Understanding the Buying Funnel
The Buying Funnel is a marketing model used to describe the entire buying cycle for a consumer.
The buying funnel is different for every business, which is why it is important to understand how people find their information, make decisions, and engage your competitors.
- Awareness: If consumers don’t know about your product then you can not become a solution to their problem.
- Interest: Once you have their awareness you can create compelling ads with ad copy writing.
- Learn: After you have their interest, they need to learn more about the product to make an informed decision.
- Shop: The customer is ready to compare similar products.
- Buy: The last cycle answers where to buy and the keywords are often product names, company branding and locations
Capturing consumers at the correct cycles make for greater conversions. This is where understanding search theory and keyword research is necessary.
Types of Keywords:
- Explicit keywords directly describe the product or service
- Problem keywords describe the problem that your product solves
- Symptom keywords describe the symptoms of the problem
- Product name / part number keywords are used or found late in the buying funnel
The buying funnel has no time limit. Understanding where to capture your consumers is as important as knowing the correct type of keywords to use. If your keywords fall only into the buying cycle you might have few sales. If all your keywords fall into awareness and interest but not into buying, you effectively drive consumers to your competitors.
There are a lot of different channels to capture your consumers online:
- Social media marketing is a great tool to capture consumers at the top of the funnel for awareness and interest. It is also relatively cheap, but the best thing about social media marketing is that it improves SEO if used correctly. The search engines are using social media as a signal when they factor the search results.
- Blogging is a great way to create SEO content as well as capture during the learning and shopping cycle. You can use your blog articles as containers for your content (texts, info graphics, and/or videos) and incorporate them into a social campaign geared to drive traffic to your site for conversion.
- Pay per click advertising is a quick way to get results if organic searches are too competitive. They are also useful in generating links and bookmarking, which is extremely useful for the SEO minded.
- Having the budget for an SEM campaign isn’t enough. Your company should also dominate the first SERP organically too. SEO can also work with SEM by targeting keywords that are too expensive.
- Content Marketing is just as important to consider as the Buying Funnel, because uninteresting content is just another advertisement to an uninterested searcher.