below the Map Pack.

Now ideally for discovery we’d like to do really well in all three channels. Look some people don’t want to click on ads. If I’m on mobile I’m probably going to gravitate towards the Map Pack which is connected to Google Maps and is just the most accessible result on Google’s first page when we’re on a mobile device, okay?

Some people are looking for more sort of informational searches, need a little bit of education about what they’re doing and often gravitate towards the organic results. So it’s not a question of what channel is ‘best’–we’d like to do well in all three channels.

There’s an additional benefit in doing well in multiple channels. If we’re seen in two or three spots very high on Google’s first page by a searcher who’s just typed in a query, it’s not just more likely that we’re going to be found, it’s more likely that we’ll be perceived as a local leader. Does that make sense?

‘The company’s in two or three spots, well they must know what they’re doing, Google in its infinite wisdom has chosen to put them you know very high on the first page, probably better make this company one of the companies that I call to solve my problem’, right?

So I don’t need to go into how we appear in multiple spots at the top of Google’s first page–that’s for another video.

Just understand that for most people Discovery is happening on the first page of Google and that Google is three distinct channels, two of which are free channels run by algorithms that we need to make happy and the uppermost one, ads, where we can achieve extremely good targeting and pay for clicks that we want (and don’t pay for clicks that we don’t want!).

Once a user has clicked on our listing in any one of the three channels, we’ll usually be sending them to our website, and that means they’re in the middle of our funnel. We’ve done our job at the top of the funnel now we’ve got to make sure that our site does its job, which is to get people further down the funnel.

Now how do we do that? Some people who arrive at our site they’ll see a phone number, they’ll if they’re on mobile especially, and they might tap it within five seconds, get us on the phone, and what’s happened they have gone from the middle of the funnel very quickly all the way out through the bottom of the funnel.

Now let me let me jump ahead for just a second here. The bottom of the funnel for local business digital marketing is not buying something. The bottom of the funnel for a local business is lead generation okay?

Generating a lead from the funnel. The discovery, hit the website and take an action that turns them from a person somewhere out on the internet who’s looking for something, to someone who’s actually interacting with us and is actually a lead at that point. 

You’ve got them on the phone, you’re emailing them, whatever. Now you still have to close the sale of course usually on the telephone, but the digital funnel has done its job. Discovery, get them comfortable and convert into a lead at the bottom of the funnel, make sense?

Now what if they don’t convert into a lead in the first few seconds, which most people will not? What are they doing in the in the mid-funnel on our website?

They’re learning a bit about our business, maybe they’re learning actually what it is they need, they came and they’re not exactly sure, we teach them on the website a little bit about more about what we do and maybe what the industry does.

In any case we get them more comfortable. We answer their questions in a preemptive way–and also in an automated way–without the help of a human at all.

The website is doing its job. The longer they spend on our website, maybe they come back a few times or several times possibly, the more your company becomes intertwined in their mind with the solution to their problem.

Content marketing and the content on your website is a huge, huge topic. If you just keep your marketing hat on realize that everything that the site does–the whole purpose–is to get them to the bottom of the funnel to convert, to the point where they’re comfortable enough to take an action that we want them to take, and an action that was the reason why they made it to our site in the first place.

But another function of it is to take them right down through to the bottom of the funnel in ways that you have absolutely seen at work yourself. 

It happens when they either tap to call us on mobile, they get our number, hopefully call us later, they leave their email address and probably their first name in a little email collector box, or they start a conversation with us in the little widget on desktop, it’s at the often in the lower right of the screen where you know we simply ask them, do they have any questions that we can answer?

That is a way of starting a conversation as well. The the minute they take an action and actually reach out to us they really become leads, because at that point either they’re contacting us directly or we have a way to get back to them, so in this way websites are both mid-funnel and lower-funnel tools.

At the bottom of the digital funnel give the user multiple ways to get ahold of you depending on what platform they’re on, how much time they have, bottom line that’s a function of the website.

Now it’s not to say that the path that I mapped out is the only route through our digital funnel.

Here’s where things get sort of interesting, and I’m gonna close this in a minute with what I think is just about the coolest tactic in in digital marketing, ok? I mean it’s it’s very effective, it’s inexpensive, but it’s just cool, okay?

And you’ll see what I mean in a second, but first let me cover an alternate route that they can take through our funnel.

In Google Ads we can construct a Call Extension, which simply means that below our ad they’ll see our our phone number and on mobile of course it’s tap-to-call, so they can immediately go from the ad at the top of the funnel, take them all the way through to the bottom of the funnel to get us on the phone then and there, and so you can see how quickly this can happen.

Remember the goal of your digital marketing funnel is not to impress people with how beautiful your site is, the goal is to get them through the funnel and to become leads.

To generate leads for your business, and if we could come up with a hundred ways to get them to do that that were cost effective, we’d do that.

And the reason I say this is because I sense a misconception: people get so hung up on little parts of their website that they forget the big picture, that the real function of the website is to take that action.

We’re very happy to pay for our click from Google Ads directly to your phone. That’s Google Ads call extensions, there are also Call campaigns in Google Ads as well.

Now for the for the super-cool tactic that I promised you a minute ago, and admittedly I’m a marketing geek, but I think you’ll see why I’m so excited about retargeting, and why I at least test this for all of our clients.

It works better for some than others, okay when people come to our website, top of funnel, we’ve done that work and we’ve actually made an investment to get them to the site okay, whether we pay for the click directly, or you had SEO done well enough to where you’re getting free targeted search traffic from Google and other search engines you know–there is a cost to making that happen, to getting them to our site.

So if between 92% and 99% of folks once they hit our site, once they leave they will never come back again, and so that means that cost of getting them to the site in the first place…we don’t recoup it because they never come back.

Well wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to recoup some of that cost of getting them to the site? A great way to do that is called retargeting.

I won’t get into the tech of retargeting here but the basic idea is if they visit our website they trigger a a bit of code in the background, a pixel, and we can show them ads in their Facebook feed. We can also show them ads on a million websites out there through Google Display Network, it’s the same concept: we are showing ads to people who have already visited our website.

That’s the key thing.

These folks are not cold traffic. They’ve already registered their interest, they may have spent several minutes or more on our site, so using retargeting to define them as part of an audience who did visit our website, and then to get back in front of them not ten times a day, just maybe once a day or twice a day, or three times a week or something, we don’t want to spam people and turn them off–it would be counterproductive.

They may have left our site for no good reason, they may have gotten distracted or gotten a telephone call or something. Nudge them and get back in front of them again remind them that, you know, they had a problem, they didn’t come to our site by accident, they may still not have gotten a solution to their problem.

These are low-cost campaigns because the audience that we’re showing them to is quite small actually, and really always worth a test. On both Facebook and usually on Google Display Network as well.

A very good use of Facebook retargeting is when they see an ad and they’re reminded, ‘oh yeah, I was on that site, I still haven’t solved my problem, maybe I am interested’ –click–but instead of the click taking them back to your website a Facebook Messenger window opens in Facebook and we start a little dialogue.

An automated dialogue to begin with to basically connect with them and see what they need. Maybe sometimes you can answer questions in an automated fashion or obviously your contact information will be in that window etc.

The point is it’s continuing the conversation, and by the way it’s not happening on the site, it’s happening you know in the Facebook ecosystem and a lot of times that will get them through to the bottom of the funnel to become leads.

Remember the goal is to convert them into leads, it’s not to show them our pretty website.

I’ve had really good results for a lot of my clients using this tap-to-Messager window. I think a lot of it is because a lot of companies aren’t yet using this, so there’s not resistance yet built in for a lot of users. Usually if they see that Messenger window open they’ll go ahead and at least give it a look, if not respond.

Also most of your competition is not yet running this marketing channel, and that’s a competitive advantage for you.

We’ve got with digital marketing a lot of flexibility in terms of getting creative and it’s a lot more than just Google, to the site, then call us on the phone.

There are a lot of other tactics that I haven’t described in this short video but i hope it’s giving you some clarity on a huge topic of internet marketing for businesses.

If this has piqued your interest click here for a deep dive video into the entire Working Funnel implementation

The working funnel is an end-to-end done-for-you marketing solution for local businesses. It includes everything that a local business should have in its marketing nowadays. There’s a light pitch in the video but even if you never become a Working Funnel client there’s an educational value to this video, or at least I made it with that intention.

Anyway I’m Tom from Working Funnel LLC, thank you very very much for watching.

Do you have any further questions? Pick a time and let’s chat. Self-schedule here with just a couple clicks.